Naturopathic Residency Program Announces 2011 Recipients

Residents look forward to working alongside complementary practitioners

By Teresa M. Peterson

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New naturopathic graduates Carrie Runde, ND, and Dana Brigham, ND, have earned the honor of being this year’s ITI-AANP STAIR residents. The ITI-AANP STAIR residency awards two fully paid scholarships for a year-long residency at an integrative clinic practicing complementary and naturopathic medicine. This year’s residency site is The Center for Integrative Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC. The 2011 ITI-AANP STAIR residents will be practicing alongside Deirdre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, LAc, and Mikhail Kogan, MD.

Residents are selected by the STAIR Resident Selection Committee, made up of representatives from National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM), Bastyr University, and University of Bridgeport, as well as members of the Integrative Therapeutics (ITI) Medical Advisory Board, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), and National University of Health Sciences (NUHS).

Carrie Runde, ND

Runde earned her naturopathic doctorate degree in 2011 from Bastyr University. She began her college career as an architecture student at the University of Pennsylvania but soon recognized that practicing medicine would allow her to do what she really wanted to do— have a greater impact on the community while interacting with people on a personal level. Runde switched from architecture to pursue art history, Spanish, and pre-medicine course work and graduated with her BA in 2005. During her pre-med education, Runde focused primarily on pursuing an allopathic degree. However, after research, shadowing practicing naturopaths, and experiencing naturopathy as a patient, she decided to pursue a naturopathic degree instead.

While studying at Bastyr University, Runde served as the AANP student representative and participated in the AANP’s annual lobbying event in Washington, DC. During her undergraduate course work and throughout her education at Bastyr, Runde was involved in scientific clinical research, as well as various rural and urban volunteer projects. Runde is looking forward to working alongside complementary practitioners and using the tools of her naturopathic degree.

The STAIR residency is the most highly sought-after residency of its kind. Each year the STAIR selection committee gets to interview the best of the best.

“I feel like I have a lot of tools to help patients, and that is what I think is the most interesting aspect of our education. From learning about counseling, to nutrition, to homeopathy, even pharmaceuticals, I feel like I have the ability to know what’s appropriate when,” Runde explains.

In searching for a residency program, the ITI-AANP STAIR site stood out for Runde, because “it offered the chance to work with a naturopath and a medical doctor, and really be in an area where I ultimately want to be. It was a perfect fit: It had everything that I wanted, and it was where I wanted to be.”

During her residency at George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine, Runde hopes to gain further experience seeing patients and learning from seasoned, practicing doctors. She is interested in learning more about how a clinician can contribute to the body of research on naturopathic medicine, as well as being involved with the leadership and legislative success of the AANP.

Dana Brigham, ND

Dana Brigham, ND, began her undergraduate education at Connecticut College with a double major in psychology and art. Her interest in and ability to understand the way people’s minds and bodies work together led her away from psychology toward medicine. After college she decided to pursue a degree in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University, which she earned this year.

Brigham’s interests are in functional approaches to helping individuals access a lifetime of good nutrition, as well as creating accessible healthcare for everyone.

To Brigham, the most appealing aspect of naturopathy is “working with the foundations of health, because it’s what you do every day—the people you’re with, how much you sleep, or the food you’re eating.” She has great appreciation for the tools her degree in naturopathic medicine offers, because they allow her to find which modality works best for each individual to live optimally.

The search for a residency is a stressful process for all post doctorate students. Brigham put tremendous thought and effort into obtaining her residency, and she felt that the ITI-AANP STAIR program fit her best.

Brigham is “a firm believer in having multiple approaches and respect for the different professions as part of the solution for superior healthcare.” During her residency at George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine, Brigham hopes to expand the clientele as well as learn and practice both naturopathic and allopathic modalities.

After residency, Brigham visualizes working in an integrative practice that uses a collaborative and synergistic approach that is financially viable for everyone.

“Whether it’s having a kitchen where we can cook together, a gym, or a yoga facility, I want to be creating a thriving community, including service-oriented work and the establishment of whole wellness.”

About the ITI-AANP STAIR Residency Scholarship

The idea for the ITI-AANP STAIR Residency Scholarship first developed as part of a master’s thesis. ITI’s professional education and community relations manager, Tara Brown, focused her thesis on corporate social responsibility and the transformation of corporate contributions from quantitative to qualitative. ITI and the AANP saw the promise of the concept and created the scholarship to offer two fully paid naturopathic residencies for highly qualified and competitive postdoctoral students each year.

“For residents, the ITI-AANP STAIR Residency Scholarship Program is a CNME-approved, postdoctoral, naturopathic, medical education program under the administration of Bastyr University. For clinics, it is a chance to enrich integrative medicine in their communities and to enhance the reputation of their practices,” Brown explains.

The program began in 2007 and has been successful since its implementation. According to Brown, “ITI created the program when we learned that only 20% of naturopathic doctors actually went on to successful practices after graduation. This initiative turned into an amazing gift for the naturopathic community, offering awareness as well as advancement opportunities for new doctoral graduates.”

The ITI-AANP STAIR residency provides remarkable opportunities for practical application and business development to well-educated and exemplary ND graduates. In Brown’s words, “The STAIR residency is the most highly sought-after residency of its kind. Each year the STAIR selection committee gets to interview the best of the best from the top naturopathic schools. It’s no surprise we also have seen 100% placement of our residents upon completion of their residency.”

The residency sites are determined in advance, providing future residents with the opportunity to know precisely what practice and doctors they are applying to learn from and work with.

Successful in its goal to “ensure future leadership in integrative medicine, foster the expansion of graduate medical education, and support licensing for naturopathic physicians,” the program will continue to create opportunities for naturopathic doctoral graduates. Currently the ITI-AANP STAIR Residency program is recruiting for the 2012 residency sites, and the application deadline is September 1. To view the application click here.

About the Author

Teresa M. Peterson is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the communications specialist for Five to Thrive Live! as well as for Natural Medicine Journal.