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KeysforBecomingaSuccessfulPhysician
NaturopathicGathering,NCNMNovember7,2009
byAndrSaine,N.D.

IfIt'sWorthDoing,It'sWorthDoingWell

WhenIwasinvitedtothisGathering,Ihadarecentgraduatefromanaturopathiccollegeworkingasanassistantinmyoffice.Iaskedherwhat
she thought would be a worthwhile subject to present before the naturopathic students. She spontaneously said, "How to become a successful
physician."Shetoldmethatathernaturopathiccollegeshejoinedastudentclubwhoseaimitwastoseekclarityfromtheconfusioninherentin
thetrainingtheywerereceiving.Iaskedifbeingpartoftheclubhelped.Sheemphaticallyanswered,"No,infactwebecamemoreconfusedas
the years went by. By the fourth year, it was total chaos!" This explains the subject of this presentation, "Keys to Becoming a Successful
Physician."

Thislectureisbasedontworeasonableassumptions.First,fundamentaltoallenterprisesorseriousendeavorsisthedesiretoattainasuccessful
end.

Second,Iamassumingthatallwhoarepresentinthisroomatthismomentsharethesamegoal,namely,ofbecomingsuccessfulphysicians.

Butbewarethattheword"success"isveryrelative.Withrareexceptions,physicians,regardlessoftheireraortypeofpractice,willsaythatthey
aresuccessful.Itwouldbehardtofindmanyallopathicphysiciansthroughouttimewhodidn'tclaimsuccess.Thisisdespitethefactthat,notonly
havetheynotdonewhattheyshouldhavebeenideallydoingforpreventionandmakingsickpeoplewell,buthavelikelydoneharm.

Let'sthrowaquickglimpseatiatrogenicdiseasesasarealitycheck:InastudypublishedintheNewEnglandJournalofMedicine in 1981, Steel


andhisteamfoundthat36percentof815consecutivepatientsadmittedonageneralmedicalserviceofauniversityhospitalinBostondeveloped
aniatrogenicillness.Thirtysixpercentofthepatientsexperiencedoneormoreiatrogenicillnessesrequiringmedicalintervention.In9percentof
the patients, the incident was considered major in that it threatened life or produced considerable disability. In 2 percent or 15 patients, the
iatrogenicillnesswasfoundtobefatal.Theyalsopointedoutalackofprogresssinceasimilarpaperhadsignaledthesameredflagofflagrant
iatrogenicityfifteenyearsearlierin1966.

In 2004, Steel's paper was reprinted in its entirety as being a classic in the history of medicine. The sad comment added to the reprint of this
paperwasthatnothinghadpracticallychangedsincetheoriginalredflaghadbeensignaled38yearsbeforein1966,andclearlyandinescapably
resignaledin1981.

This means that people in general, and physicians in particular, tend to be unbelievably complacent. Complacency is the feeling you have when
you are satisfied with your surrounding world or yourself, especially when it is accompanied by unawareness of deficiencies, inadequacies or
actualdangers.Rarearethephysicianswhoarenotcomplacent,despitenotdeliveringtheexpectedgoodsandperhapshavinginfactevendone
harm. Beware of this state of complacency or blind arrogance, as they are one of physicians' greatest nemeses. When you find yourself being
complacent,noticeitanditseffects,andlearntocomeoutofit.ThemoreyoudothisoldPythagoreanexercisethemoresuccessfulyouwillbe
abletosteeryourselfintherightdirection.

Butwhataretheseexpectedgoods?Seeitsimplyfromthepatients'perspectivewhentheyconsultaphysician.Theyexpectthebest,don'tthey?
Don'tweall?Whenourlittlechilddevelopspneumonia,alifethreateningacutedisease,orpolymyositis,alifecripplingchronicdisease,don'twe
allhopeforandexpectthebestofalloutcomes?Butwhatisthisbestoutcome?

Hasiteverbeendefined?

Indeed, it has previously been defined by Hahnemann as the highest ideal of therapy, which is the rapid, gentle, pleasant, complete and
permanentrestorationofhealthinthesurest,simplestandleastharmfulway.

Wow!Thisisaloadedsentence,isn'tit?Itsignifiesthatthemeansusedbyphysiciansshouldnotonlybeextremelyefficaciousbutcertain.

Inthecontextofwholismandgentleness,shouldn'tcertaintyinmedicinebeourultimategoal?

However,asidefromthetherapeuticideal,thereisanotheraspecttothephysicianobjective,whichisasimportant.Indeed,firstandforemost,we
needtoeducateandguidepeopletoadoptenvironmentsandwaysoflivingthatareconducivetogoodhealth.

