Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So many choices

On the one hand, waiting for my Alberta license number to arrive could be stressful if I let it bother me.  But, there are just too many exciting opportunities for naturopathic doctors now.  As such, having the time to work through some very important decisions, without seeing patients yet, has been a blessing in disguise.

I believe that we are at the beginning of really being able to help the Canadian public due to an increased demand for integrative medicine.  On that note, I was also very happy to see that CCNM has added another primary care procedures course to the curriculum to further prepare ND's to be excellent primary care providers.  I'm so proud!

Over the past 2 months I have continued to delve deeper into the business side of running a practice and recognize that no matter how many practice management classes we took, nothing can replace a good business mentor as well as doing a lot of researching and using common sense!  All the best to everyone out there starting out - we need to stick together!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The ND Generalist

One thing I have noticed when talking to potential patients lately is that our society tends to overvalue specialists.  A common question I get is, "what do you specialize in?" and people's reaction to my desire to work in Primary Care is bewilderment.  Yes, I have my interests: sports medicine, gastrointestinal health, etc., but I just enjoy helping people with a diverse set of presenting symptoms.  I find it is exciting and gratifying. 

In actuality, Primary Care is a specialty too.  In fact, an expert generalist can save a person a lot of pain, time and unnecessary referrals.  Of course there is a very important place for specialists, but we need to put a greater value back on general practitioners.

This is one thing I love about naturopathic doctors.  We can use a number of tools in Primary Care that work well and are often safer than a conventional approach. We can utilize botanicals, nutrition and supplements, adjustments of the spine, acupuncture, and counseling all with one patient - if it is necessary.  Possibly the greatest thing about naturopathic doctors is we do not utilize these modalities in isolation but we understand how each fits together to help the patient.

Monday, October 3, 2011

House Calls

Remember back in the good old days when doctors did house calls?  Well, as the provincial elections approach, several politicians are talking about mandating Medical Doctors to do a percentage of house calls.  I have no idea how they will fit house calls into their overpacked schedule but the politicians have recognized that the demand is there. The timing is appropriate in my case as I have been shocked at the leasing prices in Calgary.  There are certainly some beautiful locations to set-up a naturopathic practice, but at $30.00 a square foot per year, the price seems prohibitive right now.  Certainly there are opportunities for new ND's to rent office space in existing practices but it also might be a perfect time to provide patients with a house call service.