Of Avocados and Advocacy
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
As Naturopathic Doctors, we deeply understand the social and ecological determinants of health. We educate our patients, and encourage them to improve their behaviours.
However, behaviour change is very difficult when there are many forces that influence a person’s capacity to make healthy choices. Most determinants of health are not within the control of the individual, and require advocacy to change circumstances on a broader scale.
You Say Avocado, I Say Advocacy
NDs love avocados! The metaphor of the avocado has been used to talk about advocacy at the micro, meso, and macro level. Naturopathic Doctors are generally quite skilled at the micro level. We tend to have warm, inviting clinical environments that contribute to building trust, and establishing intimate working relationships. The attempt to dig into root causes of concerns allows us to truly build capacity with patients at the one-on-one level to advocate for change in modifiable determinants of health.
But what if patients are unable to access naturopathic services due to cost, or are unable to reduce their exposure to environmental toxins because of circumstance? This limits our ability to positively influence their health. Impacting those determinants of health requires meso or macro-level advocacy.