I have been asked why I chose Bastyr by prospective students tons of times, so I will write it here. These are my personal opinions, and I honestly don’t know much about the other ND schools.
I really don’t make major life decisions. I just know them. Someone told me to become a naturopathic physician, and I never doubted it for an instant. I prettymuch just visited all 7 of the school’s websites and decided I wanted to go to Bastyr and that was that. I didn’t want to go to Bridgeport because I wanted to get out of New England, because getting outside your comfort zone is the best way to grow. (Blogging makes me uncomfortable. It makes me grow too.) I didn’t want to go to Southwest based on climate, I didn’t want to go to Canada, and Chicago just didn’t interest me. I like the climate in the pacific northwest. It’s good study weather. I did not want to be in the first class at Bastyr California.
I was originally planning to apply to NCNM too, but my gut feeling told me otherwise. I applied to Bastyr the first week of September as soon as the online application was open. When that application was done, I tried to get started on NCNM’s application, but I was just dragging my feet and realized I just didn’t want to do it. So I didn’t. When I really want something, I just know.
I was only the second interview of the year. I arrived on campus and was a nervous disaster for my interview. I couldn’t even get little words out of my mouth. Even after being a student for a few months, I would tense up every time I walked by admissions. It’s interesting to see applicants waiting outside for their interviews now, I was probably more nervous than all of them! If you are applying, you should try and find someone you know who is an experienced interviewer to help you practice.
I haven’t even been to any of the other schools. There are things that I would have preferred about NCNM, like being in the middle of a city. But living in the middle of the woods at Bastyr is ok for now. I was surprised to learn that NCNM does not have a cafeteria. I think the Bastyr cafeteria is an important part of the community, where people can all come together and eat. I’ve met people at school that I wouldn’t have talked to otherwise just because the cafeteria was crowded and they sat with me. I really like the Bastyr community and I am really happy with my choice. I have never been someplace that is so non-judgemental and accepting where I can really be totally, completely comfortable.
A prospective student that was sitting in on one of my classes one day asked if I thought about going to traditional allopathic medical school. Myself and I am sure almost all of my classmates would say no. The current dominant medical system in the United States evolved in the last 100 years to treat acute diseases and emergencies, and does that very well. However, the primary problems in the United States today are chronic like diabetes and heart disease. Naturopathic physicians are well trained to help prevent and treat these types of diseases with diet and lifestyle. That is where there is the greatest need in our heathcare system right now, and I want to be the most effective healer I can be, filling the huge primary care physician shortage. I am so happy that I am being trained to do this. Medical school is really a sacrifice of four years of your life with tons of hard work like you’ve never done before, but I am totally thrilled to be filling my calling!