The entire curriculum of medical education should be directed by this twofaceted objective: prevention and the therapeutic ideal. There is no
doubtthatsuccessinmedicinecanbedefinedbyhavingattainedthisobjective.Studentsseekingthisobjectiveareontheirwaytobecomingtrue
physicians.Thetruephysicianistheonewhohasreachedmasteryintheartofmedicine,namely,inpreventionandinthetherapeuticideal.

Beware though that medical education is an ongoing process that doesn't stop the moment you graduate from medical school. You never stop
becoming a physician, as you can never stop seeking and eliminating the causes of diseases, as well as enhancing the conditions of life. You
should expect excellence from the medical school you have chosen to study in, but don't depend solely on it to become a successful physician.
Thebestmedicaleducationyouwillobtainwillbetheonethatyouwillcompletethroughyourowninquiries.

To become a successful physician you don't have a choice but to empower yourself as the captain of your own journey. Hear Whitman's
exclamation:

OCaptain!MyCaptain!Riseupandhearthebells.
Theprizewesoughtiswon.Thepeopleareallexulting!

Berealisticaboutwhatyourmedicalschoolcandoforyouand,atthesametime,beproactiveonhowyoucanparticipateinyourownmedical
educationtoattainexcellence.

Seek what you feel is important, don't wait to be spoonfed. While in school, challenge your deans, teachers, preceptors and clinic supervisors
anytimethetrainingprovidedstraysawayfromourfundamentalprinciples.Aftergraduation,youwillnowbeincompletechargeandassumefull

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captainshipofyourprofessionaleducationanddestiny.

Remembertoneverstopbecomingatruephysician!

Reflect a moment on the enormous difference you can make by seeking excellence in medicine, as compared to just becoming an ordinary
physician.Challengeyourselfandlearntosurpriseyourselfinpursuitofyournoblegoal.

JeanCocteau,whowasafamousFrenchpoetandplaywright,oftenmentionedthatthetrueexplorationofartisticcreativitybeganforhimwhen
heencounteredDiaghilev,thedirectoroftheRussianballets,andexpressedtohimadesiretocreateballets.Diaghilev challenged Cocteau with
twoveryfamouswords,"Surprise me!" It is totally astonishing to realize that only two words could have such an influence on a person and be
responsibleforbringingtheverybestoutofCocteaufortherestofhislife.

AndhereIsaytoyou:Surpriseyourselfinyourjourneytoseektruthandexcellenceinmedicineandlearntobringthebestoutofyou!

The choice is yours: On the one hand, you can become ordinary and complacent physicians who think they know when they don't and become
engulfedinthesinkholeofordinarymedicine.Ontheotherhand,youcanseekexcellenceinmedicineandneverremainsatisfiedwithyourself
untilyouhavereachedmasteryintheartofmedicine.

Reflect on whether there are any subjects more vital to humanity than the ones related to health, disease, healing, and the quality and
prolongationoflife.

TakeamomenttoreflectontheimportanceofbeingaphysicianandwhatHahnemannsaidtohisFrenchcolleaguessoonafterhavingmovedto
Paris,"Inanartwhoseaimisthesavingoflife,negligenceinlearningisacrime."

InPlato'sApology,Socratessaid,"Theunexaminedlifeisnotworthliving."Asphysicians,itwouldbeworthytoexaminehoweveryoneofour
doctorpatient interactions measures in relation to our twofaceted objective, namely, prevention and the therapeutic ideal. This continual
examination,andreadjustmentwhenstrayingawayfromourobjective,isoneofthebesttoolswehavetobecomereallysuccessfulphysicians.

Reflect on how profound your actions can have on people's lives. Being here in Oregon and looking westward through the large window at the
backofthisroom,IeasilyrecalltheladywhoIexaminedmorethan25yearsagoattheNCNMClinic.Whileconductingagynecologicalexam,I
noticedthatshehadtwolargebruisesontheupperpartsofherinnerthighs.Strange,Ithought.Iletherdress,camebackintheroomandtold
herthatshehadnottoldmethewholestory.SheknewIhadseenthebruisesandbrokedownsobbing.Shetoldmethatherhusbandwasan
alcoholic.HewasworkingnearTillamookontheOregoncoast,loadingtruckswithoil.Hewouldcomebackhomefromworkaround4:30inthe
afternoonandwouldbegindrinkinghis6ormorebeerseveryevening.Ontheweekends,hewoulddrink12ormorebeersaday.Theyhadthree
boysabout10,12and14yearsold.Daily,hewouldbeatthehelloutofhisboysandwife.ItoldherthatIcouldperhapshelpherhusbandand
therestofthefamilyifshecoulddescribeherhusbandtome.Aftershedidthis,Igaveheraremedytoputinhisfoodanddrinks.Shecame
backabout6weekslater.WhenIgreetedherintheclinicwaitingroomshewasaccompaniedbyherinlaws.Theyhaddriventwohourstothank
meforhavinggiventhembacktheirson.Pleasedbutpuzzled,Iledmypatienttotheconsultingroomwhereshetoldmethatherhusbandslowly
stoppeddrinkingonhisown.Henowgoesmanydayswithoutdrinkingandifhedrinkshelimitshimselftoonebeer.

