A Message from the President

A Message from the President

We have all faced significant junctures in our lives, consisting of paths leading to fundamentally different futures. The choice to enter a profession is a decision of this nature. 

Naturopathic medicine is founded on the principle of healing through the co-operative power of nature. It involves harnessing science to unleash this healing power. Individuals who choose to practice as naturopathic doctors pledge to "encourage others to strengthen their health, reduce risks for disease and preserve the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations." The focus is on promoting health, not on alleviating symptoms. To address the fundamental causes of disease, to heal the whole person through individualized treatment, to teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine—these are among the principles that underpin the profession. 

If you are the type of individual who views the healing of others as a calling, you exhibit a quality that the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) values in its students. You do not simply want to enter a profession; ¬you are answering a calling that will lead to greater fulfillment in your life. 

My time at CCNM has been one of the most fulfilling periods of my life. I have been impressed by the high quality of our student body. The students are bright, energetic and extremely dedicated. The faculty have impressive credentials and experience and are strongly committed to teaching others the path to promoting health. The staff is dedicated to ensuring that the educational environment is of high quality and the student experiences are positive. In short, I have encountered a team that works together to ensure that CCNM graduates individuals who are well prepared for their roles as naturopathic doctors. 

CCNM is a very special place. Our small student body (approximately 550) and self-contained campus allows for an intensity of interaction that fosters life-long friendships. The Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic is the best-equipped naturopathic medical education clinic in North America, with over 40 examination rooms. The 4.3 acre campus, with its treed courtyard and herb garden, provides a very special atmosphere, while sitting adjacent to a subway entrance. 

As you read through the material on this website, reflect upon your decision with care. The path that you are considering is not an easy one. The naturopathic medicine program is extremely intense. The first year involves a comprehensive examination of the biomedical sciences that underlie the study of medicine. The second and third years focus increasingly on the clinical sciences and the modalities that constitute the tools of the profession. The fourth year is spent largely in clinical practice under the supervision of registered NDs. 

If you choose to become a practicing ND, you will be entering an interesting and complex profession that has a long tradition, as well as a current rate of growth and development that is dramatic. You are joining an entity much greater than the sum of its parts. Reflecting the ethics and values of the profession, naturopathic doctors have developed a set of principles that enshrine the safe use of natural methods and substances to support and stimulate the body's self-healing processes. These principles underpin a complete, individualized and coordinated approach to health care that integrates modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. You will learn to embrace the principles of naturopathic medicine as a foundation for your practice and your life. 

Are you being called? Do you have the drive and ability that will allow you to excel in an intensive program of study? If so, I look forward to welcoming you into the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. 

Bob Bernhardt, B.Sc., LLM, M.Ed., PhD 

About Bob Bernhardt

The presidentof the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) since 2004, Bob Bernhardt, B.Sc., M.Ed., LLM, PhD, has a broad background encompassing post-secondary education, international education, administrative law and medical education. Dr. Bernhardt’s previous roles in a variety of educational institutions have included faculty, dean, director of planning, director of strategic planning, vice-president and that wonderful title of the 90s, “corporate change leader.” He has also served as director of education for the Law Society of Upper Canada, where he was responsible for Ontario’s bar admission process, continuing legal education and lawyer specialist certification.
Dr. Bernhardt has an academic background spanning science, information systems, education, administrative law and leadership in higher education. He has led the creation of new post-secondary education departments overseas, consulted on teacher education programs in the Middle East, and served as the president of the international Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC). He serves on the Board of Learning for a Sustainable Future, a charity dedicated to promoting sustainability through improved education across Canada.

In his current role at CCNM he is responsible for ensuring the delivery of high-quality naturopathic medical education and clinical care, advancing the conduct and dissemination of groundbreaking research, and promoting the College’s reputation, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Bernhardt believes that future health care must focus on genuine partnerships between the patient and the provider, and he sees this as a key to lowering the ever-rising costs associated with our current model of treating illness.