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Students gain practical clinical skills by working under the supervision of licensed naturopathic physicians, both in NCNM’s primary teaching clinic and at other health care facilities. Students begin learning through observation and gradually gain more responsibility for patient care. All patient care is under the direct supervision of licensed physicians.
Requirements for the completion of the clinical practicum include 1,264 clock hours of direct patient contact with a minimum of 500 patient contacts; demonstrated competence in specific clinical skills; under the guidance and assessment of the clinic faculty in clinical skills, knowledge, judgment, professional and ethical behavior, and communication skills. Clinical experience begins during the winter or spring term of the first year.
The first two years of clinical experience are chiefly observation and technical—with students observing in the NCNM clinic and performing various hydrotherapy treatments on clinic patients. Students enter the clinic as secondary interns after their second year is completed, and as primary interns after their third year. As interns, students become part of the treatment teams that deliver naturopathic care in the college clinics. Each student has a required summer clinic shift as a primary intern. Summer shifts in the clinic, prior to the mandatory summer as a primary intern, are done at the request of the student and not required. Clinical training opportunities include a diverse array of primary care and specialty experiences at the NCNM clinic, our various community clinics, and private practice clinics throughout the country.