Duringthesesixweeks,hetowedawaytothescrapyardthreeoldcarsthathadbeenrottingaroundthehouseforyears.Hepaintedthehouse
forthefirsttimeinmanyyears.TheylivedontheTraskRiverandhebroughthisthreeboyssteelheadfishingforthefirsttimeintheirlives.The
bestofallwasthathehadtotallystoppedbeingviolentandhadrejoinedhiscommunityatchurch.

Whateffectdidthissingleinteractionhaveonthedestinyofthesethreeboys?Whatpermanenteffectsdidtheturnaroundofthisman'slifehave
notonlyonhisfamily,butalsoontheentirecommunity?

Reflectonthegreatpotentialphysicianshavetodirectlyorindirectlyhelppeoplelivebetter,happier,healthier,longerandmorecreative,loving
andproductivelives.

RememberGeorgeBaileyinIt'saWonderfulLifewhenhesaid,"IwishIhadneverbeenborn."Hegoesbacktohishometownandseestheworld
withoutthegoodhehaddonesincehischildhood.Justimaginefollowingthelifelongtrailofatruephysicianandseeallthegoodthathasbeen
sowedalonghisorherpath.Incidentally,Ican'thelpbeingremindedofDr.BastyrwheneverIseeClarence,theangelinthismovie.Now,just
imagineallthegoodDr.Bastyrhasdirectlyorindirectlydonethroughouthislife.JustthefactthatwearehereatNCNM,aninstitutionDr.Bastyr
wassoproudofandthatsinglyheldtheflameforanentiregenerationofyoungphysicians,isavividtestamenttotheincrediblyvastextentof
hisgoodactions.

Havingchosentobecomeaphysiciandoesn'tmeanyouwillbesuccessfulinyourquestorthatitwillbeeasy.Beingspoonfedwillnotsufficeto
attain excellence. Sir James Paget traced the course in life of 1,000 medical students taken at random from an English institution in the second
half of the nineteenthcentury. He found out that within 5 years, only 9 percent had attained considerable or distinguished success, 60 percent
were able to make a living and another 30 percent did poorly, failed or never practiced. At the same time, William Pepper, one of the most
prominentAmericanallopaths,said,"Thereisnootherbusinessthanmedicineinwhichsosmallaproportionofthoseengagedearnaliving."This
wasbeforemedicinebecameatradeunionanditssubsequentmonopolizingpolitics.Iamnotsurethatthetrackrecordofthegraduatesfromour
naturopathic colleges would be much more brilliant. Such a high failure rate and so many broken dreams is astonishingly sad for suffering
humanity,awaitinginvainfortheirdearandgloriousphysicians.Bewarethatthestandardofsuccessweareaimingforbypursuingprevention
and the therapeutic ideal is very far reaching as compared to the financial and academic success certainly referred to by these two prominent
allopaths.

Ifthewilltobecomeasuccessfulphysicianisthefirstprerequisite,thesecondoneistoacquiretheneededknowledge.

Inordertoaccomplishtheirmission,physiciansneedtobecomeknowledgeableofthreeveryparticularsubjects,namely,self,humannatureand
Nature.

Thelevelofknowledgeyouwillacquireaboutthesethreesubjectswilldeterminehowyouwillpracticemedicineandwillgreatlydetermineyour
level of success. If you want to know what type of physician you will be, look at how you are living now. If you are not happy with the scene,
changeit,asyouwillliveasyoupracticemedicine,andpracticemedicineasyoulive.Learntotackleeachdifficultyoflifeasitcomesinorderto
moveclosertoyournobleobjective.

Self

Let'sstartwithself,whichisthemostneglectedbutalsothemostdeterminantofthesethreesubjects.Thegreatestlimitationtoattainexcellence
inmedicineisthephysician'slackofselfknowledge.Thelessyouknowaboutyourselfthemoreyouwilltripoveryourselfandcommitmistakes
thatwillimpedeanyprogressforward.

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Asyouarebecomingthecaptainofyourownjourney,itwouldbehelpfultoknowwhoisthecaptainhandlingthewheelandcompass,orinother
words,toknowaboutyourstrengthsandweaknesses,disposition,temperament,moods,ethics,sensitivities,reactions,instincts,judgment,etc.
Acknowledgedweaknessescanbecomestrengths,whileignoredonesbecomenemeses.

