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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Bastyr University California Offers Team Approach to Wellness

Aug 14, 2014 11:04AM ● By Erin Lehn Floresca

What if every time you went to the doctor you saw not only one doctor, but three?  Three passionate, dedicated people working with you to help you achieve your wellness goals. That’s exactly what happens at the teaching clinic at Bastyr University California in San Diego. With an integrative approach to wellness, Bastyr is helping to pave the way for a better holistic treatment model of the future.  Whether you’re going for your annual checkup, or dealing with a nagging health condition, Bastyr University Clinic embraces the team approach for each patient. “We offer a new choice to the conventional treatment model,” explains Director of Marketing and Media for Bastyr University, Martha Lynn. “Each of our patients is a unique individual with different needs. And with our team care model, we’re better able to help them achieve their best health.”

While holistic medicine has come a long way, many people still don’t realize that a naturopathic doctor (ND) is able to do what a medical doctor can do. And then some, because NDs have the added bonus of naturopathic medicine on top of Western medicine. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Lynn. “Think of NDs as detectives who want to get to the bottom of their patient’s health mysteries to resolve symptoms from the root. They dig a little deeper to find out why a certain health issue is happening.”

Lynn says it’s an exciting time for the Bastyr University California campus. Not only is student enrollment up, but advanced students are now able to take a role in Bastyr patients’ healthcare. “The campus is evolving. Many of the students are now in their third year of a four year, accredited medical training and are actively involved in patient care,” says Lynn. Having the students work in the clinic is beneficial from so many angles. First of all, they get to see as many patients as possible before heading out on their own. “We want our NDs in training to be prepared for the world once they are out of school, and this is one way to do it,” she explains.

Bastyr UniversityIn addition, having a larger team in the clinic helps the local community. “We’re able to deliver quality care in a unique treatment model that they can’t get elsewhere,” says Lynn. “We want to help as many people in San Diego as possible so we offer affordable rates. We even have special rates for students, military personnel and seniors.”

Lynn is consistently impressed with the student body. “Bastyr attracts energized, passionate people who want to change the world,” she says. Associate Dean of Naturopathic Medicine, Joni Olehausen, ND, couldn’t agree more. “Passion is the most consistent trait I find in our students,” she says. “Our campus attracts passionate, intelligent students that are interested in medicine and have a pioneering spirt. Our students have a strong drive to heal the world in a way that aligns with their personal philosophy.”  Bastyr students, says Olehausen, are ideal role models for practicing what they preach.

According to Olehausen, the beauty of naturopathic care is blending evidence-based medicine with traditional healing arts. The students in the teaching clinic get a chance to see this in practice on a daily basis. “A typical student’s day at Bastyr University Clinic involves a half hour preview,  three hours of patient care followed by a half hour group session where the whole team comes back together to discuss case presentations,” shares Olehausen. “The attending physician and all the students get an opportunity to participate in each case and chime in with their unique perspective on the case.”

Elijah McCarthy and Jahaz Shine-Marcello, third-year naturopathic medical students.
Elijah McCarthy and Jahaz Shine-Marcello, third-year naturopathic medical students.
Olehausen shares that in the teaching clinic, students learn the art of balancing science with patient care and safety. “Patients have the benefit of four to six brilliant minds working on their case,” says Olehausen. “Ultimately, the patient gets to decide what treatment works best for them while students get real life opportunities to help patients achieve their health goals.”

Bastyr University Clinic is also instrumental in the most important aspect—preparing each student for life as a naturopathic doctor once they graduate. “Once our students graduate, we know they are ready to go out into the global community and make a difference,” says Olehausen. “Not all of our students end up in private practice. Some become public speakers and write books, other focus solely on teaching others about healthy eating. It’s up to each student to decide how they want to make a living and they can really be as creative as they want with this ND degree.”

Location: 4106 Sorrento Valley Blvd., San Diego. For more information on programs of study, or how to become a patient at the teaching clinic, call 858-246-9700 or visit