Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Break

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year.  Unfortunately, it is too often an exhausting, over-commercialized pressure to buy everyone that "perfect gift."  So, I try to ignore that extra stress!  For me, Christmas provides an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, time to relax and time to reflect on what is really important in life.  And, it cannot come soon enough!

I have to admit that I was naive about the energy required to consistently give my best to patients with chronic health care issues.  Burn-out can become a reality very quickly if not anticipated and prevented (The age old phrase, "Physician heal thyself" is so important).  I realize now that my expectations of being a naturopathic clinician were primarily based on my limited experiences as a patient.  As such, I projected much of how I thought being a clinician would be like by attempting to put myself in the health care professional's shoes so-to-speak.  But I am just one type of patient and I do not have any chronic debilitating conditions or diseases.  Needles to say, I have made some adjustments to the understanding of my job description.

For those of you interested in becoming a naturopathic doctor, as the style of practice varies substantially from one ND to another, do not base your expectations on one particular style of practice or patient group.  Although it is impossible to know exactly what to expect, and even what type of practice you want to have, getting as much experience with several different primary health care providers will also help you understand what it will be like to be an ND.

Have a refreshing holiday and Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Erica L. Robinson said...

Well said Richard!

I have a feeling I will nevertheless have similar experiences when I get to 4th year - what we think being a doctor will be like and how it actually is I suppose can be two different things.

Merry Christmas!