Born and raised in Nipawin Saskatchewan, I have (as of writing this) spent most of my life there. Growing up in town I was heavily influenced by my activities, which included Nipawin Scouts, time with both sets of my grandparents, and some amazing friends. Nipawin is where I learned Friendship, Nature, and Care.
My interest in nature lead me down the route of natural sciences. I completed my first year of University at Cumberland College in Nipawin, then continued to Saskatoon for the rest of my undergrad. My interest in science was fueled by books that I read as a child about chemistry, physics, and the accomplishments of scientists such as Newton and Galileo. I was hungry to understand the world around me. In University I studied Chemistry, Biology, Nutrition, Astronomy, Philosophy, and Plant Sciences. I graduated with a degree in Biology in 2009.
I love to learn, but at this time I needed to think about some way to make a living through service. Based on my background, I was apt to do something that had to do with people and science- a physician seemed like a good choice. It was around this time that I also had a lovely professor who was trying to direct me towards medicine. Being someone who also loved hands-on work, I decided to survey the field for a while, and eventually Naturopathic Medicine fell into my lap.
I was skeptical. What was this profession? Well, it was registered, had the same prerequisites as a Medical Doctor, and had the same amount of additional schooling as a Medical Doctor, legally gave me the title of Naturopathic Doctor… but why hadn’t I heard of it? Was it quackery? The curriculum was rich with biomedical science, but also included extended training in Nutrition, Physical Medicine, Botanical Medicine, Environmental Medicine, and Counselling. It took me 15 months of deliberation to decide to go to Naturopathic Medical School; I decided to take the risk and planned to drop out if it wasn’t something I believed in.
The first two years of school were heavy in science. After 2nd year, naturopathic students write a national board exam (NPLEX) on basic sciences. The material tested is the same material as the USMLE Step 1. (Infact, we studied with the USMLE material as they had more practice questions) Where Naturopathic medicine is different, is in its philosophy.
I graduated in 2015 and moved back to Saskatoon where I’ve been practicing since. As far as digestion, gas and bloating go, I’ve had consistent results. I’ve also had a great amount of success with many Auto-Immune condition such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and skin issues like Psoriasis, Eczema, and Urticaria. What’s important to note is:
“We don’t treat any of these conditions specifically. We treat the whole person, improve their health overall, and many conditions improve on their own once this has been achieved.”
The more you understand something, the more you realize how little we truly know about it. I was looking for truth in the natural sciences and discovered that complex systems of life are infinitely complicated. Closed systems we learn about in high school are predictable, but nothing in life is truly a closed system. The human body is no different – it’s unpredictable and gets influence from a seemingly infinite number of directions. If we can correct as many little things as possible, the whole system itself adapts to a new state, and many disease processes can be halted or reversed. This is where the wholistic approach really shines.