Interested in Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Bowen Therapy or the Neuroemotional Technique?

As the profile of Naturopathic Medicine in North America has been on the rise in recent years, I have increasingly been contacted by prospective Naturopathic Medical students who are interested frank feedback on my education and career as a Naturopathic Doctor in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver & Port Coquitlam.

In fact, just this week, I received emails from three different individuals who, despite hailing each from different continents, all posed near-identical reiterations of this basic question.

When synchronicity blugeons me on the head like this, I can't help but take notice. :)

So, without further adieu, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a Naturopathic Medical career in the Greater Vancouver region of BC.

Lets start with some pros.

In short, my experience as a naturopath in the GVRD has been very rewarding thus far.

I mean that primarily in an emotional and spiritual sense, although this profession can no doubt be financially lucrative.

Of course, the value of doing something for which you have a passion cannot be underestimated, and certainly cannot be properly in mere dollars and cents.

On the other hand, there have naturally been downsides as well.

For instance, after completing my undergraduate Systems Engineering degree, I was fortunate enough to be accepted to both naturopathic (ND) and conventional allopathic (MD) medical schools.

While that doesn't sound like much of a downside, you'll see what I'm getting at soon! :)

I chose the former because, after having just left the cold, analytical world of engineering, I was careful to avoid thrusting myself back into another rigidly-mechanistic and numbingly-clinical program.

The scope of education at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine was certainly well-rounded enough to allow for training in somewhat non-clinical or alternative disciplines, such as electrotherapy and exercise rehabilitation training.

Additionally, the inclusion of the naturopathic core treatment disciplines:

  1. Homeopathy
  2. Botanical Medicine (Herbalism)
  3. Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM / TCM)
  4. Therapeutic Nutrition
  5. Psychological Counseling (including that of patients and their loved ones in near-death cases, or even through the death process, and cognitive behavioral therapy), and
  6. Physical Medicine (Naturopathic Physical Manipulation, similar to chiropractic, as well as Massage, Hydrotherapy, UV light, and ultrasound therapies)

gave me a plethora of useful skills that I still regularly use in my daily practice.

Nonetheless, as most graduates of the seven fully-accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools:

  1. Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
  2. Bastyr University
  3. Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
  4. National College of Natural Medicine
  5. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
  6. University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine 
  7. National University of Health Sciences

would no doubt attest to, there's no shortage of clinical work involved in getting the ND degree! 

With extensive training in conventional clinical and biomedical sciences, such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomedicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Lab Diagnosis
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemical Connections
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Oncology
  • Physical Clinical Diagnosis

as well as an additional post-graduate phamaceutical therapy course, I along with many of my collegues have attained sufficient training to prescribe all but the most restricted pharmaceuticals along MDs.

However, note that this does not imply that I choose to prescribe pharmaceuticals on a daily or even monthly basis.

Instead, as eloquently stated by Dr. Christoph Kind, ND, the president of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA),

“In a sense, the ability to prescribe legitimizes the decision not to prescribe."

So, despite their seeming differences, there are many similarities between the depth, direction and focus of study in naturopathic and conventional (allopathic) medical schools alike.

This chart highlights the similarities between accredited ND and MD education - as well as the striking differences between the fully-accredited ND programs administered by the aforementioned seven schools (the leftmost two columns in the chart) and the non-accredited "ND" knockoff degrees issued in non-regulated states (the rightmost two columns).

As for my experience in my early years of practice, there were again some positives and some negatives.

One of the positives was that, by the completion of my ND degree, I had received a plethora of clinical training - over 2000 hours devoted specifically to seeing patients and making real-life treatment decisions - via the Boucher student clinic and intership.

This naturally helped to create a relatively smooth transition into the working world.

In fact, the interships I had completed presented me with job opportunities at multiple clinics on graduation.

As a result, I was able to begin part-time work between preparations for my week-long board exams, and this transitioned nicely into full-time work immediately thereafter.

On the other hand, due to the relatively low profile of NDs in North America today, as well as the degree of competition in Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Port Coquitlam, I could not simply put out my shingle and magnetically begin attracting patients.

Admittedly, this magnetic force has become increasingly stronger in recent years.

However, I reason that has more to do with the positive word-of-mouth being spread by some of my wonderful patients than the modest increase in either Naturopathic Medicine's public image or the general demand for NDs in the GVRD, particularly in the heavily-saturated Vancouver city proper.

However, going back to the beginning of my career, I certainly could not then rely on word of mouth.

Instead, I was forced instead to wear the dual hats of physician and entrepreneur, and to manage the health of my business in tandem with that of my patients.

