About Talia

After graduating from Queen’s University with a BSc in Life Sciences, I decided that pursuing a career as a medical doctor wasn’t for me. The medical model seemed impersonal, involving palliating symptoms with medications rather than hearing the patient’s story and addressing the root cause of disease.

After much deliberation, many personal health crises and 2 years of teaching English in Colombia, in South America, I discovered naturopathic medicine and made the decision to become a naturopathic doctor: a doctor who takes the time to listen to patients, works with the body’s healing power and addresses the cause of disease, not just symptoms.

I am a recent graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and have just passed my naturopathic licensing exams (NPLEX II and Ontario Boards for the BDDT-N). I am currently applying for my license.

I am originally from Toronto, Canada, Β I am passionate about art as a way of telling stories through painting, photography, writing or any other form of communication and self-expression. I love snowboarding, practising yoga, hiking with my dog, curling up in the sun with a good book and an espresso, travelling and spending time in nature.Β Before travelling to Colombia, I spent 4 months in Costa Rica, working at a children’s hospital. Last February I travelled to Guatemala to work in a community naturopathic clinic.

I believe in people and am honoured to bear witness to their stories. I chose naturopathic medicine as an idealistic path to heal the world, one person at a time. The healing process is a time of self-growth and personal awakening for people, which I always feel privileged to be a part of. I focus my practice on mental health, community medicine and endocrinology.

Please follow my blog and join me as I explore the Art and Practice of naturopathic medicine and what it means to become a naturopathic doctor.

 

31 thoughts on “About Talia

  1. i have always thought about studying naturopathic medicine, it is so interesting and really inspiring because hollistic medicine is going to be big in our future. I look forward to seeing more posts(: good luck with school!

    1. It sure is! There is a lot of information to take in as we have to handle both the Western medical model and the holistic model, but it is very enjoyable and I’m learning a lot (much of which I write about here, on this blog). It’s quite the journey but I hope it will be worth it! Welcome and thanks for commenting!

  2. Hello Talia!
    I hope this post finds you well. I discovered your blog earlier today, and have been reading quite a bit of your posts. I must commend you on your writing, and the simplicity of your blog. Quite apt for your intended audience, and your level of blogging.
    It also amazes me that you started this blog in your second year at the CCNM. Congratulations on your success with this, and your determination on becoming a naturopathic doctor. I wish you well in the year ahead, and encourage you to remain strong.
    I, myself, have been researching naturopathic medicine as a viable career option since last November, and though I was 90% sure that it would be a perfect fit for me, I now feel that the doubts of my closest relatives are slowly diminishing the confidence I felt not too long ago. I suppose the most important point of contention upon announcing to my family that I intend to pursue naturopathic medicine was what I could offer patients in terms of treatment options. Treating disease and illness, as it is ingrained in us, involves taking some form of a drug, depending on the symptoms presented. I’ll admit that I fell short trying to explain to my parents the options patients have when they visit naturopathic doctors, but this has lead me to think that I am not as informed as I believe I am. As you are studying this field of science, and I’m sure willing to encourage others to approach their health as naturopaths do, I’d like to ask you, are naturopaths just glorified nutritionists that have managed to concurrently gain certification for other therapies such as accupuncture, TCM, etc.? When I think of the times I need to visit a doctor, it’s generally with a sureness that I will get my symptoms treated and in a short amount of time. In my mind, allowing the body to heal naturally would inherently require patience and a longer span of time. I am curious to what extent this limits NDs and patients, as well as the types of illnesses and diseases naturopaths can reliably and consistently treat. Perhaps naturopaths are just more specialized in preventative medicine, and my impression that anyone, regardless of their status of health, can visit a naturopath isn’t quite true.
    I would very much appreciate your input, as I am looking to confront and dispel my doubts before investing my time, energies and money into this profession.

    1. Hi Sasha, Thank you for commenting! I’m happy that you found my blog and thank you for your praise! Leaving high school to pursue premed at Queen’s I wanted to become a physician. That dream slowly dwindled after about 2nd year when I realized that medical education wasn’t so much about taking a humanitarian standpoint in life, creating people who would care for the health of their patients, as much as creating a system in which the most cutthroat and competitive moved to the top. I could go on about the quality of education and philosophy of the medical profession but, in reality we need everyone in the field of healthcare. When I break my arm or need some kind of surgery I will definitely go to a hospital! I visit my GP once a year for check-ups but I know that, when I go and complain about a migraine for instance, I will be given drugs to treat that migraine when it surfaces. We won’t even go into why I get migraines and what I can do or eat to prevent their re-occurence (it turns out there is a lot that we can do and eat to prevent migraines and there are also very effective therapies to treat them acutely!).
      At CCNM we do use a LOT of EBM, Evidence Based Medicine (some of us think too much). Our school conducts many studies as well. And it’s astounding how much the evidence supports our way of practicing medicine, even over conventional methods! For instance, we were recently shown how a combination of exercise, diet and certain supplements to treat moderate hypertension are far superior to the current 4-drug regime (which also has its own set of risk factors and negative side effects). A naturopathic doctor is a regulated, licensed professional. We must complete 2 board exams (one after 2nd year and one after 4th year), called NPLEX, we complete 3 OSCE exams (just like medical school students), which test our clinical exam skills, we learn diagnosis, clinical skills and basic sciences, similar to med school students. A good analogy for a naturopathic doctor is a general practitioner or family doctor with more tools in our tool box (nutrition, lifestyle, acupuncture, homeopathy, supplements, herbs, physical medicine, etc.) than simple drugs or surgery. In fact, as naturopathic doctors, we don’t define ourselves by what we use (our modalities and therapies) but HOW and WHY and, even, WHEN we use them, which is dictated to us by our philosophy and how we view the body, trying to work with the body’s power to heal itself and support health and dealing with the root cause of disease, rather than suppressing symptoms with drugs.
      I hope that helps! If you have any other questions please feel free to message me or email me! Thanks again for visiting the blog and commenting!
      – Talia

