What is your elevator pitch for what a naturopath does?
A naturopathic doctor is a primary care provider, just like a medical doctor. We assess patients through history taking, physical exam and diagnostic tests. The biggest difference, though, is in the treatment. Naturopathic doctors focus on a more natural approach to treatment, using vitamins, herbs, physical medicine, lifestyle counseling, and will only recommend prescription medicine when absolutely necessary.
What is the most common misconception about naturopathy?
A big misconception is that naturopathy is “quackery medicine,” that it isn’t based on evidence and that naturopathic doctors don’t have the proper schooling. There are, unfortunately, many nonaccredited schools misrepresenting our profession. Licensed naturopathic doctors, however, have a four-year naturopathic medical school education, pass a state licensing board and practice evidence-based medicine. Many [people] also don’t realize that today’s medications had their basis in natural remedies. Red yeast rice, for example, has the exact same mechanism as statin drugs for lowering cholesterol.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment was adding a physician assistant (PA-C) degree to complement my naturopathic degree. Patients truly benefit from both natural and conventional medicine; it’s the best of both worlds, and it’s ideal if your health care provider is comfortable in various types of medical perspectives. Why limit your patient’s health care options?
What’s the one piece of health advice you wish every patient would take to heart?
That’s easy: Associate with successful people. I’m a firm believer that we become like the people we hang out with in all aspects of our life. Hang out with someone you strive to be like and you’ll develop the same healthy behaviors. Look at your friends, and if they can’t save money, are overweight/unhealthy and are generally negative in life, then you’ll end up just like them. Hang out with people who exercise daily, take care of others and have a more positive outlook in life, and you’ll develop those same positive habits, too.