2nd year medical student
Undergraduate: Bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy from Thomas Edison State College
“This Calling is a True Gift”
I had been a respiratory therapist for 10 years before I started connecting the dots between natural and conventional medicine. By combining the two approaches, patients would receive the best care.
The naturopathic philosophy resonated with me but I never anticipated attending medical school. I was researching herbal medicine online when I found SCNM. My discovery lead me to a life change…I decided to become an ND and pursue my dream of serving my fellow man in a larger capacity.
I was nervous at first to make the jump as I had a successful career but my experience at SCNM has really fulfilled my spiritual ambition. I realize that this career is a calling and a true gift. There are a number of things I’d like to do after graduating including practice pulmonary medicine and teach. I’d also like to bring naturopathic medicine to African-American men in the inner city and provide diet, exercise and nutrition education. There are many creative and industrious minds in the naturopathic field – together, we can change health care.
Quarter 10 student and presdient of the Student Government Association
Undergraduate: Bachelor’s degree in biopsychology, Grand Valley State University
“I've always known that I would pursue a career in medicine and become a doctor. It wasn't until my mother fell deathly ill that I realized I wanted be a naturopathic physician.”
Brain surgery was the number one recommendation doctors made when my mother became sick. She went through numerous surgeries only to feel worse after each one. I knew there had to be a better route but I didn’t know what it was. I was taking care of her during this tough time, and being a health-conscious person, I started to cook nutritious meals for her. My brother and I began to research nutritional alternatives to surgery that would aid in the healing and recovery process. That research led us to coconut, omega-3s and numerous other dietary supplements as well as several lifestyle changes. The supplement regimen, coupled with a healthy diet, caused a noticeable improvement and lit a spark in me. At that time, I had no idea that my route to becoming a naturopathic physician had just begun.
I had never heard of "naturopathic medicine" when a friend, who knew of my mother's health battles and my desire to be a physician, mentioned SCNM to me. I had no clue that natural medicine was even an option! I began to look into naturopathic medicine and the more I learned, the more I needed to know. That was one of my first "aha" moments. I knew then that I had been called to become a naturopathic doctor.
I looked into all the ND programs but SCNM simply resonated with me. Every person I spoke with was extremely helpful and welcoming. When I came to visit the campus, I knew I found where I belong.
Upon graduation, I’d like to open a practice and specialize in natural sports medicine. I believe that naturopathic medicine is perfect for athletes as it keeps one’s body in optimal shape without side effects, mind-body techniques can help perfect an athlete’s game on the field, and a natural approach can safeguard from future injuries.
What does naturopathic medicine mean to me? I've seen people die from diseases that naturopathic medicine could have reversed and healed. Naturopathic medicine means people can have a better life…a much healthier, happier and balanced life. As an ND, I would like to be a voice of hope, citing the innate healing powers of the human body and nature. Being an ND is one of the highest forms of helping people transform their very lives.
Quarter 13 student, peer mentor lead, member of N-Act, Naturopaths Without Borders and Naturopathic Society
Undergraduate: Bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
“The passion to help people unifies the SCNM community.”
I’ve always been interested in the human body. Even in high school, my original interests were in nutrition and physical therapy. When my mother got cancer, she sought a variety of treatments including nutrition and healing touch. Through her experiences, I witnessed the benefits of nutrition and mind-body medicine firsthand. I went back to school for massage therapy knowing I wanted to have an influence on helping people heal naturally. It wasn’t until I met a naturopathic doctor that I realized there was already a profession for what I had dreams of doing with my life.
I found SCNM online and then was introduced to a mutual friend, Jen Mundt, who was a student at SCNM. Jen was kind enough to host me when I ventured to Arizona to visit the campus. My experience with Jen, other SCNM students and the staff was incredible. The students were so friendly and non-judgmental…and I loved the weather! The supportive and friendly environment at SCNM was so different from other schools I had visited. This all helped confirm my decision to attend SCNM.
The diverse and open-minded culture at SCNM are two of my favorite things about this school. I feel fortunate to meet all of these wonderful people who I wouldn’t have met anywhere else. The community at SCNM has given me new perspective which will help me be a better doctor. I am so blessed to know what I want to do with my life, have the opportunity to pursue it, and be surrounded by people who are like-minded.
I love Arizona and it is likely I will stay here to practice. There are so many open doors, I’m still determining which one I want to walk through. When you have a passion, it tends to only get stronger unless you follow it. I encourage anyone with a passion for naturopathic medicine to follow their desire. Listen to your gut – it is powerful and truthful. This is a calling and a blessing to be able to empower others to heal.
Sara Jean Barrett
Quarter 14 student and head tutor in the Doctore Development Center
Undergraduate: Bachelor's degree in biology, Georgia Institute of Technology.
“The SCNM faculty are great - Their dedication and experience is astounding.”
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to work in the medical field. I was torn between pursing a PhD or an MD. I started working in research labs in high school and continued through college. I love research but felt that as a PhD my work would not be hands on enough. As much as I love science, I really wanted to help people on an individual level, so I decided to pursue a career in medicine. I worked as a certified nursing assistant during college and got a clear picture of modern medicine. Treating patients seemed very one dimensional and I didn’t want prescription medication to be my only treatment option. I was discussing my future with a career counselor who mentioned naturopathic medical school. To learn more, I shadowed naturopaths in action. Looking at the individual, determining the cause of a condition, and the array of modalities NDs use really resonated with me. The bells went off and I was hooked!
I attended SCNM’s Student-for-a-Day Program, which gave me a good understanding of what life is like at SCNM. Also, I knew I’d get a very comprehensive clinical education at SCNM because of Arizona’s broad scope of practice. When I graduate this summer, I will be moving to Minneapolis and opening a practice. Minnesota was recently licensed for naturopaths, creating an opportunity to spread the word about naturopathic medicine and I want to be a part of that.
I love teaching and SCNM has provided me wonderful opportunities to teach others. One of my proudest achievements at SCNM is the Doctore Development Center. Under my direction the center has grown to offer free tutoring for every student in academics, clinical skills, charting, and electronic medical records. The SCNM community is very supportive and free tutoring is only the beginning!
Studying the naturopathic approach to wellness is the most rewarding experience in my life. I have seen incredible transformations in patients’ health with simple and safe modalities. Why do I love naturopathic medicine? Honestly, I love a challenge. Finding the root cause of illness is not easy! After you decipher what is causing a patient to become ill we have so many modalities to use to help them. That is why I love this medicine.