Most physician’s who choose to practice Naturopathic Medicine have a story of a personal defining moment that drew them to the medicine in the first place. When I was studying psychology and human development as a undergrad, my mother mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was receiving exceptional care from her oncologist, but she soon realized there was an element to her process of healing that was missing. A professor of mine at the time recommended a Naturopathic Physician. We hoped to provide complimentary care to her cancer treatments and to see if we could help support her mental and emotional health as well. I was present at her first visit and was in complete awe of the care and insight that the Naturopathic Physician had into my mother’s situation. She was able to understand my mother and her illness in a way I hadn’t imagined possible that left us both crying with relief that somebody “understood”. It was right then that I said to myself “this is what I want to do!”
Fast forward more than 15 years; 5 years of med school, and two children later, I am still passionate about the power that this medicine holds. My favorite aspect of being a physician is getting to know my patients. On average, I spend a good 60 min with my patients on the first visit. I get to know as much as I can about the person sitting in front of me. Sometimes all a patient needs is someone to sit down and help create an overview of their obstacles to health. Patients often just need an advocate or partner in their path to healing. Basic interventions such as lifestyle and dietary changes, supplements, or herbs may be all that is needed. Where others may need pharmaceuticals that either I, another doctor, or specialist can prescribe. Naturopathy requires physicians to use a good deal of their intuition and requires good counseling skills. I love that I have the training in traditional sciences along with complimentary modalities that give me multiple tools to help determine the best course of action for all of my patients.