Research and Education: Training the next generation

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Much time is spent discussing the future of our profession - how registration will strengthen or weaken it, how our medicines are being 'stolen' by doctors and supermarkets, how some vested-interest groups wish to ban us. Perhaps we are missing the forest for the trees? Edward Everett, a 19th century American politician and educator once said that 'education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army'. Many health care professions over the centuries have recognised this fact and developed strong curricula, faculties and institutions. In so doing they have created a solid and respectable foundation upon which their professions can stand and most importantly, progress. Can we, and should we, do the same in order to solidify our profession and maintain our freedom to practice? It is this question which will be explored in the presentation and follow-up panel discussion. Does our current educational system best meet the needs of future herbal and naturopathic practitioners? How can experience be integrated into undergraduate training in a more effective manner? And how can we instil confidence into new graduates, so that they in turn may develop and pass on expertise? In short, how do we integrate a culture of teaching into herbal and naturopathic medicine?

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