And We’re Off! Year 2 of Naturopathic Medical School

So we just completed the first week of our second year at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine! I am excited for this year because not only do I now know where the bathrooms are and where to throw out the trash, but also because this is a year to put everything we learned last year into practice. It is truly a year of integration and application.

Class Schedule

So what does our schedule look like this year you might wonder? Well, here it is:

  • Physical and Clinical Diagnosis Practical I
  • Botanical Medicine II
  • Homeopathic Medicine II
  • Clinical Medicine I (includes imaging) (Clinical Medicine Tutorial on Fridays)
  • Asian Medicine II
  • Health Psychology II
  • Asian Medicine Point Location II (location and needling)
  • Microbiology I
  • Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Clinic II
  • Academic and Professional Success I
Me on the first day of school.

Yes, we take all of these classes in the same semester! Usually we have class for about 7 hours every day. Although it seems like a lot, the school has done a wonderful job making sure that some of the information has a nice overlap from class to class. For instance, the Physical and Clinical Diagnosis, Botanical Medicine, Clinical Medicine, and Clinical Medicine tutorial classes all start with a focus on skin, and then move on to vision, earaches, sore throats, etc.

Clinic Shadowing

This year we will also be shadowing a clinic supervisor at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic at the school. During this time we will observe how the supervisor interacts with the fourth year interns, the patients, and how they approve the intern’s patient treatment plans. In addition, we sign up for a six week shadowing shift with a fourth year intern where we will gain experience in charting, taking vitals, and taking patient histories. This is when we will really get to incorporate everything we learned last year into the patient visit. I am glad we are starting this in second year so that by fourth year we will be more comfortable when interacting with patients and our supervisor.

Adding Preceptoring Experience Into the Mix

IMG_5168This year we will also be able to apply what we learned while preceptoring this past summer. What is preceptoring you might ask? It’s job shadowing of a health care professional. I was able to preceptor this past summer at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo in the Emergency Department with two incredible nurses and also with an MD in his private practice. (More to follow in a future blog about preceptoring!) This year I will be able to add my experience to what we are learning in each module. This real world experience is helpful in realizing WHY we are learning certain things and how they are applicable in a real patient situation.

Overall, I am excited about this year because, although it is jam packed with information, it will make us better clinicians, students, and people. I remember last year that they said that who you are when you start naturopathic medical school is not the same person as when you finish. The program asks us to do a great deal of self-reflection and work on ourselves. I am also excited to share all of this information, as much as I can, with all of you! Thanks for following Naturopathic Chronicles!

The view outside of residence.

2 thoughts on “And We’re Off! Year 2 of Naturopathic Medical School”

  1. Do you have to wear pointy hats and buy your own magic wands? Sounds like Harry Potter goes to college! Ludicrous waste of time and money.


    1. Jo, Thank you for your comment! Since we learn the same science courses as students who are studying to be MDs AND use the USMLE to take our naturopathic board exams, wearing pointy hats and having a magic wand would at least keep things interesting and bring some much needed humor. Also, since there will be a shortage of primary care doctors in the near future, and we are trained as primary care physicians, I don’t see helping people as a waste of time and money. Have a great weekend! -Valerie


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