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Mississauga scholarship winner chooses the “natural path”

July 13, 2005 (Toronto) –  To look at her resume, you would never guess that Christine Nguyen, B.Sc., has only just completed her first of four years at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). That’s because the 26-year-old Mississauga resident has already racked up years of experience counselling people around the world about their health.

“I’ve been volunteering with various organizations since I was fourteen,” says Christine, who has become inspired by the vision of sharing the naturopathic experience with people in her local community and beyond.

Her vision has been recognized with an $800 scholarship from the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM). Christine is one of only two Canadian recipients of the 2005 Natural Health Scholars Program award. Winners were selected for their ability to provide leadership, creativity and diversity to the naturopathic medical community. Christine fits the requirements to a tee.

While completing her undergraduate degree in physical education and health at the University of Toronto, Christine volunteered as a peer health advisor, educating fellow students about body image, sexual health, nutrition, stress management and quitting smoking.

After earning her undergraduate degree, she spent seven months in Tanzania volunteering with Right To Play, a humanitarian organization that promotes the health of disadvantaged children and communities around the world using the power of sport. Christine worked in several refugee camps that, all together, house more than 150,000 Burundian refugees.

When she returned to Canada, Christine began considering career options in medicine, nursing and health promotion. Then a friend told her to check out CCNM’s naturopathic program.

Today, after completing the first year of the academic program she calls “the most challenging” of her career, Christine is more excited about the future than ever.

“My classmates are the cream of the crop,” she says. “They’re the most collaborative, compassionate and positive group of people I’ve ever worked with.”

In addition to providing a rigorous scientific foundation, CCNM’s program teaches students to listen to patients and ask lots of questions to get to the root cause of patients’ health problems.

“How can a health-care practitioner understand someone they haven’t spent time with?” Christine wonders. “There’s so much more to health than just prescribing medicine or sending patients off with a list of supplements.”

“NDs don’t give patients a ‘magic bullet,’” she continues, “but they work with the person to find the best therapeutic approach for them.”

Even though graduation is still three years down the road, Christine clearly sees herself working in the community to bring naturopathic medicine to people who need it. She even dreams of someday traveling around the world with a naturopathic organization similar to Doctors Without Borders.

Most importantly though, Christine dreams of connecting with her patients.

“I want to learn as much from my patients as they learn from me. When you learn about someone, you’re just naturally inspired to help them to the very best of your ability.”

Established in 1978, The Canadian College Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) offers Canada's only accredited four-year, full-time professional program in naturopathic medicine. To be admitted, candidates must have completed three years of premedical studies at an accredited university with required minimum credits in areas such as biology, chemistry and psychology.

At the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC), CCNM’s senior clinic interns treat patients under the supervision of regulated naturopathic doctors using acupuncture, Asian medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, physical medicine and lifestyle counselling. Affordable rates mean that anyone can experience the benefits of naturopathic medicine.

For more information:

For more information:

Heather Gibson, Communications Officer

The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

416-498-1255 ext. 263

hgibson@ccnm.edu

 

 

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