No exploration is richer and more rewarding than learning about oneself, as suggested by the old Greek aphorism, "Gnothi seauton," know
yourself(andtheuniversewillopentoyou).(1)

Selfisactuallyamicrocosmwithinthemacrocosmoftheuniverse.Theword"microcosm"meansalittlecosmosoruniverse.Theword"cosmos"
comes from the Greek "kosmos" which means "order" or "good order." Pythagoras is said to have been the first to apply this word for the
universe.Selfisactuallyalittleuniverse,asifthewholewascontainedineachofus.

Searchingforoneselfisinfactadeeplyspiritualandtransformativequest,whichIseeasessentialtoachievesuccessinmedicine.

Oneofthefirstresultsofselfknowledgeislearningwhethermedicineisyourrealvocationandwhetheryouarefitforthepracticeofmedicine.

Incidentally,fortheoneswhoarenotsureaboutwhetherbecomingaphysicianisrightforyou,IwouldinviteyoutoreadTaylorCaldwell'sDear
andGloriousPhysician. In this historical novel, Caldwell tells the story of Lucanus, one the greatest physicians of Ancient Greece, who travelled
throughoutthelandseekinganswersinhisquesttobecomeaphysician.EventhoughLucanusisCaldwell'sdearandgloriousphysician,heisbest
rememberedbytherestoftheworld,notasaphysician,butasthewriteroftheGospelofLuke.

It is meaningful to know the origin of the word "physician." It comes from the Greek word "physis" which means "Nature," which in turn comes
from "phyo," which mean "origin" or "birth." The word "nature" comes from the Latin "natus," meaning "born" or "what is innate." The very
essenceofbeingaphysicianistoinvestigateNature,orwhatisinnate.ItisinterestingtonotethatHippocratescommonlyreferredtophysis, as
thatwhatheals.

Originally,aphysicianandanaturalphilosopherweresynonymous.Today,theword"physician"hasbeenlimitedtomedicineandsignifiestheone
whoseekstounderstandthefundamentalprinciplesofNatureinordertofavorhealthandhealing.Nonethelessagoodphilosopherwouldmakea
goodphysicianandverseversa.

Theword"principle"comesfromtheLatin"principium,"whichmeans"beginning"or"fundamentaltruth."Seekingthetruthisgreatlythesearch
forthesefundamentalandimmutableprinciples.

Thebetteryouqualifyforthejobofbecomingaphysicianthebetterwillbeyourchancesofsuccess.Also,themoreyoucanimproveyourself
alongthewaythebetterwillbecomeyourqualificationsandthegreaterwillbeyourchanceofsuccessinthemostbeneficialofallarts:helping
peopletolivebetterandlongerlives.

What are the more important predispositions necessary for the practice of medicine? I would suggest the following qualities and dispositions, of
which I would encourage their cultivation: benevolence, intelligence, sound health, balanced personality, curiosity, humility, patience, alertness,
objectivity, resourcefulness, being a good communicator, equanimity, resilience, optimism, intuition, sound judgment, courage, selfconfidence,
honestyandwisdom.

Benevolenceisthedispositiontobekindandgoodtoothers.InBuddhism,itiscalledmaitri,whichisoneofthefourelementsoftrueloveandis
translatedaslovingkindness.

Benevolenceisoneoftwobasicingredientstobecomingatruephysician,knowledgebeingtheother.Benevolenceorloveistheinspirationwhile
knowledge is the guide. With the love to help your fellow human beings you will be eager to learn and acquire the necessary knowledge to
becomeatruephysician.However,benevolence,withoutthatknowledgeorabilitytodogood,mayactuallymakeotherssuffer.Toa24yearold
enquiringmedicalstudent,Hahnemannwrote,"Iprayyoutocontinuetobearight,genuine,goodman,asitisimpossiblewithoutvirtuetobea
truephysician,agodlikehelperofhisfellowcreaturesintheirdistress."ItseemedthatHahnemann'sprayerwasgreatlyfulfilled,astheyoung
studentwasConstantineHering.

Sound health and balanced personality: if you have health or personality problems make a priority to improve yourself. Physician, seek to
becomemorewholealongyourjourney,inordernottodisperseyourownchaosalongyourway.

Curiosity:thedesiretoknow,toseekthecausesdiseasesandtheappropriatelycorrespondingremedialinterventionsandanswerstoyourother
questionsastheycomealong.Don'taccumulateconfusion.Alwaysbeinastateofclearnessandunderstanding,ofknowingwhereyouareand
whereyouaregoing.Don'tletcurrentsandfashionsdirectyourway,asyouwill,morelikelythannot,bethrownagainstthereefandneverreach
thedestinationofyourdreams.

