SCNM: What made you decide to choose SCNM to study naturopathic medicine?
Dr. Mayer: I chose SCNM for the personality of the school. I had visited other schools, and my first choice was actually another school. But when I visited SCNM, I realized it fit my personality better. When it came down to spending four years and going to medical school somewhere, that mattered to me.
SCNM: How do you feel SCNM best prepared you for a career as a naturopathic doctor?
Dr. Mayer: I feel like the thing that prepared me the most at SCNM was the clinical faculty, specifically the faculty that actually ran clinic shifts. I learned a lot in the clinic—I think they have really great doctors. But on top of that, they are also still mentors of mine. I can always call them up if I need something or if I need to bounce an idea off of someone, and I think that’s really invaluable.
SCNM: What gave you the incentive to start your own practice right away, as opposed to joining an established clinic?
Dr. Mayer: I always knew I wanted to start my own clinic. I think you know if you fit in [one of] two buckets—you either fit in the bucket of “I want to be employed and have that stability,” or “I want to be able to build my own vision and dream,” and that’s kind of where I was. I knew I wanted to own my own practice and what I wanted that practice to look like. It was really just getting the financial means to do so … You can start with what you’re able to do and then build your way up, and I think that’s an important lesson.
SCNM: What made you decide to focus on medical aesthetics and women’s health?
Dr. Mayer: I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was in school—I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on. So I was open to learning new things. Then, I would say, it was actually my shadowing—the doctor I got paired within my second year did a lot of women’s health. And I really liked her style; I really liked her practice … She kind of inspired me to open up that door.
Medical aesthetics—I actually added that to my practice. I grew up with an aunt who I was very close with. She owned a spa in Ontario. So I grew up in that world … And it balances the complexity of doing primary care with something that’s a little bit simpler.
SCNM: What advice do you have for people considering a career in naturopathic medicine?
Dr. Mayer: I think it’s important to focus your practice on something you enjoy doing. I do women’s health and medical aesthetics because they’re both things that resonate with me and that I enjoy doing, and my patients know that.
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