A debrief on my first year at cnm

It’s already been a year since I enrolled at CNM for a 3-year course in Naturopathic Nutrition. That’s crazy how time flies! Anyway, that’s the perfect opportunity to look back and tell you about my experience, in case any of you might be interested in becoming a Nutritional Therapist or in learning more about how nutrition can heal.

What I was looking for

First, let me tell you what I had in mind: my idea was to do a complete career change. I wanted the school to give me the scientific-based knowledge and clinic experience for me to become a nutrition and health expert, and to enable me to see clients as a legitimate practitioner.

Why I chose CNM

I had been researching nutrition schools for a few months when I found CNM. Before thinking of enrolling there, I first considered IIN (the Institute for Integrative Nutrition), a US-based school you can enroll in wherever you are in the world as you can study from home. It’s a one-year course to become a health coach. It seemed great, however I had the feeling that it didn’t deliver enough scientific/medical knowledge for what I wanted to achieve. Then I looked into the major naturopath schools in Paris (Cenatho, Isupnat & others). They seemed good but it was no enough nutrition-focused for me. Indeed I knew I wanted to be a nutrition specialist rather than a naturopath, which is the equivalent of a GP in the field of functional medicine. I was still to find a school delivering scientific-based, deep knowledge on nutrition specifically. And then I heard Madeleine Shaw talking about her own journey. She had studied at IIN, and she was in her second year at CNM. She talked about being able to send clients to do blood tests, about knowing about plenty of diseases etc. This sounded exactly like what I wanted. Plus they have schools all around the UK so if you’re not London-based, you’ll hopefully find another campus nearer to where you live.

My course at CNM

So I looked into it and it seemed absolutely perfect! I chose the 3-year course in Naturopathic Nutrition, at the end of which you become a Nutritional Therapist. It’s worth mentioning that even though this medical field is not recognized as such in the UK, Nutritional Therapist is a legitimate title and you can practice with it.

The school costs around £9,500 for the 3 years which is totally acceptable compared to other schools. You can either choose the week-end course (1 week-end a month during the first year, 2 week-ends a month during the last 2 years), or the week day course (for example every other monday during the first year, every monday during the last 2 years). For my first year, I chose the week-end course because I was living in Paris. But for the 2 years to come, I will be coming every Monday, as I will be living in London.

During the first year, you study biomedicine, which is basically how the body works and what diseases you can get. Every lecture has a topic (respiratory system, cardiovascular system, endocrinology, oncology, etc.) with both what a healthy body should be like, and what diseases are associated with this specific system (causes, risk factors, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, allopathic treatments…). The lectures are very dense and are the equivalent of what you would study in your first year of medical school in France. I couldn’t be happier, as that was exactly what I was looking for! The only thing is that it was frustrating not being taught about nutrition just yet, but I truly think this first year is paramount before going any deeper.

In terms of exams, you have to take several mini-exams (multiple-choice questionnaires) on picked topics throughout the year, 1 big exam per semester, and 1 essay. So you really have to commit to studying quite a lot, otherwise there’s no point enrolling there really. The course is indeed very serious, the teachers are passionate about their subject and are amazing.

During the next 2 years, I’ll be studying nutrition at a chemical and molecular level. I’ll be taught how to find the real causes to diseases and to treat certain conditions with diet. I literally can’t wait to get into all of this!

In a nutshell

I couldn’t recommend CNM enough! This first year met all my expectations and I’m so excited to study there for the next two years. I hope this short post helped some of you. But if you’d like to get even more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to tell you more!