Humility:theword"humility"comesfromtheLatin"humus,"meaning"earth"or"soil."Itmeanstobowtothegroundregardingthestateofyour
knowledge. Humility is the opposite of arrogance. To know you don't know is the beginning of knowledge. The more you know, the more you
realize that you don't know and that constant inquiry is the way to knowledge. On the other hand, arrogance, complacency and ignorance will
preventyoufromprogressingforwardinyourquest.Thesearerealplaguesforphysiciansandwillkillanyadmirabledreamsyoumayhavehad
atthebeginningofyourmedicalstudies.Pleasebewareofthesetraps.

Patience,alertnessandobjectivity:learnthenecessarypatiencetobecomingagoodobserver.Agoodobserverisalert,objectiveandthorough.
It means that of what is perceptible, nothing escapes the senses, but at the same time, nothing is added that is not present. Beware that by
naturewearenotobjectiveandwehavetotrainourselvestobecomeobjective.Surpriseyourselfwhenyounoticeyouarenotbeingobjective.
Themoreyoudothissimplebutpowerfulexercise,thebetterobserveryouwillbecome.

Learnalsotolistenanddevelopyoursenseoftouch.IrememberthatmanypatientscameregularlytoseeDr.Bastyrjusttobetouchedbyhim.
Bastyrwasclearlytheirdearandgloriousphysician,andbeingtouchedbyhimmeantmuchtothem.

Equanimity: cultivate that coolness and calmness that is so sweet and helpful when you or your patients are amid stress, difficulties and
suffering.

Resilience:learntobouncebackafterhavingexperiencedlife'sdifficulties.Wedon'tchooseourdifficultiesinlifebutwecanchoosehowtodeal
withthem.Learntoputthingsinperspective.

Sometime,Itactfullyaskpatientswhofeeldistraughtbysomemundanecircumstancesthefollowingthreequestions:

First, whether they know how many stars or solar systems there are in the universe. I help them with the answers. There are 200,000 billion
billionsstars(thereareabout500billiongalaxiesandeachhasanaverageofabout400billionstars).

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How much is 200,000 billion billions? To give you an idea, it is the equivalent of all the grains of sand on all the beaches of our planet times a
thousand(assumingthatthereareabout400,000kmofcoastlineandthattheaveragebeachis12.5mdeepby50mwide).

The next question I ask is, where do their problems with so and so, or about this and that, fit into our universe? Understanding through
perspectiveisthefoundationofwisdom.Themountainisalwayslessoverwhelmingwhenitislookedatfromadistance.

Fromvaluableknowledgeandexperiencecomereliableintuition,soundjudgment,courageandselfconfidence.

Wisdom: being a physician can be very fulfilling to the mind with the never ceasing search for answers it should also be very fulfilling to the
heartandsoulwiththeconstantprovisionofbeneficence.Itwillalsomakeyouwiserandmorehonest.ByfollowingNatureandseekingtoapply
its laws on a daily basis it will transform you, as you can never fool Nature. Hippocrates rightly mentioned that physicians who dissociate
themselves from speculative medicine could develop an understanding of Nature that is real and certain, and that is more accurate and useful
thanitcanbeforanyoftheothernaturalphilosophers.

Assumingthatyoufulfillthenecessaryprofile,thenextrequirementistolearnabouthumannature.

Humannature

Physiciansneedtolearnabouthumannature,fromgenestothepsyche,andinhealthanddisease.

Topreparefortheselongstudies,agoodfoundationinliberalartsandsciencesisveryuseful.

Thestudyofotherlanguagesopensuptheaccessnotonlytootherwiseinaccessiblelibrariesbutalsotootherculturesandperspectives.

Artsareimportantfortherefinementofthesenses,developingcreativityandarousingthesenseofbeautyandofthewhole.Forinstance,theart
ofdrawingisanexcellentexercisetodevelopthesenseofperception.Musicandpoetryareexquisitenourishmentfortheheartandsoul.

The study of pure sciences, such as mathematics and physics, helps to develop judgment so important in medicine. Oddly enough, the words
utteredbyHippocrates2,500yearsagoarestillpertinenttodayinmedicine,"Lifeisshort,theartlongandjudgmentwillalwaysremainsdifficult."

Thestudyofnaturalsciences(biology,botany,chemistryandbiochemistry)willpreparethegroundforlearningmedicalsciences.

The study of history, psychology, sociology, ethology and religions will prepare for further understanding of the inner and invisible aspects of
humannature.

Perhaps the most important of all subjects to study all along is philosophy. Philosophy is essential to develop the art of sound reasoning and
judgmenttodevelopanopenandcriticalmindtodevelopasenseofhistorytodevelopethicalconducttoexpressrefinementinfeelingsand
thought,andtheartoflivingandtolearntoseekthetruth.

