A couple of weeks ago someone asked me why I wanted to become a naturopathic doctor. I answered the question with the simple "because I've always been passionate about health, wellness, and all things natural, naturopathic medicine was the perfect field for me". While this answer is short and sweet, it really doesn't sum-up why I want to devote my life to practicing naturopathic medicine.
There are three main reasons why I chose naturopathic medicine which I will summarize (note: there are lots of other little reasons, but I'll just highlight the top three in this post):
First, I absolutely love the Doctor as Teacher principle of naturopathic medicine. While I love learning about natural methods of healing and maintaining health, what I love more is teaching what I've learned. I love that I am in a profession that allows me to be a primary care physician all the while being a teacher, teaching good health habits. A doctor can only do so much in terms of healing because the doctor is not the patient and thus can not control what the patient does or experience how the patient is feeling. Thus, if the doctor teaches the patient the basics of good health and how to mend their current health concern, then it is up to the patient to apply the doctor's lessons in order to effect his or her health in the long term. It is kind of like that quote: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime -- Chinese Proverb.
Second, boy-oh-boy do I love the human body. The body is fascinating and I love learning its anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc. As a doctor I will constantly be learning about the wonders of the human body as ever patient I see will have a different body that will be reacting in a different way. Yes, there are many, many trends regarding the body and how it reacts and works, but it is important to remember that we are all different and our bodies all function differently from time-to-time. I am excited to go to work each day and to see different bodies all operating differently, and it will be my job to understand how and why the body behaves the way it does and to treat in order to correct this behavior. As a lover of science, the field of naturopathic medicine is perfect for me!
Third, society is becoming more health conscious. A health movement is brewing. I want to be a part of this movement. We are turning back time, using more ancient ways of healing; we are turning to Mother Nature to help us heal; we are learning that the body and mind are intimately connected and that mind health effects physical health; we are identifying flaws in the traditional health care system and are coming up with solutions to these problems. Another quote comes to mind: Be the change you want to see in the world. I want to see a healthier world and thus I am happy to have chose a career that will help develop this new, healthy world.
So why naturopathic medicine? ...because it is a perfect fit for all that I love and all that I believe in!