Although I am completing my studies to become a naturopathic doctor, last week I shadowed a chiropractor and an internist for two days each in my hometown. Dr. Kevin Kumbalek, DC owns YourHealth Inspiration and Dr. Pradeep Giriyappa, MD, is an internist with Holy Family Memorial.
While allopathic medicine is not the way I view healthcare should be, observing the internist was a worthwhile experience. Living and working in my naturopathic bubble made me forget what most people are used to when going to a conventional medical doctor! I became more familiar with the most common pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Medical management of disease was done at every visit, with most patients having medications altered or added.
The chiropractor I shadowed has his clinic connected to a day spa run by his wife, and his daughter leases space as an acupuncturist. Having many healing modalities in one place is the way I envision my future practice. Some tools the chiropractor used were laser and ultrasound, along with spinal manipulation. Dr. Kumbalek is also a functional medicine practitioner, but we didn't see any patients seeking out functional medicine during my two days.
I'm trying to fill my schedule with more clinical observation, because we are required to go on observation for 20 days before graduation. I have three more scheduled, and I'm going to keep seeking out more practitioners from whom to learn!
About the Author
I'm a naturopathic medical student at NUHS. I started the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program in January 2014. I was born and raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a beautiful town on Lake Michigan. My experiences interpreting (Spanish to English) in nearly all medical specialties solidified my decision to study naturopathic medicine, as I saw a deep need for treating the body as a whole, getting to the root causes of symptoms, and using minimally invasive low-cost therapies to restore health.