Guest Blogger Leigh Siergiewicz: An Incoming Bastyr Student for the Fall Class of 2012!
“This fall, I will be starting school to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University. I couldn’t possibly be more certain that this is exactly what I am here on earth to do, but I had a really roundabout way of getting to this point. Like many college students, I didn’t feel fully committed to any career or major and wondered what I was going to do with myself after graduation. I wanted something that I could wholeheartedly devote myself to, but nothing pulled at me adequately.
When I finally landed on a major in Sociology, one of the first things I did in class was watch Michael Moore’s documentary, Sicko, which is about the corruption of the American healthcare system. I was so outraged that I knew right away that I wanted to devote my life to making the American healthcare system better, I just had to figure out how! I’ve been told a number of times that the documentary is really biased and extreme but I think that is irrelevant because the point of it was to get people outraged about the unbelievably sad state of American healthcare, and that is exactly what it did for me.
I took a few medical sociology classes in college, and the more I learned about it, the more shocked I was that we spend more than any other country on healthcare and still have the sickest people. No other social problem felt as urgent to me personally, as I was also fed up with doctors telling me I was “probably fine” when I was chronically uncomfortable.
I searched online for careers in natural health a number of times, and stumbled upon Naturopathic Medicine. My first immediate reaction was, “That is exactly perfect for me!” Until I looked at the science pre-requisites. Never mind! Keep looking! About halfway through my senior year of college, I was desperately hoping people wouldn’t ask what I was doing next. But it turned out to be one of those people who asked that gave me the AHA moment I needed.
I gave my usual,
“I’d like to do something with natural health, I’m just not exactly sure what”
“Have you thought about Naturopathic Medicine?”
“Yes, but it’s all that science. That’s not for me.”
“I think you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for”
Oh! I was speechless! It all hit me in an instant that I had been underestimating myself for years, and it was all I could think about for weeks. I graduated from college and signed up for general chemistry that summer. In order to find all the science classes I needed in one year, I ended up taking eight of them at six different schools! Yes, I did think it was insane while I was doing it. But I was so certain at the same time.
After seeing a Naturopathic Doctor as a patient, the tiniest shred of doubt I had was gone. It was
the absolute sureness I was always looking for before. My ND, Dr. Christine Doherty in Milford, NH, is such a wonderful doctor and role model. She is the first doctor that has ever truly listened to me and been genuinely helpful. I could immediately see myself in her shoes, giving people the true care and attention they deserve.
Although my path in getting here was very indirect, I still wouldn’t have done it
any other way. Three years ago if anyone had told me this is what I’d be doing, I wouldn’t have believed them. I got my AHA moment right at the time I was ready to hear it, and now I’m right on track.”
- Leigh Siergiewicz
I’d like to personally thank Leigh for her amazing blog post, insight, and dedication to studying Naturopathic Medicine. Our community looks forward to welcoming her into Bastyr, as a permanent member