In my second year of school, there was a low-grade murmur resounding through the halls. Whispers about an underground network of naturopathic doctors speaking the philosophy I heard in the first term of my first year, yet was never spoken of in detail until my last class with Dr. Zeff (4 years later).
This call was said to be all the things we wanted from school but were not getting from our classroom settings. I knew at that moment, I had to gain access. The first vital conversation I listened to was the first time I was introduced to Dr. Jim Sensenig, remotely. From that call onward, I was able to afford the trip to VG2 which was awe-inspiring as I wrapped up my last year of schooling. I didn’t have the courage at that time to introduce myself to Jim. In my mind he was one of the greats. I likened him to Lust and Lindlahr.
VG4 this past October was a different story. I had 1 year of doctoring under my belt, and I was so excited to gain information for patients under my care. At the end of the conference, a small group of us went down to the sports bar in the hotel we were conferencing in. It was our last night together and after an intensive day of energetic expansion with the biodynamic cranial course, a deeper connection with that small group was inevitable.
While eating dinner and playing some fierce games of shuffle board and foosball – Jim pulled me aside and asked me about my life. He wanted to know what brought me to Naturopathic medicine. We began talking and I had shared with him some of the challenges I’d faced while in school, one being the passing of my father after Thanksgiving my first year of school. He listened intently, had so many questions, and so many words of widsom to impress upon me. We decided after that conversation that I would fly to CT in the Spring and come spend a week with him in his clinic. I was beyond excited for the opportunity to spend a week with him. I missed that opportunity. But I will never forget the conversation we had, nor the impact his words, his wisdom, his drive, his motivation, his passion has had on me. I was ready to leave the naturopathic program at the beginning of my second year. I was struggling with various aspects of the profession, but those whispers and murmurs in the hall saved me. I was able to listen to the VC during my drive to the campus and listened in as frequently and often as possible. His voice was the voice that encouraged me to continue pushing forward because – this profession is amazing! And the ability we have to treat and cure patients is unmatched.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year (2019), Jim sent me a message. Our conversation was brief, but looking back, I’m so grateful I was able to express to him my gratitude for him being here. He will never be forgotten. And his influence will continue to fuel students in their darkest days and drive them to continue pushing forward, because – his passion and understand had that kind of guiding influence. His work is not done, it has merely been passed to the shoulders of the tribe he has built. And I’m beyond grateful to be part of his tribe.