Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

Changing Your Career to Naturopathic Medicine

Changing Your Career to Naturopathic Medicine

Good morning and welcome to the AANMC
webinar Changing Your Career to Naturopathic Medicine
I’m Dr. JoAnn Yanez I’m the executive director for the Association of
Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges I’m really really happy to have you with
me first off I want to say Happy New Year and today’s webinar is kind of in
line with the new year and new thinking and how do we want to envision our
future do we like what we’ve done how do we want to improve upon ourselves and if
changing your career is in the cards for you as a way to improve your life and
your career and your satisfaction then today is the right place for you to be
so what we’re going to do first is introduce our two speakers so with me
today I have Dr. Jill Jennings and Dr. Ginger Sweetan and and they’re just gonna
share real quick update on on who they are and where they graduated from and
then we’ll hear a lot more about their stories through the course of this
webinar and understand if you are thinking about a career change what does
that look like how do you make it happen what are the next steps to you know to
take in your own path and trajectory to make that happen so with that Dr. Sweetan
if you want to just give a real quick I think who you are and where you
graduated from great good morning everybody
my name is Dr. Ginger Sweetan I graduated from Bastyr University in
California at our San Diego campus thank so much and doctors innings yeah hi
everybody thanks for joining us I graduated from National University in
Lombard Illinois near the Chicago area so thanks for having me
fabulous and before we get started we’re going to put out just a real short poll
to see where you all are coming from so we can we can do helped you out a little
bit better and let’s see it’s hard for me to see my next screen here so there
we go so while that poll is is going and cooking we’re going to talk just a
little bit about what today is going to cover so both doctors have graciously
agreed to share how they have successfully chosen to change careers
the difference that the ND education has made in their lives what tools they had
beforehand from profession from professions and prior professions and
what that does to help in your own career success as an ND they’ll talk
about a little bit about a typical day and then share some case studies of how
they’ve worked with naturopathic patients and and then I know the the
piece de resistance the tricks to balancing work and life responsibilities
they think that’s something that we are all always trying to figure out and then
lastly some advice for prospective naturopathic medical students and so
what I see here is most of the folks coming our prospective students which
makes total sense for today and we have kind of a quick distribution from most
around the state most around the United States and a bit in Canada so thank you
all for joining us today we really appreciate coming and and we hope that
this will be helpful for you as you’re thinking about your next steps so with
that we’re going to just kind of dive right in here so and feel free both of
you to kind of jump in and share what you felt was most helpful so the first
question is when you were originally thinking of this when the light bulb
went off for you of okay I want to go and be a naturopathic doctor and you
know not do what I’m currently doing what was most helpful in planning that
change maybe Dr. Sweetan if you want to start sure and I get a little out of
where you were and how you made that change absolutely so I am approaching my 50s
and in my early 20s I joined the Navy I was a US hospital corpsman and EMT and
then when I got out after four years or actually while I was still in I
challenged the California vocational nursing board got my nursing license and
then put myself through college nursing and with my GI Bill so I knew that I
always wanted to be a doctor but I got ill along the way and I had kids I
didn’t personally have them but they’re my children
and so I wasn’t able to go to medical school the way that I wanted to or the
way I thought I wanted to originally but that worked out beautifully
because what ended up happening is I ended up having a career in business and
then they opened this campus in California and I had vaguely heard about
naturopathic medicine from a friend when I was an undergrad and so I went to an
open house I was sold I found my tribe I found my people and I really knew that
that was my calling in life so I went home and told my husband and he knew I
had always wanted to be a doctor and so for us it just meant planning our life
maybe changing how we were functioning as a family but for us it was fairly
simple because he knew it was coming he just didn’t know when but in terms of
having a kid I definitely had to do a lot of planning where is she going to go
to school and we’re in work or I’m in school who could take care of her if a
crisis arose and we did all that because I feel like when you want something bad
enough you find a way to make it happen and as far as perceived obstacles I feel
like the only perceived obstacles I had were in my own mind and I was able to
overcome those overcome those just acknowledging that this is what I had
always wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me yeah my story is along the same lines as
Dr. Sweetan’s is I worked in health care for over 20 years now and I was an ER
nurse for 15 years but prior to that I’d always wanted to be a doctor my whole
entire life that’s all I ever wanted to be and funny when I was in my undergrad
I started working in the hospitals and watching these doctors and I’m like
they’re miserable why would I want to do this like and the nurses are doing
everything so I’m like you know this didn’t make sense to me to to go this
long journey to be an MD and so after I got my bachelor’s I ended up going back
to school and getting my nursing degree and did ER nursing for 15 years and
during that time I had gotten sick and it progressed slowly over the course of
about 10 years to the point I’d seen every doctor at every test I was on
dozens of medicines no one really knew what was wrong with me I was getting
ready to file for disability and a couple of my friends said you need to go
see her naturopathic doctor know at the time I was like what do they know you
know I thought I had done everything I thought I knew a few things about
medicine and you know it turns out I knew nothing and in my desperation I
took his name and number and we drove 10 hours to go see this doctor and to make
a long story short he got me well and I was like this is crazy
and I knew at that moment that this is the kind of medicine I wanted to do for
