Testimonials from Physicians, Interns and Volunteers
I want to thank you and NDI for such an incredible trip and such a forward thinking and conscious organization. I cannot express how much I appreciated learning about Diosa and how much good work NDI does for the locals of Ometepe. Living in a homestay was the best possible way to feel a part of the community and become immersed in the culture and language of Ometepe. I loved everything about it. Meeting the big-hearted and passionate future naturopathic physicians from all over the world was so soul nourishing and provided a renewed motivation to honor and practice this medicine. I hope to be back and contribute to NDI in a greater capacity in the future.
Sonam Bhimbra - 2017 Naturopathic Student Volunteer
I'm not sure there's enough room on the internet to describe what it's like to be a doctor with NDI. Imagine bringing physical and emotional care to those most worthy, on an incredibly beautiful island, inhabited by the poorest of the poor. The feelings of heartache, admiration, frustration, deprivation, love, appreciation may all happen in the same day! If you want to learn what it takes to run a walk-in health clinic, on a shoestring budget, entirely funded through donations, there is no better place. If you want to be pushed to create treatment plans without the use of fancy labs, expensive medical equipment and insurance headaches…If you want to work alongside and learn from Nica doctors and nurses about their experiences, how they're taught and how they manage…If you want the experience of learning about global health inequality and globalization well enough to teach it to others...There really isn't another place like NDI. Above all, being a doctor with NDI will teach you more about yourself and your limits; what is truly important to you; the difference between a need and a want. In short, apply…now.
Dr. Adam Friedman - 2011 Primary Care Naturopathic Physician, 2012 NDI Medical Director -
Dr. Jum Nguyen graduated from Bastyr University in 2007 and her desire to continue international volunteer work has lead her to Ometepe Island soon thereafter. In 2002, she received her Masters in Public Health, with a focus on Community Health Intervention and Prevention, at MCP Hahnemann University. Some of the volunteer experiences she participated in internationally included working with various natural healers in Belize through the Cornerstone Foundation, helping to contain unwanted weeds on a natural reserve in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, and joining a medical brigade which ventured into the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Jum enjoys indulging herself in the Great Outdoors, and her dream is that one day everyone will have access to at least their most basic healthcare needs.
Dr. Jum Nguyen - Primary Care Naturopathic Physician -
I can’t imagine a better way to have spent my 1st year as a doctor. My fondest memory is the overwhelming gratitude my patients had for the chance to receive naturopathic care in their own hospital. Natural medicine is a living tradition in most of the world and on Ometepe I was able to share in that tradition. Naturopathic medicine has always been the primary care of most of the world. I worked with 6 brigades of naturopathic students from all over North America and it was inspiring to see them forging ties with locals. Naturopathic medicine is ideal for going where there is need and shortage of doctors. I learned to use local plants, worked alongside MDs and nurses, and helped blaze a trail for other natural medicine practitioners to bring this medicine all over the world. NDI didn’t exist when I started medical school – I’m very lucky that this opportunity was available to me by the time I graduated. I continue to work with NDI to open doors for others to do the same.
Dr. Tania Neubauer - Primary Care Naturopathic Physician -
I wanted to find an opportunity to broaden my understanding of naturopathic medicine internationally and to my surprise, I found NDI to be the only program that practices full scope naturopathic medicine in the world. Not only was the experience of working with patients’ eye opening but also the living conditions were quite a change of pace from my home in Canada. I was placed with a Nicaraguan family of six, and it was not long before I became a 7th family member and felt as though I had lived there my entire life. As I look back on my two and a half months on Ometepe, my aspiration for becoming a naturopathic doctor has been reaffirmed.
Taylor Bean, Intern 2007
Working with NDI was the most pivotal experience of my life. My internship gave me hands-on clinical experience and the good-fortune to work with respectable doctors and form cherished relationships with patients. The education received from the NDI global health course will serve a lifetime. We not only learned about the history, politics and socioeconomics of Nicaragua, but also learned about culturally sensitive and appropriate treatment plans. NDI does an amazing job at interweaving its deep respect for Nicaraguan culture with progressive, noninvasive science and medicine. NDI is making change by affecting healthcare on a global scale and educating future doctors.
Missy Pannone, Intern 2007
During a visit to Ometepe in 2007, I was able to witness first-hand the work of Dr. Tabatha Parker and Dr.Tania Neubauer, both Naturopathic Doctors, who are providing a valuable service to hundreds of Nicaraguans who live on the island of Ometepe. Their busy clinic schedule includes clients both self-referred and referred from medical staff at the hospital in Moyogalpa, In addition to the direct care they give their clients, both are involved in training others to care for those who need medical assistance in their own communities. They have made an amazing impact in a short time, with little funding. Their work is a great model for other countries struggling to meet the medical needs of their citizens. I encourage others to take advantage of their courses, or give them support through donations tawisely used by the NDI practitioners in Nicaragua.
Mary Lou Donovan, Duluth, MN, Occupational Therapist