As part of the naturopathic doctor (ND) program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), students are required to complete 50 hours preceptoring a senior ND. Preceptoring is basically job-shadowing: watching the doctor as he or she treats patients. Preceptoring also allows the student to learn more about practice management (aka running a business/practice). More importantly, preceptoring presents students with the rare opportunity to peer into the lives of complete strangers and to see how what is, and what isn't, healthy for them. We all have different bodies and thus different definitions of health, yet we tend to define health based on our own experiences alone. Therefore, as a future health caretaker, I think it is so important that I try to learn about as many definitions of health as I possibly can.
This Summer I have lined-up several preceptoring opportunities. I already preceptored with one doctor and have two more opportunities arranged for later this month. I really enjoy preceptoring because it lets me see that there is light at the end of this long tunnel of learning. Also, sometimes the thought of being a doctor and being (for the most part) responsible for the health of real human beings is very scary, yet the doctors I've seen in practice are confident, relaxed, and good at healing people. I hope that somewhere, amongst all of the years of training that I still have to acquire, lies a moment in which I "click" and am suddenly ready to take on the health of the world! An ambitious thought, but hey, it could happen :)