I graduated in fall 2003 from the exercise science and wellness program. Now I work at a sports medicine clinic called Seattle Performance Medicine. We don't just focus on rehabilitation; we also do a lot of exercise testing for cyclists and runners, as well as nutritional counseling. We serve everyone from elite athletes to people wanting to start an exercise program. The clinic is owned by a sports medicine doctor (an MD) and it's also a family practice. I check in patients, put them through exercise tests and help with nutritional counseling. If the doctor does medical tests, I help with those.
After working here awhile, I became certified as a health care assistant, which basically involved the MD training me and submitting a form to the department of health. I did category A, which basically means I can draw blood.
I didn't know exactly what type of job I wanted, but I knew what my interests were: exercise, nutrition and psychology—basically, just health. Bastyr helped me because it didn't separate those different fields. Other schools really separate those things out.
But before I went to Bastyr, I heard about the Institute for Preventive Solutions (which is the former name for Seattle Performance Medicine), and I loved their philosophy—combining the medical part, exercise and nutrition. I talked to them about what they did, and then enrolled at Bastyr, knowing the program required you to do an internship. Later I approached the institute, got the internship, and they hired me when I graduated.
I liked the smaller size of classes and how personal it was. I like the philosophy of the whole school—natural, encompassing everything. And just the little things like the monks coming to campus. The whole school is about health in all these different ways, not just the conventional ways. But it also includes the science.
I liked Whole Foods Production. I also liked the exercise testing class. The sports psychology class was very good as well.
Try to come in with an open mind and try to get everything out of Bastyr that you can. Bastyr has a lot to offer in a lot of different areas. Because the naturopathic medicine program and all these majors are there, there are a lot of opportunities to learn about different things through brown bag lunches, speakers, etc.
In the short-term, I'm planning on getting certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). I've considered PA school (physician's assistant), which would allow me to do a lot more medically without much more schooling. The difference for me would be that I would have the nutrition and exercise piece that is often overlooked in mainstream medical training. Bastyr emphasizes the importance of wellness measures in preventing health problems, helping people help themselves with simple lifestyle changes and looking at the psychological part. I feel what I learned at Bastyr is what I'd keep with me as a PA, and I will always approach things from that perspective.
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