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I believe it is crucial that we look at all sides of the healthcare picture. While I agree with the idea that the patient choose her or his care, and thus have insurance cover that treatment, I also strongly question the education of ND's. I attended NCNM for two years and during that time I witnessed many problems with the school. Because of these experiences I chose to discontinue my attendance, and pursue a career as an M.D. My 1st year 'mentor' told me that the school was nearly shut down the year earlier because of financial problems. The classes that I took were not always well taught - there are great teachers and quite horrible ones at NCNM. Recently my former classmates shared with me the experience that they had from their nutrition classes. The instructor, as one friend explained it, talked more about whales than about nutrition. Nearly everyone in the class failed the exams, and the school even charged the students money to re-take the exam! I have, unfortunately, had personal experiences with some professors that teach there - I was accosted and treated horribly. The student services dep't has no student support programs, as well.
I believe that the way that a school treats its' students mirrors the actions and behaviors of that community as a whole. This points to some grave issues with this career choice. I am frustrated that the AANP has promoted an unscientifically sound study of career satisfaction of graduated ND's. Very few ND's responded to the mailing sent to them, yet the AANP still posted averages about those respondents - while failing to mention that the MAJORITY of people did not respond (these should be practicing ND's here - and, if practicing, would have returned the surveys). This point mirrors the knowledge that I have fortunately obtained from the ND community - that many people I've spoken with would have chosen a different career, or pursued an M.D. first (or in itself), they are truly struggling with paying off the tremendous tuition loans of greater than $160,000.
Although natural medicine can be helpful for patients, I obviously have many concerns for the health of this education for the public- transparency and honesty are crucial for a career to flourish, and thus far these both appear to be lacking in ND schools and the organization that represents them, the AANP.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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