As the new Naturopathic Resident at Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre (INMC), I am pleased to be taking over the Integrative Community Assistance Program (ICAP). Having grown up in a family of complementary health care practitioners, I did not realize that naturopathic care was anything out of the ordinary, until a parent of a friend in grade school told me that my father “wasn’t a real doctor”. I asked my family about this and they had to explain to an 8-year old the differences between what is considered conventional versus alternative medicine. I remember feeling lucky to have access to so much treatment at home, but also confused as to how other people dealt with their health issues if they did not use natural options! This exposure to alternative medicine from a young age was a gift that resolved many of my own health concerns, but also shaped my lifestyle and mentality. Bringing awareness to naturopathic care and making it more accessible and affordable is a main motivating factor for my involvement in ICAP.
In Canada, we are lucky enough to have publicly funded health care systems in place. Unfortunately, this does not extend to complementary and alternative medicine, making it cost-prohibitive to a large proportion of the population. ICAP offers affordable alternative health care to a community of people that may otherwise not be able to access it. At INMC, we aim to provide comprehensive and individualized patient-centred primary care to as many people as possible. I, like many others, pursued this profession with the motivation to help people without limitations on who that applied to.
During my naturopathic clinical rotations, I spent 2 years working with HIV+ patients at the Positive Living Society of British Columbia (PLBC) clinic in downtown Vancouver. This is a Non-Government community organization that was founded to help empower persons living with AIDS and HIV through mutual support and collective action. PLBC offers naturopathic care and acupuncture at no charge, which served as a learning opportunity for me to work with a wide range of patients and also witness the benefits of accessible alternative health care.
I am excited to continue working with people from different demographics, who are just as deserving of the support that naturopathic medicine can provide.
If you would like to book an appointment or have any questions about ICAP, please call 604-738-1012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.