the rest of my life and so started looking into it and for us as far as
planning and preparing I applied and was accepted and said okay know what you
know and so I asked him how long do I have to enroll and they said I had three
years so that gave me time and I think it ended up enrolling at about the
two-year mark to get all of our life in order and get our schedules in order and
get our finances in order so it was a lot of planning during that time and
then I was ready to go and and like Dr. Sweetan as far as obstacles sometimes you
just got to jump in because you don’t know if the boat is gonna float until
you throw them in the water and it is a total mindset thing if you put your mind
to it you can do it thank you so much I’m glad you touched on that mindset
piece since after Sweetan when you said you know the biggest obstacles were your
own self-imposed ones can you share a little bit about what you mean by that
sure so um interesting story I feel like I was a
more balanced person in my 20s than I was my 30s because I entered business in
my 30s and I think I got very jaded and put priorities on money materialism
things of that nature and so when I’m talking about obstacles there was
several for me one of them was what would other people think if I went this
route because I had always wanted to be an MD I there was some embarrassment
there was it was ego it was absolutely positively ego so I
thought I wouldn’t be well respected people wouldn’t understand what I was
doing why I was doing it and so you know I allowed that to play tricks on my mind
but not for long because I thought all right well if people don’t know what
naturopathic medicine is then I have an incredible opportunity to share with
them what it is what we do and how I truly believe that we can heal humanity
so that was an issue and then also I have perfectionist disease I want
everything to be perfect all the time and I had to let go of that I had and
that took me a while it was a process and so it really happened over those
four years and I realized that there is no perfect person and then it is
absolutely positively okay to be authentic and to be humble and so that
was a transition it was before school it was during school and obviously I’m
still growing and you know hoping to become a better person every day but
really it was here and it’s process yeah I’m glad you mentioned that I think many
of us struggle is you know people think about changing careers changing tracks
there’s that mental piece of what you thought your expectations were and what
reality is and what will truly and happy and kind of getting to a place where you
can make all of those coexist together happily is definitely a process for sure
so uh I’m just gonna move on to another question here what was the most
meaningful what was most meaningful for you during
a traffic school so you know kind of moving gears from preparing for ND
school and kind of getting your life in order and figuring out the finances and
getting the family situation all aligned what once you got to school what was
what was meaningful for you how did you prepare talk about that part of your
journey Dr. Jennings it’s it’s a funny question because I don’t think you can
prepare for it you think you can but it’s kind of like drinking from a
firehose it’s a lot of information coming at you really really quickly and
having been out of school for a long time it was a big adjustment but for
that first question what’s most meaningful during naturopathic medicine
I think the thing that got me through was relationships I had the most
incredible relationships with my colleagues and cohorts in my class and
we just leaned on each other because it’s hard but it’s totally doable if
you’ve got your people to help support you through that not only in your your
home but your people who are going through the same things as you’re going
through they may not be have the same you know life you have at home but in
the classroom and in the clinic they’re going through the same thing so their
relationships hands down was the most meaningful
meaningful thing for me and even today I still keep in close contact with my
colleagues but I don’t prepare was rough because I was a go go go I got four kids
I worked you know a job and then now I’m it’s a screeching halt I’m sitting
in a desk for 30-40 hours a week and then you know 20-30 more at home
studying it was like you know I wasn’t used to that I’m a gogogo kind of person
so it was definitely adjustment and again it’s one of those things you have
these perceptions and what you think it’s going to be like and you just got
to jump in and get your mind read you know set saying this is what I want I
know I can do it and I’m gonna do it and then rally your support to help you
through it yeah Dr. Sweetan um I just really echo Dr. Jennings and sentiments
because I don’t know I mean we all do I think we try to do our best to prepare
for anything that’s important for us and then we get in the situation and we
realize that although the preparation was lovely and it is beneficial it’s not
ideal in the sense that you really don’t ever know what to expect until you’re
actually in the thick of it so I say jump in but do be prepared in
terms of time management and I guess that’s something I really want to
emphasize is good use of time management I like to use an agenda an old-fashioned
one that you can write in I felt compelled because I was in class with
people who were using their computers for everything to try to use one
electronically I did that for a while but I just went back to a good old
fashioned agenda wrote everything out color coded it and stuck to it like
really truly stuck to it and for me it made all the difference in the world
yeah I think you know it’s it’s all it’s very personal and you know we talked we
talked about your mentioning time management and what works for one person
may not necessarily work for another but I think the key point is know what works
for you and stick to it religiously if it doesn’t work you try something else
and it’s not quest yeah but usually by the time someone is you know considering
a career change they usually have or maybe I’m making assumption but often
we’ll have those types of organizational skills and and that’s oftentimes one of
the benefits that career changers come to school with is that you have that
focus and maybe if you can speak a little bit about some of the advantages
of coming to school as a career changer for me my biggest I think advantage was
you know obviously life experience I was a way older than the majority of my
classmates and I had a ton of clinical experience it was actually really really
fun for me because I kind of took on that mom role I actually in med school
was known as Mama J by my colleagues and so it was really fun for me to come
