Leadership Blog Series – Finding Inspiration at the AANP/NMSA Conference

Finding Inspiration at the AANP/NMSA Conference


Our August blog post was written by Valerie Kremer, 3rd year, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, NMSA president-elect. She reflects on what it means to attend our Annual conference and connect with our greater community and purpose in Naturopathic Medicine.


Over 450 licensed naturopathic doctors and naturopathic medical students came together at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA) conference in San Diego, California last month for a moving and life-changing event that left me and many others feeling inspired and hopeful.


After being surrounded by leaders in my profession, students who are leading the way, and incredible companies who support naturopathic medicine and help patients thrive, my flame is lit and my torch is burning bright.


I met other naturopathic medical professionals — many whom I have resonated with on social media — who are not only resilient and KILLING IT in their practices, but are lifting others up and showing them HOW to succeed. This is what makes our profession strong. THIS is what makes us unstoppable. We can come together, acknowledge our individual gifts, find out  where each of us want to go, what we need on that journey, and help each other get there.


As Dr. Karen Frangos, PT, ND, AANP board member, said during the Future of Naturopathic Medicine Summit, we need to “let go of my ego” and focus on being of service not only to [our] patients, but to our profession as a whole. In addition, Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN, added that we need to “be curious before critical.” There are so many different paths naturopathic doctors can take and so many ways to practice. Before being critical of the way someone practices or views the body, find out more about them and their story in naturopathic medicine. You may even discover a path and way of practicing you never even thought of!


I highly recommend attending the AANP/NMSA conference and being open to the experience of whom you will meet and what opportunities will present themselves. At any moment, you could walk down the hallway and strike up a conversation with your hero and future mentor in naturopathic medicine or meet students at other naturopathic medical schools who ignite a spark of curiosity in a field you are interested in. This is an opportunity you must not miss.


Also, at the AANP/NMSA conference, you can learn about the hottest topics and research in naturopathic medicine and hear clinical applications of current research in the field. In addition, many companies that support naturopathic medicine are present and are excited about showing you the research behind their products or how they can help support you in your future practice.


During the conference, I had the opportunity to thank NCMIC in person for their funding of my NMSA Public Policy Fellowship and allowing me to not only attend the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health — a life-changing experience — but also provide legislative support to students at my school. This interaction and token of gratitude meant a lot to me as well as the NCMIC representatives who were able to hear first-hand how their donation had a profound impact on the future of my professional development.


Yes, there is always studying to do, boards to pass, and precepting hours to lock in, but what better way to spend your time than to represent your school and get involved in the future of your profession! Hey, you may even be presented with a precepting opportunity in an area or field of medicine that you were not even thinking about!


If you haven’t been to the AANP/NMSA conference, I highly recommend it. After all, YOU are the future of naturopathic medicine. How will you shape the world and your profession? See you at the next AANP/NMSA conference!


Valerie Kremer


Valerie Kremer is entering her third year at at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she is the co-academic representative for her class, a position she has held since her first year at CCNM. Passionate about being a change agent in her profession, she is the NMSA CCNM Communication and Marketing Coordinator and 2018 NMSA Public Policy Fellow.

Prior to attending CCNM, Valerie was the director of outreach and public affairs specialist for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, where she created 250+ healthcare events across the U.S. Hailing from Buffalo, NY, Valerie received her B.A. in public communications and international relations from American University, Washington, D.C., and completed media training at Defense Information School, Ft. Meade, MD. She is currently the social media consultant for the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges.

Valerie is looking forward to her new role as international president-elect, where she can share her experience and love of naturopathic medicine with current and future leaders of the profession, while bringing professional and personal development opportunities to students.

Although keenly dedicated to her studies and professional life, Valerie can be found hiking through the woods with her fiancé and dog, soaring through the air at aerial dance, cooking gourmet meals, and/or travelling the globe in search of the next adventure.


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