JoAnn Yanez, Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC)

As executive director of the AANMC, I have the privilege to speak with prospective students every week. One common theme I hear all the time is “How do I start?”

Once you’ve come to the decision to be an ND – there are a few key things that we recommend:

Do your homework. Naturopathic medicine is a WONDERFUL profession. In fact many people feel called or drawn to become NDs. However it is a small and growing profession and ND school is as demanding a commitment as traditional medical school; your heart must really be in it to excel. Visit an ND as a patient – and/or speak to one about their career. Contact us if you need help getting started. [email protected]

Speak to an admissions counselor. Each of the seven accredited naturopathic medical programs has prerequisites for admission – they are mostly the same – with a few differences by program. Check their websites and schedule an appointment to speak with an admissions counselor to make sure you are on the right track.

Find the right program for you. Is geographic location a factor? Coursework or areas of specialization? Social activism? All of these things are worthwhile in considering the right fit for you.

Visit the schools. I know this may be financially tough for some, however it is a good idea to check out the programs you’re interested in. You will be there for at least four years of your life.

Develop your school plan. Do you need to relocate? Save up finances to afford school? Take prerequisite courses? Make sure you map out how to make your dream a reality!

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