alongside them because a lot of these kids were right
out of undergrad they didn’t have the clinical experience that I had so it was
really fun for me to mentor them in that regard but just life experience in you
know we all at some point are pushed to take on a mentor role of some aspect in
our lives so that was really fun for me and in those life experiences those
clinical experiences really was so helpful
in my experience at med school and now clinically as well yeah and I agree with
all of that I did have a lot of clinical experience as well both in the military
and then as a vocational nurse and felt like I had worked in so many different
fields I didn’t work in oncology or cardiology but pretty much every other
field besides that and that was really helpful but I still feel like for me it
was a different environment with regard to responsibilities so having come from
a business background and a healthcare background I feel like that having a
strong drive some moxie persistence you know maybe not a cultural pull yourself
up by the bootstraps attitude but somewhat that I was able to push through
in times that were difficult and then sit with myself and acknowledge I’m not
the nurse anymore which is a wonderful and beautiful thing because while I’m
always a nurse just like dr. Jennings but um now I can’t call the doctor like
I am the doctor and so then taking my critical thinking skills that I learned
in my prior career is and applying it to medicine I felt like was really helpful
and then just persistence and effective communication skills which I think often
people who’ve had prior careers are I don’t want say they’re better at I
would just say that they’re more practiced and it definitely comes in
handy when you’re sitting across from someone who’s very vulnerable and
divulging personal details of their life yeah I think you also mentioned
something really interesting too which was the ego and oftentimes you know we
may have career changers who’ve been physicians licensed
positions either in you know the North America or abroad or other licensed
healthcare practitioners and now you have to come back into this humble role
of students again where maybe you might have been the leader on it on a cardiac
team or a surgery team or whatever team and now you have to take back that role
and and grab that humility and kind of check the ego in the door and say you
know what I don’t know everything and and maybe you know I I have I come with
a great skill set of life experience and this and that but I also have some
things to learn that are unique to naturopathic medicine and so kind of
making it with with that framework in mind what was the most meaningful thing
that you learned when you were in school that maybe you know you thought oh well
I know a lot already I bring all this clinical what what really stood out to
you of oh I I did really need to learn this what was that moment for you
well for me it was that I know nothing it’s okay to know nothing and of course
I’m exaggerating but humility that authenticity reigned supreme that is
absolutely okay to say to someone you know what I don’t know the answer to
that but I’m gonna research that for you or I do know someone who does and I’m
going to inquire and get back to you and I find that people are really receptive
to that and they respect you and that you build relationships that way and
that there’s trust in being authentic Without a doubt I agree a hundred
percent and when it comes to the whole ego thing we come from a background we
we knew a lot about medicine in the traditional sense but I will tell you I
even worked very closely with my ER doctors I still worked in the hospital
when I was going through medical school and I would get you know they would poke
fun at me and say oh do you have any homeopathy for that you know and things
like that but you know they would kind of joke but they would pull me aside and
when they were done we’re really proud of you and we know that what you’re
doing is real medicine and so they some of them if they’re honest they get it
they know that they don’t have all the answers easier in late Dr. Sweetan and
said if you don’t have the answers for us we’re trained to okay go back to the
basics let’s start with the basics you know the beautiful thing about
naturopathic medicine is we’re a tight group and so I tell my patients if I
don’t know the answer I have two or three hundred close colleagues that I
will call on and say anybody experienced this anybody have any insight on this
and it’s a really awesome thing to have in our back pocket to say I’ve got all
these other naturopathic doctors that I can ask what am I missing what what have
in like Dr. Sweetan said the patient’s respect that when you’re honest and
upfront about that mm-hmm they really do so as you were kind of
navigating this did you have any doubts and if so how did you manage them
absolutely absolutely you know because like Dr. Sweetan said I always had a
doctor right there that I could say okay what do i do what can I do what do I
need to do and now we are the doctor so of course there’s doubts but again you
go back to and as we went through school and we kind of practice and we’re in the
clinic and doing it under our attendings you realize okay if I don’t know I’d go
back to the basics let’s start there and use your critical thinking skills and so
those doubts are always gonna creep up but you always for me I go back on what
do I know let’s start with the basics let’s start
with you know what the body needs what the body doesn’t need let’s start
there and you come back to those things that you don’t know and sometimes we get
too far ahead of ourselves and we have to just slow down and go back to basics
yeah great I had some doubts too I had I mean I’d say them most of my doubts
because I was so ego-led and thinking oh I’m wonderful they you know this
program is lucky to have me I look back and think oh my gosh I’m surprised they
admitted me I was really full of myself but when I look back I would say that
most of the doubt was happening during the four-year process because it’s not
the material itself is unlearnable is absolutely learn about we’ve all we’ve
done it it’s just the amount that’s consistent over time and there were
several times that I was tired I was tired I was parenting I was commuting
three hours a day I’m a caregiver to my mother-in-law there I mean there’s a lot
we’re all doing a lot in our lives that I said you know what like I know I’m
smart enough I know I can do this I know I can be a doctor but is this what I
want to do and then that quickly passed for me but there were numerous times
that those things went through my mind and I cried or one time I failed an exam
and I had never failed an exam before and that needed to happen to me
because I needed humility but it wasn’t so much the degree as the journey itself
for me that’s that’s a wonderful and you’re ahead of the game because you
were only tired a few times I was tired a lot more than that so I love I love
your stories and I love what you’re sharing here one one question came in
that I’m gonna just ask now because I think it’s part of what we were
discussing which was how you prepared and you both came from you know working
backgrounds how you prepared financially for the journey and if he wouldn’t mind
sharing that a little bit for me it was I took out a lot of loans and I still
have a lot of loans I mean several of our colleagues were blessed to have not
had to do that God loved them that wasn’t my situation and I and I do
quite frankly carry a ton of debt but I knew like I knew this is what I was
called to do and I knew that that comes along with it so I’ll whittle that down
over time and it seems like this unsurmountable mountain but if you look
at it as an obstacle you’ll never do it you know you got to think further down
the road we prepared the best we could but for us that was just a reality I was
never going to make it through without taking on that debt yeah
me too I I’m not one of those people that was fortunate enough to have the
money to pay for my tuition I also took out loans and I still had
some loans from my undergraduate degree so I to Dr. Jennings and everyone who’s
watching him very in debt and I sort of console myself by saying well there’s no
such thing as debtors prison I’m not gonna haul me away and this drive this
passion this need to be a part of this community just it was the umbrella to
everything in my life and I’m okay with that debt because like Dr. Jennings says
you know I’ll pay it down over time or there’s debt forgiveness programs but in
terms of preparing itself like how do you pay your bills what does that look
like yes student loans helps with that but I am married and I am fortunate in
that my husband’s salary was able to help us survive we do live in a family
compound and my mother-in-law and father-in-law live with us my
sister-in-law lives with us and we have a lot going on so we needed that money
and we’re fortunate that because of his retirement from the military we were
able to do that but I’m in debt too and that’s okay
but I work through medical school so I did work through medical school it’s
just something I had to do yeah yeah and I think for everybody that financial
picture is going to be different some people are you know going to take out
some student loans I had a number of classmates who were career changers one
was a flight attendant and she still would do the flights and she worked on
the weekends another was an accountant and she did bookkeeping for some folks
we had massage therapists who would do little bits and pieces and I was
straight out myself I was straight out of college going to naturopathic school
but I I worked odd jobs and waitressed here and there and you know you you make
it work and you you know like my advice to folks is always to take out as
minimal on the loan as you can but one thing that and you know their loans are
in the news a lot and there is all of this fear
of debt that people have and if you like Dr. Jennings said if you see that
as an obstacle and you don’t see it as an investment it’s going to be exactly
what you see it as you know if you envision this as a ball and chain it’s
an obstacle and it’s an awful thing then guess what you’re manifesting that but
if you you know like you know I have a mortgage on my home I don’t see that as
an obstacle I see that as a blessing to allow me to live in a place that’s
really beautiful and so you know I think we it’s about how you frame things and
you know and like you’ve been talking about the whole time like you both have
been talking about that mental you know that mental component I’m not saying to
go into debt to the point where you know your life is not functional but but when
people kind of put this big fear and projection there are many doctors who do
really well and the jobs are the job opportunities are growing for
naturopathic doctors they’re opening up but I always tell folks when you’re
thinking of that financial picture come with a plan don’t just like oh just kind
of willy-nilly well it’ll work out that that’s not that’s not a good plan you
should come in with you know with a financial plan and start your career
planning and start to project how are you going to use this investment what
are you gonna do with this when you get out and what does that look like and
start to set yourself up for success with mentorship with networking and all
the works but you know that visual of not seeing it as a negative but seeing
it as an investment is is one of those mental things that I’ve seen be very
important for folks so would you mind sharing what your typical week
looks like that depends on the week honestly it ebbs and flows some some
weeks I’m very busy I love speaking my biggest passion is speaking I try and do
a lot of seminars because it’s just where my heart is education is really
where my heart is so I do a lot of seminars on lots and lots of different
topics and health talks and you know I always say I’ll get in front of whoever
will listen to me because it really is the information
that we have to share as life changing so I love I love speaking I do you know
first office calls my first office call is anywhere between two and four hours
it’s very very in-depth so I blocked that off in my schedule if I’ve got a
new patient and it’s really fun to watch the patient’s experience they’re like oh
my gosh I’ve been here forever like nobody doctor has ever been you know
that thorough with me so for me I block those times off because that’s when
you’re going to build their trust and let and they’re going to understand that
you want to know everything about them so that you can heal all aspects of
their health so every week for me is very different with follow-ups and new
patients and speaking and and things like that so I would say I don’t have a
consistent schedule either I’m a first year resident for anyone who didn’t come
in initially at an integrative Urgent Care in primary care in Encinitas and
then just this week on Monday we opened a new office in Rancho Santa Fe it just
does primary care so I were open seven days a week at our urgent care facility so I
can work Monday through Sunday not usually seven days in a row anywhere
from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. but it usually in 8-hour intervals although
sometimes I do do a 12-hour shift and so if I’m in the urgent care setting which
has been most of the time somebody might come in and thinking that they broke
their ankle or they have pneumonia or they’re having ear pain or a cough those
appointments can be fairly quick and the fabulous thing is that people are
