Thankfully, there were no exams this week so I was able to rest my brain and relax for a little. Despite an exam-free week there was still work to be done for other classes – naturopathic theory and practice, therapeutic alliance, case studies, and clinical skills. As much as I don’t like actually sitting through Constitutional Assessment, I do enjoy the material we are learning. Basically, I learned that we can assess a patient’s health through observation. Our professor said that a good holistic doctor knows what is wrong with the patient within 5 seconds of meeting them based on observational assessment (but that takes 30+ years to master, ha!). From body shape to temperature (whether a patient feels hot/cold or likes hot/cold environments), a naturopathic physician can deduce qualities/characteristics of an organism, and therefore make a diagnosis and begin the healing process.
We also discussed Chinese medicine (Qi, yin and yang, the five elements). When it came to yin and yang I had never viewed it from a medical perspective, but I found it to be interesting. Yin is associated with feminine, bodily fluids, weakness, feelings/thoughts, subconscious, and deficiency (just to name a few), whereas yang is associated with masculine, qi, strength, response/expression, conscious, and excess (among other things). I already know that yin/yang represents opposites that attract…but from a holistic medical perspective it makes sense. A good example is that you need stability and safety (yang) to feel nurtured (yin).
To be honest, I think I enjoy the science classes more than the naturopathic classes…mainly because our bodies continue to amaze me and the more I learn the more I want to know/understand! However, the naturopathic classes are really insightful and are a good mental break from the sciences. Speaking of sciences, next Friday is our first gross anatomy lab practical….
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I was in the cadaver lab outside of class time going over the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, veins, arteries, and nerves in the lower limbs. I really didn’t think I would be going in outside of class times to study because of the formaldehyde; plus, the bodies freak me out. I know everyone keeps saying to look at the cadavers as learning tools but it’s hard and cutting into a dead body preserved with harsh chemicals seems so wrong to me. I am grateful for this opportunity, but at the same time I am disgusted.
Naturopathic medical school is definitely draining. Between the assignments deadlines and studying for exams, it’s really hard to find balance. I know for a fact that when I get super stressed I get really sick…this usually happens around final exam time and it’s so inconvenient! When I’m sick all I want to do is rest but if it occurs around exam time then I HAVE to study…but I think so far this quarter I a managing my stress better than I have in the past. I make sure to take time for myself, whether that’s going to the gym or going on a hiking adventure, and this really helps keep me sane.