      1. Hello Thalia,
        Thank you for that response, I like the way you’ve portrayed naturopathic doctors in saying, “as naturopathic doctors, we don’t define ourselves by what we use (our modalities and therapies) but HOW and WHY and, even, WHEN we use them…” I should show your post to my dad as I was not as successful in articulating to him the strength of what naturopaths can offer their patients. I get the impression that my dad’s generation doesn’t have much experience with, or willingness to try, techniques such as accupuncture, or hydrotherapy, or herbal medicine to treat their ailments. But I think that’s because they’re not well educated on the success of these options. If you’ve grown up your whole life experiencing that conventional drugs work, and that it’s just what you do when you’re sick, I could see how doubts can arise over alternative methods. Unfortunately drug is to current norm, as accupuncture is to last resort. Just my impression though, like I said I was losing confidence due to the doubts of others in my choice of career.
        Anyway, another important factor that I’ve had to explore with my father is the fact that naturopathic doctors, although regulated, are not covered by OHIP. As I’m picking your brain, if the evidence is so substantial that naturopathic medicine is highly beneficial, why don’t you think naturopathic doctors’ visits are offered under our health care system? You would think this would be a no brainer! Why wouldn’t they alleviate the increasing pressure on the health care system by allocating funds to treatment options that are far less costly, less invasive, have fewer side effects and long term disadvantages…it just seems like they’ve been ignoring the beaming light bulbs! Do you think that NDs will one day be covered under OHIP??

  3. Wow! Great blog – seriously, just fantastic! The schooling that you’re getting is SO important – definitely not something I would have the discipline to go through, but important to me (and humankind in general) nonetheless. Not sure what your plans are after school, but can I put in a vote for you to start a practice in Kingston or Ottawa (I’m right over the TI Bridge in NY state)?

    I’m adding you to my blogroll. So pumped that I found ya!

    1. Thanks so much! I love love love getting comments such as yours. It’s so encouraging a year into this big, wide adventure known as blogging! I loved your blog too and will def check out some more articles! Hmmm… Kingston is where I went to school for my undergrad and my bf has been bugging me to move to Ottawa, which he visited this past Christmas… we’ll have to see! Thanks again for the lovely comment!!!

  4. Hi! I nominated Art and Practice for a Liebster blog award. I know you technically have more followers than the “rules” call for, but I wanted to spread the blog-love nonetheless! Check out my blog for more details.

  5. Hi! I’m on the naturopatic path too, 2Β°year , I have a dream: to cure each other without medicine!
    Kisses from Rome, Italy! πŸ™‚ follow me terapiadelbenessere.myblog.it

  6. Private school of Naturopatia del Nuovo Pensiero, In Italy is not like in U.s.A., to be an holistic coach is a private practice.. πŸ™‚ but I’m also study at the public Univrrsity of Rome – master – to became an effective Wellness Coach, the Master is in ” Wellness Therapy, Anti-stress Method and Natural Healing” !

  7. Hi Talia!
    I just came across your blog via “6 Tips for Clear Skin” on http://www.myyogaonline.com. Awesome article and I’m really enjoying your blog! I’ve recently started using Naturopathy to help me with my variuos food allergies and I’m amazed at how great I feel everyday! It’s wonderful to see beautiful people devoting their lives to Naturopathic Medicine and passing it on, not just to us in Canada but all over the world!

    I look forward to following you on your journey!!

    1. Thanks, Liz, for visiting my blog! I’m so happy to hear that another person has been helped by natural medicine. I truly do believe that the medicine of the future will embody everything we learn as naturopathic doctors. I look forward to more of your comments!

  8. Hello Talia!

    I just stumbled upon your blog as I plan to pursue naturopathic medicine after I obtain my undergraduate degree later this year. You are an excellent, very inspirational writer and I am thankful for all of your creativity and hard work putting together this expression of your experiences throughout your journey.

    Best,
    Sam

    1. Thanks for the praise, Sam! I hope this blog continues to inspire you as you begin your journey to becoming a naturopathic doctor! Congratulations on starting that journey, great things are in store for you!

  9. I am a new follower of your blog. I currently have completed my first year of naturoopathic medical school in Bridgeport! I love naturopathic medicine and do not regret my decision. I love your post, they are very encouraging and enlightening. I look forward to reading on! πŸ™‚

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