becoming more familiar with what a naturopathic doctor does in the location
we have in Encinitas which is a coastal community in San Diego they’re more
familiar but I would still say a lot of people don’t know what we do so when
they’re in crisis and they’re coming in it affords me a beautiful opportunity to
share with them what naturopathic medicine is so while they might have a
broken ankle or a broken arm and I have to splint it and refer them to
orthopedics I get to talk to them about all beautiful things that I’ve been
taught about our medicine and just connect with them on a deep level a very
foundational but an average day for me really is isn’t
average because it depends on what walks in the door but seven days a week
potentially 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and I see all sorts of patients pediatrics
geriatrics women men you name it we probably see it and if we can’t attend
to it in the moment and we refer out listen thank you so note would you mind
just covering quickly a case study that you that you presented here Dr. Sweetan
I have yours up first yeah this is probably one of my favorite
cases it began in third year and the woman she’s a 46 year old caucasian
female she was my patient on a FISMA shift I told her I was switching to the
biofeedback shift just because we rotate around to different shifts each quarter
faster in California and she asked what it was and I explained her what
biofeedback was and she asked what it treated and I began to tell her and one
of the things I mentioned was anxiety and her eyes lit up and then they sort
of got teary eyed and she asked if she could come so I worked with her for
about eight weeks doing biofeedback specifically a modality called autogenics and it’s like a progressive and I want to say muscle
relaxation and I don’t really want to say self hypnotizing but like a
combination of both and you come in weekly you have 20 minutes of homework
that you do at home and it allows you to just function in
the world differently by acknowledging what’s happening to you physically and
I’ve never seen anything so incredible within the first couple weeks she began
to report that the sweating she was experiencing in public was diminished
that she was able to have more conversations with her co-workers and
her superiors that she wasn’t calling in sick she wasn’t avoiding social
situations and then she said something interesting she said that she noticed
that she felt better when she took benadryl and she also said
that she had oh I went out to dinner and I had some seafood I had some lobster
and I started to feel like I was having a reaction and I thought oh my gosh I
wonder if she’s having histamine issues and so I did a little bit of research
and found that there was this connection and so I had her switch to a low
histamine diet and continued her biofeedback and then also confirmed with
some genetic testing that that indeed was the link and it felt really good as
a provider to just have that I guess concrete evidence that that’s what was
transpiring and when I last saw her she had taken a promotion and was working in
a supervisory capacity she was doing speaking engagements and she was no
longer leaving the grocery store because of having social anxiety and that was
exciting and it felt really reaffirming of our medicine of what we do thank you
so much and Dr. Jennings I’m going to put your case up now yeah so this first
one is probably my most exciting case he was a 40 year old male with two rare
forms of muscular dystrophy charcot-marie-tooth and hereditary
spastic paraplegia it’s funny because like I didn’t we talked about not
knowing in the doubts like I didn’t know what these were I had to look them up
and so I started working with him and the fact that they’re both considered a
rare and he had both of them he’s only one of two people in the world who has
what he has and it was really interesting and his name is Brian he
gave me full permission to share any part of his story because that profound
he was taken off of his job for years near wheelchair-bound a lot of
neuropathy strain pain muscle wasting he was in really sad shape and he left a
job that he loved he was a firefighter and so we started working together it
was funny he’s a colleague of my husband’s and my husband’s like you need
to call him you need to call him and I’m like you know you just don’t do that and
so I reached out to him and I’m like you know I’d like to see if I can
help you and and he liked me when I was sick was like yeah yeah I’ll try
anything whatever what do you know I have the best doctors in the world you
know and the specialists who took care of him are you know very select
physicians but we started working together and he was probably the most
compliant patient I’ve ever had in 24 years which is probably why he had the
miraculous recovery that he did but to be honest the primary thing that we did
was nutrition we completely cleaned up his diet
I taught him what his body needed to feed his body into health we took away
the toxic things that he was exposing him of stuff through through diet and
environment and in a very short time we got his pain significantly down he lived
at probably a 10 out of 10 most days couldn’t walk a block within a couple of
weeks his pain was down to a two or three I finally talked him into going on
a whole food supplement just to flood his body with the extra nutrients and
within two to three months every single symptom was resolved it was the most
incredible thing I’ve ever seen he was walking ten miles a day he it was it was
really really profound really awesome awesome stuff so that was unbelievable I
think we lost her I think she’s probably trying to log back in so I’ll tell me I
think it’s really quickly my other case was a 47 year old patient
who actually came to me for weight loss quickly I realized that weight really
wasn’t her bigger issue she had immense amount of emotional
trauma and physical trauma she was enduring when I when you talk about
abuse this woman was not abused this woman was tortured physical mental
emotional torture and she was going through a trial against her ex-husband
for what he had done to her and so we really started I did a lot of homeopathy
with her we cried together we prayed together we just I met with her every
week for about four months while she went through this trial and it was just
so incredible she did so well and she just was able to
withstand and do what she had to do on the stand against this man and thank the
Lord he was found guilty and sentenced to 85 years in prison and and we just
have an incredible relationship it was just that connection and just supporting
her through that emotional trauma using a lot of homeopathy with her and she
just did fantastic so it’s deeper than what they come to