Despite having been well-trained for this businessman role, it was one I once long resisted, idealistically (and very stubbornly) shunning self-promotion in favour of intensive focus on patient care - which, after all, was what I became a doctor to do!

But at the end of the day, if one chooses to take the road less traveled, it's only natural that one must learn to blaze a trail.

And once that path has been cleared, the possible destinations to which it may be followed are limited only by a Naturopathic Doctor's drive, passion and imagination.

Naturopathic Medicine & Homeopathy Testimonials

I'd had ingrown toenails and fingernails for my whole life, but they were getting worse, and it was getting to be a major problem.

They'd get infected, and I'd need to keep getting antibiotics to clear them up.

It was painful and was kind of disgusting and pissed me off.

Your homeopathic therapy and the bowen releases made my nails seem less fragile and breakable.

Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed that the infections hadn't happened so much and weren't so bad.

I appreciated that I didn't have to stop running or playing tennis.

When you asked me about my jaw after the 2nd or 3rd treatment, I realized that I hadn't been grinding or having any jaw pain for weeks.

D.S., Port Coquitlam, BC

According to my most recent lab tests, my MD said my diabetes is so well controlled it's like I don't even have diabetes anymore! I definitely feel much better, and am able to eat all my favorite foods again without my blood sugar spiking like it did before your naturopathic and homeopathic treatment. Even my daughter is doing much better, gaining weight and hitting her development milestones, since I've finally been able to breastfeed her without pain. Thank you for everything!

V. Chu, Richmond, B.C.

Thank you for such a thorough homeopathic treatment.

My eyes feel much better already.

I've stopped having that irritating feeling of something always being in my eye.

I notice I'm only blinking or tearing up like how a normal person would.

The ophthamologist had recommended surgery last year, but a few months after your homeopathic remedy, he told me it's no longer necessary.

Christopher, Victoria (Metchosin), BC

I had a constrictive sensation in throat – like someone was pushing on it with a nail – and stabbing pain where the jaw meets the ear.

The left side of my head went numb and I had a really really loud & tinny sound in my ear.

Then I started having bursts of vertigo. Andy's homeopathic and naturopathic treatments, and all the neuro-emotional work we did, made my throat pain,  much less, and after a couple of months, they went away totally.

A.P., Richmond, BC

Thank you so much for everything!

All my eye pain and headache is gone. The most I feel is just a little tingling now and then.

Otherwise everything else is going phenomenally well in life! It just couldn’t be any better.

I also got a new job. I sent out my resume, and it was the one type of job I wanted, and it was just a good fit.

I just had a look on job searching and I just let it happen.

I’m so happy right now!

I also got accepted to a new school and I’ve already started reading the textbooks.

I’m surprised how much I’m actually absorbing. I’ve never been good at that but now I’m actually absorbing it.

And I don’t seem to have so much a problem with nuts these days.

Since the last time I've seen you, I didn't notice my stomach at all. 

Even with other people in my life I’m just been letting them know how I feel about things, instead of letting that hold me back.

It’s just phenomenal.

I look forward to my appointments with you every month!

Jenny C., Vancouver, BC

My daughter was horribly itchy before your homeopathic and neural-emotional treatments.

Anyway, now she's doing great.

The rashs on her thighs, genitals, and around her mouth are gone.

It doesn't seem to hurt her to pee now.

She also doesn't as irritable, even though she recently started teething.

O.W., Pitt Meadows, BC

I don't get the tingling, throbbing, or burning herpes nerve pain in my back and pelvic area since your homeopathy treatment!

The blood pressure is getting lower, especially the diastolic, and my blood sugar has gone down with the neuroemotional releases.

Jackie, Port Moody (Anmore / Belcarra), BC

My moods aren't nearly so volatile now and I don't get the sudden spinning attacks of vertigo since Dr. Andy's homeopathic treatment.

The biofeedback has helped cure my hormonal problems, which has allowed me to conceive finally after years of trying!

The pain in my temples and big toe also went away after the Bowen therapy sessions.

G.M., Abbotsford, BC

My tongue doesn't have that white, fuzzy coating anymore since your homeopathic treatment.

And it doesn't look so swollen, feel so sore, or seem to bleed as much.

Also, I'm not sure if it's the bowen technique or that neuroemotional work, but something you've done has made me feel so normal, that I almost forget I used to have such terrible burping, nausea, and heartburn.

Brittany, Port Coquitlam, BC

The tics and spastic outbursts were able to be gradually helped by the homeopathic medicine and bowen technique.

Until now, I barely have them at all.

The neuroemotional work also helped restore my mobility.

Margret D, Burnaby (Brentwood, North Burnaby), BC

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