Takejustoneoftheseelements,"todevelopanopenmind."Thinkonhowfarhavinganopenmindcanbringyouonyourjourney.Accordingly,
LaoTsuwrote,

Withanopenmind,youwillbeopenhearted.
Beingopenhearted,youwillactroyally.
Beingroyal,youwillattainthedivine.
Beingdivine,youwillbeonewiththesource.
Beingatonewiththesourceiseternity.

StudytheGreekandRomanclassics:Pythagoras,Socrates,Hippocrates,MarcusAurelius,Cicero,Seneca,etc.,whicharesoimportantinorder
to develop clarity of reasoning and directness in thinking and feeling. Study also the Chinese classics: LaoTsu, Chuang Tsu, Confucius, etc., so
importantfordevelopingthesensesofholism,spiritualityandethics.

Besideaneducationinliberalartsandsciences,learntoliveclosetonature.Takeeveryopportunitytodelveintothenaturalworldandlearnto
becomeonewithit.

Wesaidthatphysiciansneedtoknowhumannaturefromgenestothepsyche,andinhealthanddisease.

Thisimpliesthatphysicianshavetobeastuteenoughtorecognizenotonlywhereapersonisonthecontinuumofhealthanddisease,butalsoto
understandthefactorsandinfluencesatplayinthegeneralequationofhealthanddisease.

In other words, physicians have to be able to carefully examine patients in order to precisely diagnose the causes of the problems and their
effectsontheindividualandcometoafullunderstandingnotonlyoftheproblems,butofwhoisthepersonhavingtheproblems.

Inordertothoroughlyknowthephenomenaofhealthanddisease,physiciansneedtohavenotonlytherequiredworkingknowledgeofanatomy,
physiology, pathology, etc., but also, and especially, the ones of hygiene, psychology, ethology, genetics, and microbiology. Thus permitting a
globalunderstandingofthepersoninconstantinteractionwithadynamicenvironment.

HygieneisthescienceofhealthandIcan'tputenoughemphasisonthistointerestyoutobecomenothingshortoftrueexpertsinthisdiscipline.
Optimalhealthisdependantonoptimalconditionsoflife.

Nowwecometothethirdandlastrequirementofknowledgetobecomingaphysician:toknowNature.

Nature

Physiciansneedtolearnhowtoapplythelaws,principles,forcesandinfluencesofNatureinorderthatpeopleliveingoodhealthandsickones
recovertheirhealthrapidly,gently,completely,certainlyandinadurablemanner.

Here you will seek the necessary training permitting you to master the most essential aspects of therapeutics, how to utilize the different
principles, forces and influences of Nature for health and healing. Learn the potentialities and places of the different approaches and modalities
youwillbeexposedtothroughoutyourcollegeyearsandcareer.Rememberthatyouneverstopbecomingaphysician.

It is not only a great privilege to be a physician but it becomes also a way of life. You will not only exercise the best faculties of the mind and
heartbutalsolearntobecomewiserbyworkingcloselywithNature.Naturallawscorrespondtofundamentalandimmutableprinciples.Thereare
exceptions to a rule but never to a law. Stick to the confirmed laws and principles you come to discover. Make them the foundation of your
practice.AsyoucannevercheatNature,learntoabidebyit.IfyouaretruetoNature,Naturewillbetruetoyou.

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AsyouarelearningaboutNatureandbecomingatruephysician,youcan'tavoidbeingtransformedthroughthisprocessandfindthatthepathis
actuallytheway.

I have two pieces of practical advice to help you along your path: First, you will be exposed to a lot of information that will likely become
overwhelming.Anythingimportantthatyouneedtobetterunderstand,seekclarificationandanswersnow!Don'tletconfusionaccumulate.Horace
said so well, "Dimidium facti qui coepit habet: sapere aude: incipe," which means, "To have begun is to be half done. Dare to know and begin
now!"

Second, anything you find to be important or fundamental store it somewhere and put it where it fits in the order of things. Begin now to write
your own book of principles and resources and always keep it updated throughout your career. You will progress forward faster by constantly
integrating in an orderly fashion all new knowledge. Create a comprehensive mosaic representing your own understanding of the principles of
medicine,aswellastheirimplicationsandsubprinciples.

All that I have told you so far in this lecture I have summarized in what I call the seven fundamental principles of classical medicine. I started
presenting these principles in the early 1980's when I was teaching naturopathic philosophy here at NCNM. Not a year has since passed that I
didn'tpresenttheseprinciplestonaturopathicorallopathicstudentsandphysiciansincolleges,universitiesorhospitalsettings.

BeforeIbeginpresentingtheseprinciples,Iusuallyrequesttheaudiencetoimmediatelyinterruptmewheneverthereisanymajorobjectionto
anyoneoftheseprinciples.Itisimportantthatallmustbesquaredoffbeforewecanproceedforward.Theruleisthat,throughinandthrough
outtheselectures,Igetblankaudiences.Irememberabout25yearsago,Ipresentedthissetofprinciplestoover150medicalresidentsina
larger hospital in Northwest Portland. At the end of that presentation, I invited questions, objections or comments from the apparently very
attentiveaudience,onlytoconspicuouslywitnessacompletelysilentroomlookingatme.

