One of my favorite parts of being a Naturopathic Physician is the endless opportunities to learn something new. Of course, this is not limited to my profession, there are so many other skills that you can learn at a variety of places: community college, internet, lectures, or countless other places.
Learning new skills is a great way to give your brain a workout by seeing/touching/moving things in a different way. There is a different sense of accomplishment when you have used your hands to create something different. Or even fix something.
Recently, I jumped on the opportunity to go to Boston and spend 2 days learning how to perform ultrasound guided joint injections. I have enjoyed doing injection therapies for many years and wanted to continue to learn more skills by learning different joint injections to help promote ligament and tendon healing. These injections can be done "blind" by palpating the area, however, I wanted to spend the extra time to learn the ultrasound technique for better visualization of the area. Anecdotal, the faculty members at the course said that many patients came with a clinical diagnosis of bursitis, however, when the ultrasound was used to see the area, the bursa was in great shape, the ligaments were the problem. Using an ultrasound also allows for a dynamic visualization of the area, meaning that we can move the painful area to better see where the pathology is as opposed to an X-ray which is a static image and also does not provide a good picture of the soft tissues such as the ligaments and tendons. X-rays are great for broken bones, not so great for ligament and tendon pain.
Learning new skills is great for anybody, especially if it can provide an opportunity to use other senses. For me, I am excited to continually learn more and then provide my patients with that so they can continue to improve their health, reduce pain, and increase quality of life.