Medical Herbalism
        in Global Health  Volcano on Ometepe
        Island Nicaragua   

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Clinical Training in Primary Care Herbalism in Nicaragua         

       Our 2015 trip ran from March 8 to 17. Please visit again for our 2016 dates.

Spanish language skills are not necessary, translation provided, previous experience not necessary

Podcast interview with Paul Bergner and Tania Neubauer, ND about this trip

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Join a faculty of clinical herbalists and naturopathic physician experts in botanical medicine at the Natural Doctors International clinic in Nicaragua for a holistic clinical intensive unlike any other!

New Faculty:
Eric Yarnell, ND, Clinical Faculty, Bastyr University, President, Heron Botanicals.
Tania Neubauer, ND, Clinical Faculty, North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, School of Traditional Western Herbalism
Paul Bergner, Clinical Director of North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, Clinical faculty,
Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, School of Traditional Western Herbalism.
Mary Barnes, Clinic Director at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism
Plus an international faculty of naturopathic, herbal and flower essence experts

This delegation provides invaluable clinical learning to students and practitioners of all skill levels. Spanish language skills are not necessary.  Previous clinical experience is not necessary, this could be an inspiring and intensive beginning to your clinical training, or a chance to practice and develop your current skills in a primary care setting.

Medical Herbalism in a Primary Care Clinical Setting

Cultural Immersion

rural Nicaraguan home                 
Since 2004, Natural Doctors International has placed naturopathic physicians in long-term service on the enchanting island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, an extremely medically-underserved area. NDI physicians collaborate with Nicaraguan doctors, nurses and other staff in the public hospital and clinics of the island, as well as operating a natural medicine clinic in the village of Los Angeles.  Delegation participants will accompany NDs who are enmeshed in the community for the long-term in a culturally fluent medical clinic that is worlds apart from the typical short-term medical relief approach. The cultural immersion experience includes lodging and meals with Nicaraguan families who share the warmth of their homes and hearts.

Left: a rural Nicaraguan home


Clinical experience

Participants at the
      NDI clinic Participants in this course will work in a primary care setting under the supervision of licensed naturopathic physicians and will observe all phases of the clinical visit – interview, physical exam, differential diagnosis, and preparation and administration of integrative treatments, which may include herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage and bodywork, flower essence therapy, counseling, and pharmaceutical medicine. You can expect to see a vast range of conditions during the clinic time. Many ask, ‘Is this course relevant to my practice in the Global North?’ The answer: a resounding YES!  A recent clinical course included attention to colds/flu, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, parasites and infectious diarrhea, malnutrition, diabetes, hypertension, bladder and kidney infections, kidney stones, cancer, scabies, eczema, psoriasis, allergies, wounds, depression, anxiety, all manner of musculo-skeletal concerns, STIs, Pap smears, acute abdomen, and many more. You will collaborate with NDI physicians, medical herbalist faculty, and Nicaraguan holistic medical practitioners to interview patients and form treatment plans for any number of conditions common wherever you may practice. You will practice thinking on your feet. This course will help you develop flexibility in your treatment approach, as we work with an extensive but largely donation-based natural product pharmacy, where medications available may change daily.  We provide translators, either the physician herself or an NDI staff translator will translate everything that happens in the visit. Beginning students or practitioners will find this course gives you an enormous head start in your learning and your practice. Practitioners with many years’ experience will find the opportunity to flex your clinical muscles, seeing a wide range of health concerns far more diverse than often encountered in most holistic medicine practices.
Participants in
        group settingIn addition to this extensive clinical component, this course includes classroom case-based reviews of herbal therapeutics for conditions seen in the clinic, as well as NDI’s famed Global Health course, an interactive course on the roots of the current global health situation. All participants will receive a certificate from NDI for their participation in the course, which may be eligible for continuing education credit. If you are interested in CE, please contact the trip organizers ASAP for more information.


Pre-Clinical Intensive Options

NOTE: In 2015 we will not be offering the Pre-clinical options (See options 2 and 3 below).

On the previous 3 trips, we offered Option 2 which takes place take place in Esteli, and offers a more rounded picture of Nicaraguan life outside of the countryside, and a chance to develop Spanish language skills at the Escuela Horizonte.  It also features visits to  two Nicaraguan medicinal plant foundations, Cecalli and Isnaya, which grow their own herbs; make their own teas, tinctures, and salves; publish books on Nicaraguan medicinal plants; and train community health workers throughout Nicaragua in the use of herbal medicine. Option 3 takes place in Miraflor, an eco-reserve in the mountains high above Esteli, where you can hike among organic shade-grown coffee and in a native cloud-forest blooming with orchids and full of exotic bird calls. The cloud forest guides are veterans of a movement to bring the herbal knowledge of Nicaraguan elders into practical use throughout the country.  We hope to bring these options back at some time in the future.

2015 Clinical Intensive  March 8-17, 2015

10 days including travel –  $1800 includes all classes, food and lodging and in-country travel (airfare to Managua not included) 

Faculty: see more info

1. 24 hours of supervised clinical training with patients of the NDI clinic.
2. Observation of, or practice in, complete physical examination skills (depending on your training)
3. Participation in intake, physical exam, and development of herbal therapeutics.
4. 6 hours of classes on materia medica and therapeutics for  acute conditions.
5. Classes on working in the medical field in the Global South.
6. Classes on global economics and their relation to global health issues.
7. Lodging and meals with Nicaraguan families on the island.
8. Visit to the beaches, forests and volcanoes of the Island of Ometepe
Tania Neubauer ND
          leading a group awareness exercise

Tania Neubauer leading a group awareness exercise

Tecoma stans

We know of no other clinical learning opportunity like this anywhere in the world! We hope you can join us for this transformative educational and cultural experience. Although we hope to offer this course in the future, it’s possible this may be your only chance. We encourage you to apply early.

Left: Tecoma stans, an indigenous
diabetes remedy in Nicaragua

Spanish language skills are not necessary.
Previous clinical experience is not necessary, this could be an inspiring and intensive beginning to your clinical training.

Applications, Payments, Refunds

Application and enrollment is made through the Natural Doctors International site.

Enroll here:

You may also contact Medical Herbalism in Global Health at:
global at medherb dot
Phone: 720-279-4824