Leadership Blog Series – October and the Quest for the Golden Avocado

Naturopathic Medicine Week Challenge 2016: Quest for the Golden Avocado!

In October we had a special week dedicated to promotion and celebration of naturopathic medicine. The NMSA held a competition among the 8 accredited naturopathic schools to see who could spread the word the most. The prize: a golden avocado trophy, some cash, and joining with our communities to speak about what we do.

Here at Bastyr University in Washington, it was only the second week of school so the flurry of figuring out schedules and settling into new classes was still pervasive. First year students had just met their cadaver-their ‘first patient’, many new faces, and perhaps some new ideas too. Second year students were practicing new phlebotomy skills, ACT counseling ideas and charting. Third year students were heading into new clinical shifts, honing botanical medicine formulas, and fourth year students…I’m not sure because I’m not there yet, but I’m guessing lots of charting while residencies and post-school plans loom larger. Our NMSA chapter team had met for one meeting – I gave them the Naturopathic Medicine Week Challenge list of activities we could do. Then I mentioned there was a prize of a golden avocado trophy. From then, the fun was on!

Indeed, it was a fun week. We set up tables with student information, encouraged students to practice the naturopathic oath and hashtag with pictures and thoughts about what we’re learning and hope to do in the future. And yes, there was even an interpretive dance! As the week went on, and the points rolled in, we heard great things coming from the other schools too: workshops, t-shirts, even a TV spot.

We ended up winning our greatly desire prize, thanks to the help of our NMSA team, students from multiple programs at Bastyr, even some faculty hashtagged to help, but at the end of it all we built community and awareness, along with each school who participated, and that is the real goal that we all achieved

We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Golden Avocado trophy, and plan to have a school-wide guacamole party to celebrate!

-Audrey Lowry, Chapter President (Bastyr-WA)


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