A naturopathic physician with a doctorate degree in education, I am also a competitive cyclist, adhere to a healthy diet and teach a course in plant-based nutrition. My wife is an ND, and our son is studying to become one.
During my 33-year career in naturopathic medicine – as a student, resident, researcher, physician in private practice, patient, professor, and college president – I’ve been privileged to serve with, teach and work with many extraordinary individuals. SCNM is filled with these bright, hardworking, creative people who are equally dedicated to the principles of naturopathic medicine and the ideal that everyone deserves high-quality health care.
The naturopathic profession has already established a growing, yet limited, foothold in the U.S. health care system. Turns out it was a disease care system, one focused on costly interventions and drugs to treat longstanding (and in most cases, preventable) chronic diseases. Not a perfect fit for naturopathic medicine’s emphasis on keeping patients well and empowering them to make life changes, uncovering the root causes of chronic diseases, and first treating with the least invasive and gentlest treatments. This has changed – for the better.
The Affordable Care Act rewards patients for adopting healthy habits and holds physicians responsible for treating chronic diseases with the safest, most clinically and financially-effective treatments. This shift, the public’s recognition of the importance of natural foods, and a nationwide shortage of primary care providers, augur well for naturopathic physicians. As president, it is my responsibility to help align our academic and clinical training with emerging trends and health policies, to provide students with the best opportunities for rewarding careers after graduation.
At SCNM, we are forging relationships with forward thinking-community health centers and primary care clinics, and with innovative colleges and universities to expand clinical training clerkships, increase research and broaden our students’ horizons in public health. These affiliations free SCNM to focus on excelling at being the very best naturopathic medical school. Our experienced faculty, revised curriculum (now in version 2.0), innovative teaching methodologies, a historic campus expansion, and our warm community combine to enhance the SCNM experience and help shape the future of naturopathic medicine.
If one of your dreams is to become a physician who combines primary prevention with the best of conventional medicine and the healing power of nature, come by and visit. I look forward to meeting you.
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine