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Visit our advisors page so you can direct students that have an interest in naturopathic medicine to the right resources to help them make an informed decision. Virtually join admissions representatives, faculty and students from seven accredited naturopathic medical colleges, who'll be on hand to answer all of your pressing questions! The AANMC offers seven accredited naturopathic medical programs at eight campus locations in North America. The School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University develops leaders in the evolving field of natural medicine.
The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), a specialized accrediting board recognized by the U.S.
About the AuthorsJane Guiltinan, ND, is the dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, Kenmore, Washington. In 2010, a mentorship pilot program was created by the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, Kenmore, Washington, with the goal of establishing a mentoring relationship between first-year naturopathic students and knowledgeable core faculty members.
In order to evaluate the program, an anonymous survey was conducted among participating students and faculty during the 2013-2014 school year. This solemn pledge is readily fulfilled by faculty in a naturopathic medical school setting as faculty members dedicate their careers to the growth of the profession through the formal education of future naturopathic medicine students. The intent of this paper is to report on the mentorship program unique to the Bastyr University (BU) School of Naturopathic Medicine, Kenmore, Washington. Faculty mentors were each paired with a small cohort of naturopathic students, providing support, guidance, and development of the multifactorial process of becoming a naturopathic physician. At the beginning of each school quarter, students are encouraged to state their goals for and expectations of the program.
Bringing in actual cases helps give students an appreciation of the complexity of case analysis and management of naturopathic medicine. Classes on therapeutics are incorporated into the mentorship program via class handouts and several copies of botanical medicine books.
Students are encouraged to seek assistance and guidance to make the adaptation to the responsibilities and stresses of naturopathic medical school more manageable. Advising and coordinating peer mentorships and preceptorships with practicing naturopaths can encourage, inspire, and teach students how to be best prepared for postgraduate plans like residencies, other training opportunities, or starting a practice. For one session, a successful graduating student was invited to speak during group meetings on a variety of topics: how to study, how to prepare for clinic, how to maintain a healthy balance between medicine and personal life, and postgraduation plans.


First-year and second-year naturopathic medicine students were asked to rate their level of agreement with items regarding their overall satisfaction with SNMMP via a survey using a rating scale of 4 for “Completely Agree” to 1 for “Completely Disagree.” Fifty-eight students participated in this confidential survey of the 206 students who are in the first-year and second-year classes.
5.6% suggested giving a better introduction of the program at the beginning of the school year. The ongoing mentoring relationship is an excellent way to demonstrate professionalism and teach students ways in which a naturopath may practice successfully. The goal of SNMMP has been to provide support and guidance in developing fundamental clinical skills, increase clinical experience and understanding, provide a role model within clinical faculty, and integrate naturopathic philosophy and principles into case analysis and professionalism through patient-centered learning. May each member of the naturopathic medicine community practice docere in the most comprehensive sense of the word, including reaching out to naturopathic colleagues and students with mentorship opportunities for the promotion, growth, and strength of our profession. Bastyr's accredited naturopathic doctor (ND) degree program is internationally renowned for its rigorous curriculum, comprehensive clinical training and groundbreaking research.
The post-baccalaureate program allows students with non-science backgrounds or students missing a significant number of classes to complete the prerequisites for the naturopathic medicine program.
However, what makes naturopathic medical students thrive in this environment goes beyond what is taught in the classroom and during clinic rotations. Each member of the naturopathic medical profession has pledged to adhere to the principles of docere. The School of Naturopathic Medicine Mentorship Program (SNMMP) offers a model of how mentorship can be applied to help naturopathic medical students as they strive to learn from active members of the naturopathic profession. Students are also asked if they have particular topics or interests in naturopathic medicine that they would like to explore during the mentorship program.
The group and individual meetings (see below) provide students with a reliable clinical faculty member with whom they can receive support and guidance in their clinical development throughout at least the first 2 years of school. Before presenting these SOAP notes, some mentors review naturopathic philosophy (including the teachings of John Bastyr, ND) and the components of taking a case.
First, students are free to ask the patients about general topics such as how they came to see a naturopathic doctor, what the experience has been, or what information the patient thinks naturopaths in training should know.
The lowest-rated item was “Shadowing a doctor on shift at BCNH has helped me to appreciate the practice of naturopathic medicine,” with an average rating of 3.41. Thank you, mentors, for enriching the education of the future generation of naturopathic physicians by your dedication to mentoring individual students. Our graduates consistently earn top scores on the Naturopathic Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), and go on to lead diverse, meaningful careers in natural medicine.


A copy of the CNME Handbook of Accreditation for Naturopathic Medical Colleges and Programs (2007 edition) is on reserve in the Bastyr University Library.
She is a past-president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and current president of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, as well as a member of the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Intended to last throughout the student’s years of naturopathic medical school, the mentoring relationship was created to provide an ongoing human connection and role-modeling for the discussion and exploration of naturopathic medicine, guidance in career development including applications for residencies, and personal support. A student benefits most when careful attention is paid by attentive and nurturing faculty members who directly help refine each naturopathic medical student’s development.
This could inspire the development of a simple preceptorship between a practicing naturopathic physician and student or perhaps the willingness to establish a small group mentorship program for naturopathic medical students in a successful, multipractitioner clinic setting. Starting with the pilot stages of the program and further developed in the established mentorship program, it offered first-year and second-year students early exposure to fundamental clinical skills training through weekly meetings with their naturopathic faculty mentors to discuss actual case studies and topics related to becoming naturopathic physicians. They are encouraged to offer ongoing suggestions and requests on how the program may best supplement their educational experience. There is no better place to earn a well-respected, nationally recognized degree in natural medicine than Bastyr.
After the initial student evaluations of the pilot program were positive, the School of Naturopathic Medicine Mentorship Program was implemented in 2012. Beyond that, these relationships could develop into a formal or informal preceptorship or residency opportunities for naturopathic medical students, which would serve to promote the education of the members of our profession. This took place in a variety of formats, such as didactic case presentations, group and individual exercises, case-based problem-solving sessions, and visits from or to successful naturopathic physicians in the community. Mentors are aware of what is taught in the syllabi (eg, basic sciences, botanical medicine) and in some cases, meet with some of the professors to get handouts to help integrate cases that are more relevant to the students’ studies. Students have the opportunity to observe how naturopathic principles and philosophy are incorporated into their education and future practice. He is also the former dean of academic affairs and chief medical officer for BCNH as well as a former elementary school teacher in Seattle.John Hibbs, ND, is a clinical supervisor at Bastyr Center for Natural Health Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, Seattle, Washington, and a professor at Bastyr University, Kenmore, Washington.




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