When I graduated from Naturopathic Medical school I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I could stop spending my time preparing for tests and writing assignments. I could actually spend my time researching, just as my training in critical appraisal had taught me to do. My patients were improving and I felt confident being a big part of their health team!
It took me a while to realize not everyone did things this way.
I grew my practice, landed teaching and speaking gigs and put myself out into the medical world right away. I knew I had a lot to offer and had the research to back it all up. Of course, I was confident about treating my patients - the evidence was right there in front of me.
Then came all of the questions from my colleagues.
Jordan how do you do it all? Where did you learn to read research? Who taught you those protocols?
Uh oh. I could see the profession had a big gap. While I was teaching critical appraisal at the University level (thinking I was getting in at the grass roots of evidence-based integrative medicine education) my entire profession had a huge problem, sitting right in front of me.
Nobody had research, organization or critical appraisal skills.
The very thing that was ingrained in my processes (that I was teaching fourth year undergraduate students to do) was missing in my colleague’s education. They were being released from school with an A+ in test writing, but a gap in how to continue to learn once they had graduated.
I realized if I wanted my profession to have a bigger impact, we were going to need more support.
I still teach courses at McMaster University on Integrative Medicine and Evidence Based Nutrition, but my bigger vision is to create a database and learning strategy for our entire profession to excel at their work.