Kathryn Corazzo - Student Clinician at Sojourner Center
"I was also able to see [naturopathic] therapies do amazing things for these women
and make a difference in their lives."
Quarter 14 student
Undergraduate: Bachelor’s degree in nutrition science with a minor in chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
The Sojourner Center is a safe-haven in Phoenix for abused women and their children where they live and receive classes and counseling. SCNM offers a free clinic to the women at Sojourner where SCNM students offer patient care and treat conditions like diabetes, hypothyroid, depression, anxiety and pain. As a student clinician working at Sojourner Center, I find this experience to be very fulfilling, unique and extraordinary learning environment. Homeopathy and acupuncture are the common forms of treatment used, but herbs, supplements and dietary recommendations are also given. Most of the women can’t afford health care; therefore it is crucial for us to help these women. As a student, I felt I was able to make a positive difference in their life and I began to see a great improvement in their symptoms and overall well-being.
After spending over 96 hours at the clinic, I learned to connect with the women and take care of my patients while I was there. Many of the patients return to see us every week or every other week therefore I developed a trusting relationship with many of the women which helped them open up to me, making my treatment more effective. I was also able to see our therapies do amazing things for these women and make a difference in their lives.
One of the women I saw over several months came in for back pain, depression and anxiety. Acupuncture and cupping were performed about every other week and she had significant improvement in her pain. We treated her depression and anxiety with homeopathy and within the first month, she was feeling much happier and less stressed. In the following months, she was able to sleep better, had more energy and was not experiencing anxiety and depression. She was eventually able to move into an apartment of her own with her daughter and she felt we had a profound effect on her health. This is just one example of how SCNM touches the community and naturopathic medicine helps those in need. Having the opportunity to care for these women has been equally, if not more, fulfilling in my own life. I look forward to becoming an ND and providing patient care in my own practice.
Raquel Espinol - Shadowed Dr. Alan Christianson in the Field Observation Program
"This program is one I will always remember and look back at fondly as it helped define the physician I want to become."
Quarter 6 student
Undergraduate: Bachelor's degree in biology from Santa Clara University
Imagine the excitement I had on my first day of the Field Observation Program when I heard I’d be shadowing Dr. Alan Christianson, a brilliant naturopath, author and SCNM alumnus. Observing such a talented and successful physician reinvigorated my love for this medicine, inspired me, and showed me that I will have a successful and viable practice after I graduate.
The Field Observation Program gave me the opportunity to witness physician-patient interactions, communication styles and physician-employee interactions in a real practice. Shadowing a physician with patients was a great way to see what I learned during the first year of my education applied to actual physician-patient interactions. It was wonderful to see the rapport Dr. Christianson had with each of his patients. They felt great and were so happy to be leading a healthy life again. Many of his patients spoke about their journey to his practice after seeing doctors and specialists without experiencing results. Their faces lit up as they explained how much better they had become, how great they felt and how they owed it to Dr. Christianson. Their stories warmed my heart. Now, I can envision myself providing the same care and seeing the same results for my future patients.
The Field Observation Program was an invaluable and inspiring experience. Each student has 60 hours to observe and shadow a physician outside of the school walls and see how they run their practice and business. Not only did I observe talented physicians, but I was also able to speak with patients and get their perspective on health care. The experience helped me determine how I’d like to set up and run my practice after I graduate. This program is one I will always remember and look back at fondly as it helped define the physician I want to become.
Kulveen Virdee – Student Clinician at BEACH
"I love working with the underserved children at BEACH because their families are usually very health conscious and interested in the lifestyle changes, homeopathy and hydrotherapy."
Quarter 11 student
Undergraduate: Bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in German St. Mary’s College of Maryland
The BEACH extended site gives an ND student the opportunity to see what life is like working in an integrated health care environment. In the clinic, we work alongside dental hygienists, nurse practitioners, nutritionists and counselors in caring for underserved patients.
The rotation itself is run by Dr. Mitchell, who was actually the first naturopathic pediatric resident and has a plethora of both clinical and research experience in naturopathic pediatric care. There are three students on shift each quarter, because of the small size we have the opportunity to work closely with each other and our patients to gain the experience it takes to learn patient care and time management.
On this shift, we are able to utilize both allopathic and naturopathic tools in treating our patients. For example, some of our patients come requiring vaccinations in order to continue attending their schools. When we give vaccinations, we are able to ensure the child is not sick and provide the child with immune boosting formulas, probiotics, and vitamin C to ensure that child is able to mount a healthy immune response to the vaccinations.
We also gain a really comprehensive understanding of when to prescribe antibiotics and when to utilize other treatments in caring for a sick child. The overprescribing of antibiotics for non-bacterial infections is something that I think many healthcare institutions are working on correcting. In our classes we learn about guidelines and criteria for diagnosing and treating a child with various conditions instead of turning to antibiotics as the standard of care. It’s a very enriching experience to be working with a knowledgeable pediatrician in assessing clinical presentations, which are very different from the criteria described by guidelines and “classic” presentations of illnesses.
I recommend this rotation for students who are interested in working in an integrative medical environment. From this rotation I was able to really analyze what it is like working in a small clinic, having integrative health care options for patients and how to co-manage patients with other practitioners. I was also able to see what kind of conditions underserved populations present with, which is very different from what patients present with to our naturopathic medical center.
I love working with the underserved children at BEACH because their families are usually very health conscious and interested in the lifestyle changes, homeopathy and hydrotherapy recommendations that our medicine has to offer. It feels really good when you can talk to an adolescent about the health benefits of going to bed early and eating a healthy breakfast and have them be super enthusiastic and ask more questions about the other ways in which to live healthier lives.