Angelica Kada is a Naturopath working at the Head to Toe Health Clinic in Kensington Market.
WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
I always have breakfast. I feel good when I have breakfast. So I make something to eat in the morning, and then I sit and do research for patients, or I prep for the patients that are coming in, and then I head to work. The clinic is in Kensington market, The Head to Toe Health Centre, so I ride my bike there, and then I do a bit more research and start my day.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH
I’m a naturopathic doctor. I was first introduced to the speciality when my father was unwell and diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which was contracted through a blood transfusion. The diagnosis was pretty bleak. He tried getting into natural therapies and medicine, and I saw it work first-hand, and that’s when I started getting interested in it. Closer to the end of his life, with cancer treatments and palliative care, naturopathic medicine was invaluable. My parents really didn’t want me to go down this road because it’s very difficult, and it’s a career that not many people understand or acknowledge within the medical field, and it’s hard to make a living. But in the end, it was very useful during many times in my family’s life and we’re all thankful that I did go down this path. The educational path is 4 years, post-undergrad, and it’s pretty intense. A lot of times you work through the summers and have two sets of board exams. You’re learning all of the lab tests, as well as the medical and the naturopathic side, plus nutrition. It’s a pretty heavy course load.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU OR WOMEN FACE IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
At my naturopathic college (Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) it was about an 80% female population within the students and supervisors, but males tend to currently hold the decision-making roles, such as the president and deans of the college. It’s interesting to see that structure, but there are many determined, capable, and really just incredible women in the profession and college who, I believe, can and will take the lead as well.
Also, I have a partner but I don’t have a ring on that finger. Sometimes I feel like people are lonely, and as a female caregiver, sometimes people get attached or want to ask me out. I don’t want a ring to deter people just because that ring represents that I am taken by another male. Instead, I’d rather have a patient respect me as their doctor.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG GIRLS WHO WANT TO BE THE NEXT YOU?
My mother was great, and she never wanted to put expectations or pressure on me, but I struggled a lot with self-doubt. I never felt capable of achieving the grades I needed to become a doctor, but I soon figured out that if I studied and worked hard that I could get the marks I needed. My advice would be to have confidence in yourself, believe that you’re intelligent and that you can totally do it. You need support from others – from other women who support you, or family members, but mostly it’s believing in yourself and working hard. You can really do whatever it is that you want to do.
HOW DO YOU SEPARATE WORK LIFE FROM YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
Honestly, this is something that I need to work on. I really want to help my patients, but it’s difficult to disconnect. I spend a lot of time thinking about cases and researching, especially the difficult ones. A lot of my research is done in my personal time and I haven’t quite learned how to separate the two.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I think what inspires me most and gives me the energy to keep going is when patients get better. I think regular medicine is great, and I work with medical doctors all the time, but helping someone who hasn’t been able to get relief, that’s the difference between a good week and a bad week; that’s the difference between a good day and a bad day.