I've been working on this website sporadically on and off for awhile and I just finished working on my About Me section. Revisiting the events and decisions that led me to attending CCNM was an interesting experience - the year I found naturopathic medicine was a stressful one! Read all about it:
My journey to a career as a naturopathic doctor has been a bit meandering but full of experiences that have allowed me to gain incredible insight along the way. I graduated in 2008 from McGill University with an Honours B.A. in Geography and Philosophy. In my final year I wrote a thesis on the experience of being Inuit and living in Montreal; I was privileged during that project to be able to speak to many Inuit people who had moved south from Northern Quebec and Nunavut, and the experience made me realize that I was best suited to working one on one with individuals, with time to give value to their unique stories and experiences, rather than as a researcher looking into groups and trends.
Although I had always considered going to conventional medical school, a personal experience with a naturopathic intern at CCNM had me consider naturopathic medicine as an alternative that I was perhaps better suited for. n 2008 I had been diagnosed with PCOS by my long time (wonderful, observant, highly skilled) family doctor; lab tests and ultrasound confirmed this and I was given a 10 minute rundown on the diagnosis and prescribed spironolactone to help mitigate symptoms, and told to take it forever, unless I decided to get pregnant.
Forever?! was confused, concerned and frankly, a bit scared - I had absolutely no idea what this diagnosis meant; reading about PCOS just made me more confused because it didn't seem like I had many of the symptoms that were supposedly so common. What was going on with my body? What had I done wrong? Unfortunately, medical doctors in Ontario are often overworked and stretched to their limits with respect to how much time they can dedicate to individual patients and my MD wasn't available to answer my questions.
Soon after I began taking what she had prescribed I had an adverse reaction and had to stop; at the time I didn't know what would happen if I did this - I had no idea what the drug had been prescribed for and was terrified that stopping was the wrong decision*. Luckily a friend of a friend was a naturopathic doctor, and she agreed to have a tea with me and talk to me about what PCOS meant for me and how I could figure out what to do about it. A couple of weeks later I was a few appointments deep at CCNM's RSNC with an intern I adored who set me on the right path to treating my symptoms of PCOS and fixing the terrain that allowed it to show up in the first place, through acupuncture, herbs, diet and lifestyle changes.
Two years later (with my PCOS under control, naturally and drug-free) I started school and find myself here now, about to step into the role of intern myself. Because of the positive experience I had orking with my first intern and because of all the time and energy I have put in throughout the rigorous ND program at CCNM, I couldn't be more excited to take on this position.
To learn more about naturopathic medicine you can check out this blurb I have on my website. On account of my own experience, I have a particular interest in working with female health issues, such as fertility and PCOS. I am lucky to have been accepted onto the RSNC's Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome focus shift on Friday's from 8-2 pm with Dr. Louise Shaw McCrindle, a shift that specializes in treating patients with these conditions. I'm also very interested in community health and providing affordable naturopathic care; naturopathic medicine is unavailable for many people who would benefit significantly from it on account of cost - for this reason, I'm particularly excited to have shifts at Anishinawbe Health Toronto in the summer and the Sherbourne Health Centre in the fall.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Don't worry, I know a lot more about this stuff now than I did then! Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic that helps mitigate some of the symptoms of PCOS caused by high androgen levels such as hirsutism, hair loss and acne.