The Final Push

Hi Followers! Friends, family, and people who’ve found me along the way…

I can’t believe it’s finally my last year of med school, only half a year left to go! I recently passed my clinic exit exam, so there’s not much standing between me and graduation… except a bunch of papers, tests, precepting hours, community education hours… tying up the loose ends! And man does it feel good.

It’s been a busy time in my life. This past fall I got elected to the board of the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OANP) for 2017, became the chair of a committee, and I couldn’t be more excited to be getting involved with my local leaders! Then I had Christmas on the Oregon coast, a whirlwind ski trip to Bend for my last annual NCNM getaway, took an inspiring business course for naturopaths, and am looking forward to a week-long seminar in April studying and being inspired by plant medicines.

img_0942

Graduation is coming up on July 1st. If you want to come celebrate, there’s plenty of room, please come, and let me know so I can find you there!

Thanks for following along with my journey! It’s been long and circuitous, but finally coming close to an end, and on to the next phase of dreaming and inspiration. If you’d like to receive my professional newsletter (coming soon!) you can email me at doctorashleend@gmail.com.

img_0343

Advertisements

Trip to Nicaragua to work with Natural Doctors International

Hi Friends,

This spring break I’m heading to Nicaragua to work in a integrative natural medicine clinic! I’ll get an opportunity to learn/practice medical Spanish, put my new physical exam skills to good use, integrate my recent coursework in a clinical setting, study global health in a developing country, prep for my upcoming clinical entrance exams, and volunteer my time to an organization that is giving so much to the local community of Ometepe! So much to look forward to, and everyone I’ve talked to who has already been raves about the experience. Home stays, community health, and a new country to visit… I’m so excited!

LaConcepcion2

If you would like to help send me to Nicaragua, please click on the link below. Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated! Thank you for following my medical journey, and for your friendship and support. I’m looking forward to posting all about my trip when I return in April!

Year 1 and me

The end of my first year of naturopathic medical school is looming, and I realize I’ve been remiss in keeping any kind of journal of updates. Where to even begin! So much this year. Science though, always the science.

IMG_2280

 

Personal growth has been more of a major theme this year, and while it may not yet seem apparent on the outside, there have been some big shifts on the inside that are likely to take awhile to integrate. I have been extraordinarily lucky to have free counseling services provided by my school, AT my school. (For me, this made all the difference.) I’ve never sought counseling before, but becoming a doctor is starting to feel like a big deal at the grand ol’ age of 29, and I have professors and doctors echoing the same. Coming into the program at a run, straight off the boat quite literally, and after a nice piece of “life experience” I felt like it was time to check in with myself and see if I couldn’t come up with some new insights on patterns and stumbling blocks. I drew an ace and got paired up with someone amazing, who always remembered my story, drew parallels I’ve never noticed, and offered support in a way I don’t know if I’ve ever had. I feel empowered, but in a loose-trucks-with-my-helmet-on sort of way. Trying to figure how to carry on with the work on my own, and also how to use the illumination to move forward into who I will become.

Being a doctor. And a woman. And a feminist. And spontaneous. Too much. Not enough. Converging non congruent ideas.

I can write you a list of courses, or concepts. It will in no way describe to you the value of this education. I am so enamored with the human organism. The numerous pathways and systems, checks and balances, safeguards and rogue deviations. There is nothing about this body that is simple. What we think we know is ever changing. Having studied anatomy twice prior, a form that wouldn’t expect changes once we’ve seen the cadaver… so much new info, changed names, altered understandings, better magnification, theories gone bust! My mind sparkles at the concept, the change, the vastness. With such dynamic in anatomy, you can imagine what that means for biochemistry, GI, neuro, endocrine, etc!

IMG_3770

Another genre I’ve explored this year is space. Solar systems, super nova, dark matter, and the universe. So much of what I learn about the human form reminds me of something I heard on How the Universe Works. The recursive pattern of nature. Mind blowing! I highly recommend a venture when you have the time and attention span. There have been more breakthroughs in recents months/years than in the past several decades, and it is inspiring and humbling to visualize my place in the world. A self-aware consciousness in the goldilocks zone of a holographic universe… Thank my lucky stars there are physicists willing to talk slow in small words so I can begin to comprehend these things!  (If you’re an inspiration junkie, I also highly recommend Shots of Awe by Jason Silva)

One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given this year is friendships. So many wonderful people have come into my world, as friends, study partners, adventurers, seekers, future colleagues. Walking into my first day of orientation I could already feel it. This is my family. These people get me. We are sharing an amazing journey towards something we all believe in. Last weekend we all went on a retreat together to practice our medicine, on ourselves and each other, in nature, of nature. And in the end as we were reflecting, I heard my same worries, my same struggles, my same gratitudes, my same achievements, in the voices of my cohort. Nothing feels like belonging to a purpose quite like that does. Reiteration that I’m in the right place. That I’m on my path.

IMG_3913

This year has been full of study and science and hard work. But the memories that stand out are of people and growth, of change and inspiration. This is not the scary medical school of legend. This is my future, started already, and my cultivation as a naturopath. This is my life, and I am blessed.

Starting to settle

So much is happening in my life right now, it’s hard to know what to put on a page.

Starting week six of the program, already more than halfway through the first term! It’s incredible what they can teach you in that amount of time, the information just comes hurtling in on a daily basis. Two tests already this week, thank heavens I studied anatomy in undergrad!

IMG_2345

A few stats:

Courses: 10 (5 lecture, 5 lab)

Credits: 21.75

Classes per day: 2-3

Distance from home: 1.8 miles

Exams completed: 7

Exams looming: 10

Avg class size: 18 or 100

 

This past weekend I got to move into my new home. Two helpers and three trips to storage. Now I have more of my things and a bedroom of my own, to organize in the coming weeks. Besides a desk and a dog, I think I have basically all I need.

IMG_2416

A Brief Update

Dear Friends,

I am touched by how many of you remembered me today and sent a word of support on my first day of medical school. It was a sweet day all around. We had a welcome from the NCNM community, complete with drums, clapping, and a show of many faces in our first lecture. I had more opportunities to connect with fellow students. I even got to have dinner with my little bro. There will be a lot of work to do, but I am confident that I’m in a supportive community, surrounded by resources, and with an auspicious bent.

IMG_5041

Where have I been since April? Primarily Southeast Alaska! Frederick Sound. Chatham Strait. Stephen’s Passage. Juneau. Sitka. Hoonah. Kake. Petersburg!

Petersburg, AK

What a summer it was too. Having been hired on a 67′ charter cruise, I flew up to spend some time with friends I love. After  a week of R&R, it was time to board the vessel and heave to. My summer was spent in a continuous cycle of 7 days out, 2 days in, viewing the wildlife, the scenery, eating fresh fish, and enjoying diverse company, followed by two days of recovery! And what wildlife, spectacular! Whales and mountain goats, seals and seal lions, otters, birds, and bears, oh my!

Tracy Arm Goats

I plan to write a more detailed account, but I wanted to thank you for visiting in my absence! Much more to come in the weeks ahead!

Life Plan 2.0 – and why patience causes anxiety

Hey world –

Okay, I know, the whole world doesn’t follow my blog. But you’re here! Yup, this one’s for you!

I’m writing to let you know that I’ve been accepted at NCNM, the National College of Natural Medicine! So excited! Thrilled!!

4/7/13

4/7/13

I’ve also discovered that waiting for the final word is more difficult that I realized. Crazy making. Causing me to question all Continue reading