Metagenics are a sponsor of the Transition to Practice Seminar, which aims to give students with the practical information they need to set up a clinic once they finish their degree. On October 18, students are invited to join Robert Medhurst in Adelaide for this valuable seminar. Ahead of the event, we sat down with Claire Murray from Metagenics, to find out more about the business and the tips they have for students entering the industry.
What is your role at your organisation and how do you support practitioners / or the industry?
I’m a clinical support consultant with Metagenics, working with practitioners to dissect the pathological presentation of their patients and develop appropriate treatment plans to support their patients back to health.
I have also worked with the clinical resources team to assist practitioners and their patients within clinic (e.g. treatment protocols, infographics, blogs, educational videos and research reviews), and helped practitioners streamline, market and build their natural medicine businesses through Metagenics’ Best Practice seminars and webinars.
How did you get into your area of expertise and why do you stay?
I’ve worked with Metagenics for 4 years and been practicing for 6 years. From my experience I think if you’re a naturopath you have to love to have a chat! Communication would be at the core of what I do each day, whether at Metagenics or in my own clinic. Talking or emailing with a practitioner to help educate them on a facet of their patients condition, writing a resource that explains treatment options to patients, or taking a case and exploring a patient’s health – these are all incredibly enriching and will keep me within this profession for a long time to come.
What advice would you give to practitioners setting up a practice?
For any student or person considering studying naturopathy I always advise that your passion must burn strong and deep. Having a qualification which predominantly sets you up to work in private practice, your desire and love for helping people with their health has to be a passion.
Being a small business owner, means you have to be visible, adaptable, persevere and go for your dreams in a sustainable way. Owning your own business is certainly one of the fastest self-development paths you can take. After years of learning the craft, feel confident that you know how to help people, and invest some time and resources in developing your marketing and business skills.
What are your top tips for starting a career in the natural medicine industry?
Be open to how you can innovate, do different things and offer unique services to what our modality has classically done. It’s fantastic to see so many naturopaths now really stepping up their branding and online presence, pricing offerings, creating additional streams of income from consults and writing books, to building communities and running group programs.
Beyond this, seeing patients 1:1 isn’t all that is available to us. I have naturopathic friends and colleagues who also work for product companies, do freelance medical writing, mentor other practitioners, offer marketing, accounting or business advice specific for our profession, run workshops, make and sell physical products, or live in their dream location and consult online.
A fantastic question to ask yourself: If I didn’t know how naturopathy was ‘normally’ done, how would I do it?
What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years in your particular field?
I think more of the above changes will start to happen in the form of naturopaths adapting the profession to be more aligned with their lifestyle, gifts, passions and values, in addition to that strictly 1:1 model.
However, from a patient’s perspective, as the competition and availability of supplements and remedies continue to grow, I also feel it’s about returning back to the true roots of naturopathy. If you took away your treatment plan, what else are you offering your patients? This is what we have to continue to harness, share and shout from the rooftops.
Hopefully we also see naturopathy continue to become more mainstream, helping patients access empowering and integrated healthcare.
What’s the questions you get asked the most by practitioners, and how do you answer it?
That’s a hard one! Probably the most common theme my co-workers and I would have in the phone calls and emails we receive, is practitioners calling to double check their treatment. As naturopaths, our work in clinic can sometimes feel isolating. Being able to call another practitioner to bounce ideas around with and just chat through the case is so valuable and useful.
So, I’d say to these practitioners to really trust and back themselves, because 99% of the time they totally have the case sorted. However, I’d also encourage anyone else who is down the rabbit hole of a case to call a fellow practitioner, a technical support line or ask a mentor. Nothing brings us together like reaching out and connecting, and nothing helps our brain more than to know we were on the right track the whole time.
Fun Fact for the Readers: Tell us who inspires you / or who your professional idol is and why?
I’m currently really inspired by and so appreciative of the people in our industry and profession who are working, often behind closed doors, to keep us collectively moving forward, learning, and achieving further validity within wider medical circles.
These are the people who work on boards and committees, who lobby the government, who publish naturopathic research, who facilitate mentoring and learning groups, who share grassroots traditional knowledge or who organise meet ups. All of these people need buckets of passion to keep contributing in this way and frequently volunteer their time. So please show up and participate in this amazing profession and all of its offerings and avenues, collectively our impact on the health of the public is enormous!