School of Naturopathic Medicine

Corporate wellness is a growing field where naturopathic doctoral graduates can apply their unique, holistic training. Robin Vinge, a 1998 alumna, is an example of someone who has created a thriving career in workplace wellness with a part-time private practice on the side.

Briefly describe the work you do now.

I work 20 hours a week in private practice and do corporate wellness work on the side as an independent contractor. The corporate wellness work involves presenting "lunch-and-learn" lectures to companies on topics pertaining to health and wellness.

What is your background, and how did you find your way to Bastyr?

My background is in science. My father was a medical doctor. I grew up being exposed to medicine and decided it would be a good career for me. I was also influenced by my field hockey coach at the University of Victoria, who recommended I look into naturopathic medicine as a possible career.

How did you get into this career?

I became involved in corporate wellness work after graduation by following up on a lead from a friend. My friend knew the director of corporate wellness for Canadian Pacific Rail and suggested I approach her about doing corporate lectures. I put together a package of possible lectures and presented it to her, which gave me a foot in the door. After that, I proved myself to be a decent speaker and I was persistent. Since then, I have lectured for companies including Shell, Husky, Nexen, Precision Drilling, Transalta Utilities, TransCanada Pipelines and many more.

What did you appreciate most about your degree program?

I appreciated the diversity of Bastyr's education. At Bastyr, I was exposed not only to a solid science-based program, but also to methods of treatment that were more out-of-the-box at that time (such as mind/body medicine).

How did your Bastyr degree prepare you for your career?

It gave me a solid platform from which I could practice with confidence. It exposed me to many different ways of treating patients. Now that I have graduated, I have focused on the methods that work for me and that resonate with me as a practitioner.

What's next for you? Where would you like to place your energies?

I am currently working on a book and I hope to lecture about it.

Interviewed January 2010

Portrait of Robin Vinge, ND
Robin Vinge, ND