Follow the Patient…

fullsizerThe first week back in school is no longer a stroll in the park, so to speak. After our 3 week long break we’re immediately thrown back into the new learning material and all we can do is brace ourselves for the beginning of another bumpy ride. Winter quarter of my second year is definitely more laid back than fall quarter (and spring quarter which I’ve been told is a whole ‘nother level of crazy). My goals for winter quarter are: (1) stay on top of my assignments, (2) review lectures discussed in class later that same day, (3) try not to procrastinate, and (4) make sure to take care of myself above all else. 

I like my schedule this quarter. Monday’s are the busiest for me whereas I have class from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, but the rest of the week is pretty easy going and I’m out by 3:00PM which is AWESOME (last quarter I had class until 7:00PM on Tuesdays and 5:00PM on Fridays). I guess I don’t really have anything else to do since medical school is like a full-time job, but I’m a homebody and I would much rather do work at home than on campus. So, even though I get out earlier than I’m used to for the week it just means that I have more time to study (#medschoollife). 

My classes for this quarter are as follows: 

  • [M] Integrated Therapeutics II (Pharmacology and Botanical Medicine)
  • [M] Psychological Assessment
  • [M] Physical Medicine IV (MET, or Muscle Energy Technique)
  • [M] Integrated Case Studies V
  • [T] Naturopathic Theory and Practice V
  • [T] Integrated Pathology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases II
  • [W] Naturopathic Clinical Diagnosis II
  • [W] Physical Exam Diagnosis II
  • [R] Integrated Pathology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases II
  • [R] Nutrition Principles 
  • [F] Homeopathy II
  • [F] Integrated Pathology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases II
  • [F] Clinical Diagnosis Lab II (Aka Stab Lab) 


Image result for cardiovascular systemOne great thing about this program is that (almost) every class I take is integrated in some way. Lectures during the first 4 weeks of winter quarter are focused on the cardiovascular system. This means that whether I’m in case studies, PED, or clinical diagnosis, the lectures or case studies will be based on the cardiovascular system and associated diseases. I love this because what I learn about in NCD or IPIID lecture can then be applied to PED or case studies, for instance. 

  • There are a couple things that stood out to me during some of my lectures this week. One of them was during integrated case studies (ICS). My professor said, “always remember – you follow the patient down the path, you don’t lead the patient.” I love this quote. It sounds so simple but I feel like it can be SO easy to forget. As a soon-to-be naturopathic physician, it is easy to get caught up in the “I want to help everyone and make the world a healthier place” mindset. Don’t get me wrong this is a great mindset to have, but it can easily result in forcing changes upon patients and wanting to throw every learned natural modality at them to find the root cause of disease and restore the vis. Ultimately, this is overwhelming for the patient and can inhibit true healing. Always meet the patient where they’re at. Every patient will be different. Some will want to try every natural modality or treatment immediately, and others will be resistant to changing their habits and lifestyle and will need to start with small changes. Most patients come to see a naturopathic physician because they’re seeking optimal health, but some just need a gentle push down the right path of lifestyle choices to achieve their health and wellness goals.
  • The first week back in homeopathy we went over what can and cannot be treated with homeopathic remedies. The more I learn about and understand homeopathy, the more it grows on me. I learned that one thing homeopathy is not good for treating is a non-dynamic disease, which is a disease  “engendered by prolonged exposure to avoidable noxious influences” (aphorism 77, The Organon of Medicine). This means that something very essential to life is missing and cannot be fixed by homeopathy, but rather by one’s own effort to improve their living conditions and make healthier lifestyle choices.. More so, non-dynamic is a more accurate description of disease in this case, rather than chronic, because it results from prolonged self-inflicted disturbances. This includes diseases caused by poor eating/drinking habits, lack of exercise or open air, continual emotional stress, unhealthy places (ex. swampy areas), dwelling in damp or confined spaces, etc. Other than that, homeopathic remedies are mysterious yet can work wonders for those who really need it. 

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