you on the surface for sometimes and that was a really great example of how
you just you have to address the whole patient because you never really know
until you get in there and ask them all those questions thank you so much and
sorry I had some technical issues there I don’t know what the heck happened my
computer just went went away so the let’s see here
thank you for sharing those cases by the way the that is I think one of the
things that inspires us all as naturopathic doctors is seeing the
healing that happens especially in the face of when people have been told that
no you know there’s nothing more we can do for you that is beyond gratifying and
so if you both wouldn’t mind just sharing a little bit about some of the
tips that you have found or the the tricks the magic bullets whatever you
want to call them for balancing work in life and and setting those priorities
and so forth for sure I think Dr. Sweetan mentioned this before but
priorities you gotta set your priorities in line you know social media will suck
you in every time and next thing you know you’re three hours later like oh my
gosh when did I get done so setting your priorities and scheduling is really
really key especially if you’re a busy you know mom or whatever else you have
going in your life or you’re still working you’ve got to be able to fit all
that in and be able to get done what you need to get done for school yeah so I
echo all those sentiments I would say for me it was a learning experience I
mean really these four years were quite profound from hits like I’m a whole new
person which is amazing I didn’t anticipate that but I’m thankful for it
so being around people who valued self-care
taught me to value self-care and so I found that I would I feel like I’m an
overachiever I want to do everything all the time and be involved and so much but
I found that I was learning to take time for myself I was having quiet time I
wrote a lot I mean aside from the assignments I have a journal and I write
aphorisms and poetry and the first two years actually did a lot of that it was
really cathartic so and I got introduced to meditation
and I did some of that and I changed my eating habits and even though I went to
naturopathic medical school I would not say that I spent a great deal of time
out in nature prior to this and so I really took the opportunity any chance I
had to walk out of school go over to some trees take off my shoes and socks
ground earth put my feet in the grass I live fairly close to the beach I would
go to the beach just really learning to take care of me because if I can’t take
care of me I can’t take care of anybody else physician heal thyself
yes what’s that put put on your own face mask so for you yeah there’s asking for
help is the last one there I think that you know we as women we think we’re
superwoman and we take on the world I don’t need help but you get to a point
you’re like I can’t do this all and it is okay to ask people to help you things
yes and that camaraderie that camaraderie is amazing really the people
you’re going to surround yourself with are going to be your friends your
colleagues for life when Dr. Jennings said oh I have 200 something plus close
colleagues I can call and she really meant it because we are a community I
found like no other community if in my military community who I love your work
community to me this was different and I experienced that even now when I need
help it’s okay to say I need help it’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to
realize that we’re imperfect beings absolutely and
and I know that a couple of you mentioned earlier some of the online
chat support groups there are one of the good things about social media is that
there’s a lot of connection for natural method doctors on social media and there
are lots of different groups that exist and you talked about you know 200 Doc’s
is one I know that there’s another group that has like a thousand you know there
are so many different groups depending on your area of specialty there are
specialty associations for naturopathic doctors that that offer very focused
continuing education and support for doctors and mentorship and all of that
and so all of that exists and I know we’re covering a whole lot here and
there are a lot of questions starting to come in one thing I want to mention is
that with my little technical glitch some of the questions that may have been
typed in earlier might have gone away so if you haven’t had your question
answered just yet kind of please retype that in and I’m sorry about that and
also please use the Q&A box and not the chat so that we can monitor those
questions that have been answered thank you
so with that looking forward what advice would you have for prospective students
considering this what is that that question of what what do I wish I knew I
think for for me for prospective students if you’re considering this you
know for me it’s it’s prayer I’d pray about it but if you’re not a praying
person find a couple of people that you really trust that know you well and sit
down and say this is what I’m thinking of will you help me even write out a
list of pros and cons thinking about all the ifs ands what’s you know
possibilities and just fine-tooth comb through that to see if the timing is
right the the idea of going this route is right and just really talk through
that with them to see if it fits for you and for your life at that time I also
would say find some naturopathic doctors in your area and go visit them see their
office see what they do ask to shadow them most of them are very open to that
and just kind of walk a day in their shoes and see exactly what they do and
then really decide is this for me and visit the schools to visit the schools
talk to the students talk to the teachers there’s a lot of insight to be
had there yeah and I would say also reach out to the Naturopathic Medical
Student Association they’re a wonderful resource and you can get connected with
other students and there’s several groups at each school but there’s always
a Naturopathic Medical Student Association club or organization at each
school connect with them ask them if they have any sort of mentor program if
you can come visit I mean you’re you’re obviously going to go to the schools and
you should and you should tour them and talk to people but if you’re moving to a
whole new area I think that it would be helpful that’s what I heard I live in
the area where I go to school but that was one of the biggest things that I
heard people coming from out of area that they wished that they had
investigated more and had greater resources before they moved here and not
just school provided resources but also where am I going to go to the doctor
what does the insurance picture look like where am I going to shop what