Wecanonlyhopethatelaborationoftheseprincipleswouldhavesomeeffectontheenormousinertiaandcomplacencyofallopathicstudentsand
physicians. Even though we may all agree with the permanent value of these principles, who will actually stand up above the crowd and really
implementtheminpractice?Hopefully,foreagernaturopathicstudentslikeyou,theseprincipleswillhavemoremeaningandaremorelikelyto
beimplemented.

Throughouttheselast26years,Ihavemetwithonlyoneobjectiontotheseprinciples.Itwasin2007whileaddressingthemedicalstudentsat
McGill University in Montreal. After I had presented the seven fundamental principles of medicine, a third year medical student became very
impatienttomakeacomment.Pointingtothesevenprinciplesprojectedonthescreen,sheexclaimed,"Theseareoldprinciplesandhavenothing
todowithmodernmedicine."Ilookedbackatthescreen,reflectedforamomentandreplied,"Ican'tagreemorewithyou,asnoneoftheseare
really taught or practiced by medicine today." At that very moment, you could have heard a fly gliding through the room, as if all became
bewilderedbeforetheimmensityofthechasm.

Infact,theseprinciplesaresooldthatyoucanfindmostofthemalmostwordforwordintheHippocraticCorpus.

TheSevenFundamentalPrinciplesofClassicalMedicine

Thefirstprincipleappliestothephysician,theactor,whilethesixothersapplytotheactualpracticeofmedicine,theacting.

1.Audesapere:Physician,daretoknow,andbecomeatruephilosopherandscientistbutaboveall,atrueartist.Constantinquiryisthewayto
knowledge.

2.Praeventum:Preventionisbetterthanacure.Therefore,thehighestmissionofthephysicianistoguidepeopletochoosewaysoflivingand
adoptenvironmentsthatareconducivetogoodhealth.

3.Primumnonnocere:First,physician,donoharm.Inspiteofthebestprevention,peoplewillbeaffectedbynumerousinfluencesandwillfall
sick.Anyprophylactic,diagnosticortherapeuticinterventionbythephysicianshouldnotfurtherharmthepatient.

4.Tollecausam,cessateffectus:Removethecauseandtheeffectwillcease.Therearecausesofsicknessandaboveall,physician:address
them.

5. Vis medicatrix naturae: The healing power of nature. It is neither the physician nor the treatment that heals but only the living organism.
Therefore,thephysicianmustseektoencouragethisinnateprocessbyfirstmakingsurethattheconditionsoflifearemetand,ifnecessary,by
usingthehelpofthevariousouterinfluencesandforcesofnaturetoenhancetherecoveryofhealth.

6. Nunquam pars pro toto: Never the part but always the whole. The physician considers the patient as a unique indivisible whole and,
therefore, takes into consideration all the conditions of life and pertinent aspects of each individual, including the physical, emotional, mental,
spiritual,energetic,genetic,sociologicalandenvironmentalaspects.

7.Cito,lenis,jucunde,toto,durabile,certo,simplexettutocurare:Thehighestidealoftherapyistherapid,gentle,pleasant,completeand
permanentrestorationofhealthinthesurest,simplestandleastharmfulway.

Incidentallythissetofprinciplescanbeappliedtoanyaspectoflife,especiallyrelatedtosolvingproblems,whethertheyarepersonalorsocietal,
physicalorpsychological,orineconomics,politics,mechanics,etc.

Byseekingfullknowledgeoftheprinciplesgoverninghealthandhealingyouwillbeonyourwaytomasteringtheartofmedicineandbecominga
truephysician.

Bewarethatthereareinnumerablesubprinciplesandimplicationsrelatedtoeachofthesesevenfundamentalprinciples.Togiveyouanidea,I
willleaveyouwithsomeofthesubprinciplesandimplicationsofthefirstprinciple,Audesapere.

SubprinciplesandImplicationsofAudesapere:

Aude sapere: Physician, dare to know, and become a true philosopher and scientist but above all, a true artist. Constant inquiry is the way to
knowledge.

Whyisthetrueartistabovethescientistorphilosopher?InGerman,aphysicianiscalled
"Arzt,"whichmeans"artist."Indeedaboveallyoumustlearntobecomeanartist,amasterof
yourart.Artdenotestheemploymentofmeanstoaccomplishadesiredend.Topossessanart
istobeinpossessionofthatpreciousknowhowforachievingthatdesiredend.Knowledge
associatedwithsciencedoesn'timplyhavingtheknowhowofthatscience.Theknowhow

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associatedwiththeartofadisciplineisinfactgreaterthanitsscience.Astheauthenticendof
medicineishealthandhealing,itisappropriatelycalleda"healingart."Ahealingarthas
indeedmuchfartherreachthanjusttheapplicationofscientificknowledge.Theoutcomeof
modernmedicineisaverygoodexampleofasciencedevoidofartandphilosophy
Gnothiseauton:Physician,knowthyself.

