A solid foundation is crucial to building a career, and for doctors the process starts with medical school curriculum. As the dean of NUNM’s College of Classical Chinese Medicine, Dr. Laurie Regan says her background in curriculum development helps guide her in refining a balance of coursework, personal cultivation, and clinical experience for students and faculty. “My role is to support our faculty by ensuring that our courses bring out their gifts,” she says. “My goal is to give students the tools they need to cultivate a lifetime of learning.”
Dr. Regan’s own journey in natural medicine started with a desire to find larger truths behind the quantitative science she pursued while earning a Doctorate in Neurobiology from Harvard University. She worked on the curriculum review committee at Harvard, but in the end said she “just felt that straight science wasn’t full enough, it didn’t give a complete picture of what was important.”
The missing pieces started to fall into place when she came to NUNM to study homeopathy in 1993 and discovered that classical Chinese medicine embodied the spiritual aspects of healing that she was seeking. Academically, she focused on earning a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine, but her personal interest in Chinese medicine led Dr. Regan to join Dr. Heiner Fruehauf and NUNM students on annual trips to China to learn from master practitioners and healers. She took classes in classical Chinese medicine, and became a Qi Gong instructor; after graduating, she taught classes in neuroanatomy, physiology and pathology at NUNM, and remained active in curriculum development.
Now in her role as dean, Dr. Regan continues to further enhance the Chinese medicine curriculum.“Medical students and patients are looking for alternative ways to treat illness, especially chronic disease. They are seeking a path to wholeness and wellness,” she says “I want to gain more visibility for our program and for the medicine.”