So a guy walk into an emergency room...
The U.S. has roughly the same number of licensed Naturopathic physicians as it does comedians. I was surprised to learn this, since I know so many NDs (comes with the territory) but no comedians. I would guess that your average stand-up comedian would say the opposite.
The most current statistic on numbers in our profession comes from an article written several years ago, which was seeking to quantify and describe the typical professional duties of an ND. In the U.S. there are about 1300 in the field, in Canada, there are only 500. I don't know what comparison I can draw for a profession of only 500, maybe rodeo clowns?
In other words, the field is relatively small. And with hundreds of students graduating this spring from the seven accredited schools in U.S. and Canada, I expect the field to grow exponentially in the coming decades. Already, there have been leaps and bounds in the last few years that I've kept tabs on our profession- one after another, states have been initiating licensure or expanding the scope of Naturopathic physicians.
What does the future hold for new and established NDs? And what for their current and future patients? And how about for the role of Naturopathy in integrative medicine, or just medicine as a whole? Some of the current developments are increasing residency positions and increasing integration of Naturopathy into federal and state health insurance programs. This can be seen in the recent changes to add NDs to provider lists in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Oregon Health Plan's newly formed Coordinated Care Organization.
We have a lot to offer all of the above groups, and this will continue all the more so in the years and decades to come.
A few Oregon voters celebrating the recent Senate vote?
Yesterday morning the Oregon state Senate passed SB 1580, keeping the non-discriminatory language intact. That's good news for those Oregonians currently or soon to be on OHP, Oregon's state insurance.
Thank you to those who wrote our lawmakers, requesting this language to remain in the bill. Our words of support and encouragement made quite an impact as they received 500 responses in the last five days.
Next up, the bill goes to the Oregon House of Representatives for a vote in just a few days. Stay tuned as this story develops. Coordinated Care Organizations will soon be coming to Oregon, and Naturopathic Physicans will now be in the ranks of providing physicans.
What was your favorite school lunch item?
I'll admit mine was the chocolate milk; less than healthy choices such as mine may soon be a thing of the past.
School lunches are in the cross-hairs of the current legislative activity aimed at improving children's nutrition. Last year, Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act, showing how concerning our children's lunchtime food choices are (even the presidents getting involved here!).
Today's Washington Post featured an article titled, "School lunch debates heat up," where author Jennifer LaRue Huget asks:
"...whose responsibility it is to decide what to feed America’s schoolchildren, who should determine what’s healthful and what’s not, and what role [do] parents play in that decision-making process. We also have to consider whether serving nutritionally sound meals at school is itself part of the curriculum; teaching kids what foods are best for their bodies by offering such foods at lunchtime."
Don't let me eat it if you're scared to look at the ingredients.
So whose responsibility is it that kids eat healthy lunches?
Shouldn't it be everyone's?
If healthy meal choices are made at home, then children will (by extension) bring healthy lunches to school. And for those who are provided meals at school (for parental convenience and/or reduced-price), then shouldn't this be where the schools step in with healthy choices?
If childhood (and adult) epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes are to be reversed, we need to take what kids eat seriously.
When nutrition becomes a value that we as a society act upon, only then will children benefit and chronic disease stats decline. Until that time, Lunchables will continue to be the top lunchtime trading commodity, and our following generations will grow evermore unhealthy and overweight.
I love to hear all of your comments, questions, and suggestions for upcoming articles. Feel free to contact me any time!
Thanks for reading!