It is an exciting time for the naturopathic profession. An environment of greater opportunities, collaboration, research and credibility positions us, as students, to positively impact clients and our community going forward.
However, with the reward comes the toil. As students it is important not only to focus on the successful completion of our studies but our place in the profession and industry and how we envision the future. As the old saying goes – ‘the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow’. Our studies emphasise the importance of the body, mind and spirit – I believe these three aspects can be applied to three fundamental tenets of success as naturopaths.
“The Body” – Education. Underlying “The Body” is having the competence and confidence to understand the situation in order to apply an appropriate, individualised treatment for the presenting client. This is achieved through ongoing educational requirements that not only measure attendance but competence. The best outcome for the client should fuel the desire to ensure we – as future naturopaths – are the best and most educated versions of ourselves.
“The Mind” – Research. Quality research is an important driver in enhancing clinical outcomes and, more broadly, policy and public health. A secondary role of naturopaths is that of the researcher whereby we support the profession through the development of research from case studies to systematic reviews. Key to this success is the critical analytical skills of the naturopath to independently critique the literature. To be able to conduct independent research void of commercial bias is an important area for the naturopath to master.
“The Spirit” – Self Identity. Underpinning both our body and mind is our spirit – that self-identity that binds us together as a united naturopathic community where our holistic principles are upheld. Defining who we are and who we are not is required for this to succeed. By clearly defining this for ourselves we can more clearly communicate to others our strengths, limitations and what we have to offer.
As the academic semester continues, amongst the exams and essays, it is important to reflect on where we are and where we want to be. With that, the journey becomes more enjoyable.
As a call to other naturopathic students, I encourage you to ask these questions: What is the future of naturopathy and how I am going to be a part of it?
Good luck in Semester 1 everyone!
About Andy McLintock
Prior to pursuing a career in natural health, Andy McLintock was a full time Australian Army officer for 11 years. This involved several deployments to the Middle East. Outside of studying, he enjoys running, getting outdoors and cooking. Even though he lives in Sydney Andy is a Queensland boy at heart. Andy is currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy at Endeavour College of Natural Health.
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