Thegreatestlimitationtoattainexcellenceinthepracticeofmedicineisthephysician'slackof
selfknowledge.
Thepatient'swellbeingistantamounttothephysician'spersonalideasandambition.
"Inanartpreservativeofhumanlife,negligenceinlearningisacrime."

"Listentothelawsofnature,andbeguidedbytheminpractice."Hippocrates
Physician,healthyself.

"Forthephysician,itisundoubtedlyanimportantrecommendationtobeofgoodappearance
andwellfed,sincepeopletaketheviewthatthosewhodonotknowhowtolookaftertheir
ownbodiesareinnopositiontolookafterthoseofothers.Hemustknowhowandwhentobe
silent,andtoliveanorderedlife,asthisgreatlyenhanceshisreputation.Hisbearingmustbe
thatofanhonestman,hemustbetowardsallpeoplehonest,kindlyandunderstanding.He
mustnotactimpulsivelyorhastilyhemustlookcalm,sereneandnevercross."Hippocrates
Abriefaddendumaboutresearchinnaturopathicmedicine(2)

The need to know and search for answers is intrinsic to human nature. However, beware not to lose sight of your principles while you are
searchingforanswers.Useyourprinciplesasyourcompassandruddertodirectyouallalongyourjourney.

Whenyouwalkthroughtheimmensestacksofmedicalbooksandjournalsaccumulatedinthebiggestmedicallibrariesoftheworld,yourealize
that, despite all these billions of reports, theses, research, monographs, etc., conventional medicine is not much farther ahead in the art of
medicine. What a massive delusion and an incredible waste of human resources, isn't it? What is the point of researching and publishing if you
have no clue regarding the art of medicine, the knowhow about health and healing, or don't know where you are or trying to go? Therefore,
bewarenottofallintothesametrapofblindarroganceandcomplacency.

Beware of researchers who don't understand our fundamental principles, as their findings have very little value for us. How can the findings of
reductionismbasedresearchbeusefulwithinaholisticperspective?

Bewarethatyourfirstgoalasaphysicianistobecomeatrueartist.Whenyouabidebyourfundamentalprinciplesandusethefullpotentialof
Nature'sresources,youwillobtainsuccessbeyondallexpectations.Whatisreallyimportantisthatyoufirstlearntheartofmedicine,theknow
howabouthealthandhealing.Thisshouldbeyourfirstandmainresearchsubject.Itmayalsobeveryimportantatthispointforyoutoknow
thatwellappliednaturopathicmedicineisincrediblyefficacious.Onlyaverysmallminorityofpatientswithacuteandchronicaffectionsyouwill
not be able to help in their recovery of health. From your actions, you will witness miraculous changes in people, and many of the said
"incurables"willberecovering.Thereforedon'tgetlostseekinganswerstoquestionsthatmaynotbesorelevanttothetruephysician.

Aboveall,learnabouthealthywaysofliving,andhowtohealbytappingintotheimmensehealingpotentialofNature.Anddon'ttrytoreinvent
thewheel.Hippocratessaidthatcleverphysiciansbegintheirresearchbystudyingdiscoveriesmadeinthepast.Atfirst,letyourselfbecarriedon
theshouldersofaccomplishedeldersandteachers.Seektheirknowledgeandlearnfromtheirexperience.

Eventually, by seeing further, you will be able to improve their legacy. Whenever you witness something interesting or new, teach, publish and
shareyourfindingswiththerestofthecommunity.However,makesuretogiveamarkofpermanencytoallyourwork,teachings,writingsand
research.Ifit'sworthdoing,it'sworthdoingwell,astheworldneedsitthatway.

Andwhenthefarawaydaycomesthatwillfindyouonyourdeathbed,Ihopeyouwillbeabletolookbackandsay,"Ididn'tliveinvain."

Hopefully,afewseedshavebeensowedduringourmeetingtoday.

Iwishyouall,agood,happy,longandveryfruitfulcareerinthismostbeneficialartthatismedicine.

(1)InhisGospel,Thomaswrote,Whoeverhasnotknownhimselfhasknownnothing,buthewhohas
knownhimselfhasatthesametimealreadyachievedGnosisaboutthedepthofallthings.(2)This
addendumcompletesmyviewsthatutteredinthepanelregardingtherelevanceofresearchin
naturopathicmedicine.
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