services do I need to have access to and you can contact your local chambers of
commerce for that as well yeah then there’s one piece of advice that I’ve
heard over and over again for succeeding in naturopathic medical school and that
is to take a pen or pencil or type or whatever it is you want to do and write
down your why why are you doing this why did you choose to do this why is this
important for you and and keep it someplace safe keep it someplace where
you know where you’re going to be able to find it because there’s going to be a
time at some point during the course of that education for you maybe it’ll be
four years or if you come in with prior medical experience it might be a little
bit shorter but there may be a time where you’re questioning that and maybe
you got your first F in a class or you you know you you know somebody said
something to you that made you question your motivation and pull that piece of
paper or that whatever it is that you that you wrote that Y down on and be
really clear about it and and to make to help get yourself back on track and I’ve
heard from a lot of people that that’s been
very helpful over the years in during school to just kind of have that why and
whether it’s a meditation or a prayer or whatever it is whatever you want to call
it but to be connected to that source of why you’re doing this so we are getting
a load of questions coming in before we do I want to just and and I can talk a
little bit about the academics and I know a bunch of folks have been asking
well what is what does the curriculum look like what are the prerequisites
what do I have to do and we have a lot of those all of those resources on our
website available if you go to the perspective student section and there’s
a whole slew of resources for prospective students about loan
forgiveness and scholarships and financing and you know a lot of the
questions that are coming in there are available on our website but I did want
to get some chance to get into some of the questions here so real quickly I
have up on the screen the contact information for Drs. Jennings and
Sweetan if you are interested in connecting with them further and before
we get into the question and answer we have some other upcoming events next
month we’ll be talking about eating disorders all types of eating disorders
and how naturopathic medicine plays a role and and then the following month
food is medicine which is so core to naturopathic practice and I’m glad we’re
doing that one and so for any more information on those or to sign up you
can always go to our events page so with that I’m going to start to take some of
these questions that are rolling in fast and hot and furious so uh let’s see uh I did see one question come up that I want
to comment on that you’re you may be too old I think the person who commented was
41 I will tell you my best friend in medical school graduated at age 60 she is
brilliant she is a phenomenal doctor and if it is what God put in your heart or
you believe is your calling age has nothing to do with it
yes absolutely so yeah I think that’s one
that that we get consistently and when we talked about that self-doubt the
older learners oftentimes more mature learners may may question am I too old
to do this how am I going to be you know sitting in a room full of kids and you
know or I’ve been out of school a really long time am I gonna you know as my
memories still there and all of that self-doubt that comes back and you know
I had a classmate I had classmates in their fifties and and sometimes and our
valedictorian started school at 45 so you know I think that you you was an
engineer before – and I’ve seen some questions coming in of well what if I
don’t have medical backgrounds can I still do this absolutely we had classmates who were engineers one gentleman was a construction worker
and he now has a thriving practice and is renowned in naturopathic approaches
to managing drug addiction you know we had accountants we had all sorts of
folks with flight attendant like I mentioned so you don’t need medical
background prior you need to do the prerequisites and definitely get
connected with the admissions counselors to understand what your plan is going to
be and the same thing goes with finances I’ve seen a bunch of questions coming in
here about financing the degree I highly recommend if you’re having those types
of questions about what scholarships are available or financial aid and loans and
reap federal repayment programs which there are some that we qualify for
connecting with the financial aid departments at the schools to get more
information about that is really vital we’re not gonna be able to cover that in
the kind of depth in 11 minutes so but definitely getting connected to the
schools getting connected to their resources is really really an important
thing to do so and let’s see I don’t say medical experience is not necessary at
all get into some sort of medical setting whether it’s even volunteering
just to get in there and watch and see and learn would be beneficial if you can
thank you and I also echo your it’s about shadowing or talking to other
naturopathic doctors visiting the schools that you’re interested in as
well and you know and definitely going through that so there’s a question about
residency Dr. Sweetan would you mind talking a little bit about general in
general residency is not necessarily yours but just kind of the process and
what that is all about sure I’d be happy to so I have very strong feelings and
convictions about residency because I will and in one but also I think that
it’s it’s important that if you feel like you need to be an environment where
you have greater mentorship before you go out on your own although many of my
friends even since June have gone out on their own and they’re doing fabulously
including a prior pharmaceutical sales woman but you go through a process and
on the website I believe on the AANMC website there’s information about a
residency you submit an application you then go for interviews then you go
through a process where you list in order where you would prefer to go the
sites that you have gone to interview out they do the same thing and then
there is a matching day and you find out where you have matched and our field is
just so different from a conventional field with regards to opportunity that
is unique and individualized meaning that you might go to one residency
interview where they do focuses on mental health and and maybe gut health
at the same time whereas you go to another place to interview for a
residency and maybe their emphasis is on women’s health so it can or it could be
very broad so it could be very broad it could be very specialized and you just
have to find what calls to your soul and you can also go in preceptor through
these programs before you go and interview for residency’s to find out
