Dr. Jayelle Haavaldsen, ND – Edmonton, Alberta
Dr. Jayelle Haavaldsen, ND studied biochemistry at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna before she earned her ND title at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver. She has a passion for mental health, the mind-body connection, and emotional wellness. Her interest in hormonal, reproductive, and menstrual health was piqued a little bit later, “once I started my practice some sort of raging feminist emerged from deep inside of me – so now I’m also very passionate about that!”. She also has a significant interest in metabolic disease, as she has an extensive family history of diabetes and has seen firsthand how this affects lives. “I have a very curious brain, so I get interested in anything quite easily.”
Dr. Haavaldsen, ND lives by Brené Brown’s motto: “The goal is to be authentic, not to fit in.” She explains, “I used to deal with a lot of anxiety and fears around being likable and making everyone happy. This quote really stuck with me and helped me learn to embrace who I am and show up earnestly.”
She draws inspiration from her husband, who has an infectious adventurous spirit and inspires her to live fully: “I’ve climbed more mountains and biked more trails and jumped into more lakes than I ever thought possible thanks to him.” In line with the naturopathic philosophy, she also finds herself very inspired whenever she is in nature – the forest, mountains, lakes, rivers, and in her garden.
In order to maintain a healthy work/life balance, Dr. Haavaldsen. ND stopped attaching her worth to her productivity and started setting boundaries. “Seriously, this was a big challenge for me – I used to burn myself out because I wanted to be ‘the best’. I had to re-wire my thinking so that I now see my rest time as a priority, not a luxury or a reward for hard work.”
When asked what she hopes to gain from the AAND community, she responded: “Exactly that -a sense of community. I’d really love to connect with more NDs in Alberta! Being a new grad, I found it challenging to go from a situation where I was with my peers/colleagues all the time to suddenly having very little interaction with others in the profession. It was very isolating.”
Her experience as a new grad during a pandemic was unique with a strange combination of highs and lows, but she is thrilled to finally be a working professional and have an income. At the same time, the reality of how expensive it is to be an ND has also set in. “I think being an ND is extremely rewarding and the days are filled with tiny wins, but [when I first started] there were many moments of self-doubt and feeling like I had no idea what I was doing.”
Her advice to new grads entering the profession is: Don’t compare yourself to others, especially not those who have been in this profession for much longer. “Just keep focusing on you (and your patients). It will come with time.”
Interview by Annick Meckes, July 2021
Dr. Anouk Chaumont, ND, Grande Prairie/Dawson Creek
Dr. Anouk Chaumont ND graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2005. She is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), as well as board member of the Lyme Disease Association of Alberta (LDAA). Dr. Chaumont is licensed in Alberta and British Columbia and practices in both provinces.
“In high school, I wanted to become a conventional medical doctor. I ended up going into psychology instead and worked as a parole officer for two years while doing my master’s in criminology. I soon realized that criminology wasn’t for me. During this time, my mother (a registered nurse) started studying homeopathy. Through this, I was exposed to a whole new way of doing medicine and went back to my initial passion (medicine) except with a more natural approach.”
“Initially, my clinical area of focus was naturopathic oncology (cancer support). However, my area of special interest over the last 5 years has been chronic infections, specifically Lyme disease and co-infections. I began focusing on this because my husband went fishing in Northern Alberta one day and came home with Lyme disease. I needed to learn how to treat it so that I could help him. All of a sudden, after this incident, a lot of patients started showing up at my clinic with strange symptoms. The one thing they all had in common was undiagnosed chronic Lyme disease. So, I shifted my clinical focus to mold toxicity, Lyme disease and co-infections. Unfortunately, very few naturopathic doctors know how to properly treat Lyme disease. This condition is much more prevalent than people think. A lot of patients are misdiagnosed.”
Rather than a strict separation between conventional and naturopathic treatment, Dr. Chaumont ND finds that “the best treatment results come from a combination of antibiotics and botanical medicine with other additional tools from Naturopathic Medicine.” As naturopathic doctors do not have prescription rights in Alberta (and legislation varies by province), Dr. Chaumont ND decided to obtain dual licensure in Alberta and BC in order to provide full care to her patients. “I would consider the process of getting my dual licensure one of my biggest challenges, but also greatest accomplishments.”
“It is a huge frustration to not have prescription rights in Alberta. This means having to separate my practice among two different provinces. My main office is in Alberta and I travel to my BC office every second Friday. When an Albertan patient needs complementary antibiotic therapy, they have to travel all the way to my BC office, so that I can address that portion of the treatment there. It is a real challenge for the patient.”
A typical day in the life of Dr. Anouk Chaumont ND looks as follows: “I enjoy my morning coffee with puppy snuggles before leaving my house, then I typically see about 10-15 patients/day usually beginning with blood draws in the morning. I stay about 1-2 hours afterwards to finish any paperwork. Sometimes I stop by the gym for a training session after work and go for walks with my three dogs. My personal project currently is to get back into competitive shooting. I am redoing my certifications and like to take part in competitions through the IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation). It is highly tactical, a social activity that I like to do with friends, and it is a good stress release.”