Preceptoring Woes.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to preceptor with a lovely Naturopathic Doctor in her equally lovely clinic.

What is preceptoring? It's basically job-shadowing; a student sits in the corner of the clinic/treatment room, acting as a fly-on-the-wall, not saying a word, just observing the doctor-patient interaction.

While I absolutely love hanging out in clinics, taking mental notes of treatment options, and watching the 'magic' of my profession unfold, I hate preceptoring! 

Now why on Earth would I hate preceptoring? Given the sentence written above, it sounds like I enjoy most aspects of the experience. But what I don't like---and thus makes me dislike preceptoring all together---is burdening Naturopathic Doctors and their patients.

First, the office of an ND is a very therapeutic space.  A space in which confidential information may be shared, uncomfortable physical exams may be preformed, needles may be inserted, and one in which deep emotional healing may finally occur. Every appointment is an opportunity for healing and growth, and thus I hate, hate, hate that I have to intrude!  Treat the individual is a naturopathic principle, yet I feel like patients are not given the space they need when there is a student lurking in the room.

Second, naturopathic doctors are busy, busy people. Their days are packed and there is little room to entertain a student for a day (or more!).

What's more? CCNM students need 100 hours of preceptoring hours before convocation! That's a lot of days spent stalking naturopathic doctors (and other health professionals) and their willing patients :P  One-hundred hours is over two weeks of full-time (8 hours per day) days spent in clinics.  As since most NDs accept students to come in for a day (or two), that means that it is possible to shadow over ten different practitioners to get the hours logged. Yes, it would be wonderful to see the clinics and techniques of ten different practitioners, but in city of Toronto, good luck finding ten willing healthcare providers to take you on (even for one day).

Thankfully, CCNM is looking into this steep requirement and (hopefully) based on student input, is going to change the policy.  Unfortunately, if the policy is changed, it will likely not affect me, but future CCNM students. Nonetheless, I definitely think that there is a problem with current preceptoring requirements and will be happy when some changes are made.

Alright, enough ranting.  See you tomorrow with something more up-beat :)

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