what it is that might be your calling because maybe you
No and that’s alright too and then you do typically a year residency and paid
depends on where your residency is located and then at the end of the
residency you receive a certification that you’ve completed a residency in
naturopathic medicine thank you so one of one of the questions that is coming
up is in that life after school and you’ve spoken about you know starting a
residency but if for you know I know dr. Jennings and starting a practice can you
speak a little bit about and maybe Dr. Sweetan as well as some of the folks
that you’ve seen and what they’ve done to set themselves up for a successful
practice when they get out can you talk a little bit about that sure I’ll be
really candid my biggest challenge in setting up my practice was business I
worked for somebody else my entire life and although we had multiple business
classes in school that’s been the biggest challenge for me is running I
could do the medicine all day long that’s what I love that’s my passion but
running the business like that’s the part that I hate so I would say hone in
on running a business and running a business very very successfully while
you’re in school you know watching how people do because there’s different ways
to do it and there’s different you know things you need to know as far as
marketing and social media and you know behind the scenes business office
running and things like that so that was something that I I didn’t feel like I
was prepared for and I should have done a lot more work on the back end before
the few classes that we did get thankfully in school but I felt I needed
much more than that so that has been the biggest challenge after school for me is
running the business so I love business and I could easily do that every day all
day long and help other people develop their businesses but I definitely agree
with Dr. Jennings because I think that if that’s not your background that can
be really difficult hurdle and I know that many of my classmates we just
graduated this path jeune have been sharing via text message
email social media we’re all connecting and I thought this is what I’m going
through what are you going through and it’s beautiful to watch us all come
together and continue to help one another but some of the bigness
challenges have been around developing their business but it hasn’t prevented
them from getting out there and trying it seeking mentorship you can go through
various local organizations that will help you develop business skills teach
you how to write a business plan although you are taught that in
naturopathic medical school but I think it’s good to have somebody who’s been in
the industry for a long time sort of handhold you through that because
there’s things that you just couldn’t anticipate having to do and then they
fall in your lap and you’re trying to see patients on top of dealing with a
business which could make you or break you but many of my classmates have been
successful there’s a woman who’s down in Ocean Beach she’s doing cranial sacral
she’s a prior yoga teacher she loves botanical medicine she’s
developing her own tea formulas there’s another woman who’s gone to work with a
Rheumatologist she sees a lot of Lyme patients she’s very successful I have a
friend who was a model of all things and she was helping develop protocols and
doing mental health so I feel like that even though it might sound like it’s
scattered and all over the place there’s something for everybody and if business
is your forte fabulous if it’s not there are people who can help you and you
don’t necessarily have to practice medicine in the way that you would think
you have to practice just because you’re a naturopathic doctor you can do
research you could write articles you could develop formulas for nutraceutical
companies you could develop products there’s just a lot of opportunity yeah
we have we have a page on our website that talks about the various different
opportunities available for grads and you know new grads who are wanting to
practice often will go and join as a junior partner and in a larger practice
but we are seeing folks bridging out to academia and writing books
teaching and speaking and even the tech sector of all things and the
nutraceutical companies like you’ve mentioned in formulating new types of
medicines and so on so yeah there are a lot of opportunities available I am
seeing a lot of questions and I see that we also have three minutes left and so
for those of you who have asked questions that have not gotten answered
that I can answer myself I’m going to so if you want to stick on the line I will
respond to some of those questions I’m sorry I haven’t got been able to get to
them all but the one of the things that I would like to cover here is sorry just
getting my getting my my question here and just if you have any kind of last
parting thoughts for our career changers who are on the line what what has what
would be the one thing that you’d like to leave them with it’s just a really
exciting citing field I mentioned on my pre video that this is where I see
medicine trending people are are really waking up and learning that what we’re
doing in mainstream medicine is not working
thank the Lord for for drugs and surgeries there’s absolutely a place for
that but for the chronically ill patient you can’t medicate yourself out of a
chronic disease it doesn’t work you have to get down to the root cause so it’s
really where I see medicine trending which is really really exciting for us
so if that’s where you’re being led then do some homework do some investigating
shadow some envies and go for it you know we’re really at the ground floor
it’s been around for a long time but it’s people are noticing now so that’s
really exciting for us and I would just say get real with yourself and get
moving like ask yourself you know is this what caused me is it truly what
calls me what motivates me and if it does then you have a plethora of people
with open arms that are welcoming you into a beautiful profession thank you
and so I I just want to save very heartfelt thank you for both of
your time coming on today I know how busy both are and you know there have
been so many folks here saying thank you as well there was one who was a mom of
four saying gosh how am I gonna do this and I know Dr. Jennings like that that’s
been your wheelhouse here it can be done you can do it I just want to address you
all straight on if this is your dream if this is your passion do not give up on
yourself don’t let other folks don’t let other folks take your your shine and
your fire away from you don’t let your own self-doubt
take your shine and your fire away from you if this is your passion go for it

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