Friday, June 10, 2011

It's about the Zebras

As I'm hidden away studying in the air conditioned basement of a Toronto Public Library, I realize that 2 weeks of NPLEX review have already gone by.  This means that the Licensing and Board exams are looming that much closer.  Will I ever be able to remember all these details?  In my office, I could just look it up!

But, after this many years of studying and 12 months of internship, it's now really about the zebras.  There is a famous old saying in medicine, "when you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras."  This translates to: when you have a list of signs and symptoms, think of the most likely diagnosis these point to first.  Well, this is true in practice but from the advice of practicing ND's I've listened too, not so on these upcoming exams.  I do realize that naturopathic medicine is still in the process of demonstrating to the majority of the public (and most conventional physicians) that naturopathic doctors are proficient primary care providers.  As such, our licensing boards are going to ensure that we have what it takes to catch those mysterious presentations of diseases.  Furthermore, many patients unfortunately only resort to an ND after they have been through an unhelpful ordeal in conventional medicine.

So, I do understand the necessity and therefore should not complain about being sentenced to studying inside during such beautiful weather.  However, I can say that I will be very happy on August 7th when this is all over...