What made you choose to pursue your profession?
My parents would be quick to answer this question by saying that as a young child my dream when I grew up was to be a “baby doctor.” As long as I can remember, I have always had a strong passion for working with children and knew in some fashion I would incorporate this into my lifelong work. It wasn’t until after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree when I first heard about Naturopathic Medicine, and it immediately resonated with me. As a child I grew up on a hobby farm where I spent a great deal of time in the garden with my parents harvesting fresh food, and learning how a whole-foods diet positively impacts health. I had a very healthy childhood, and rarely visited the doctor or took medications. I now realize how lucky I was that my parents provided me with a strong foundation to health through diet and natural means. I am forever grateful. Practicing Naturopathic Medicine has allowed me to share my own experience of health and wellness with individuals of all ages. From preventing illness in children and newborns to addressing underlying causes of illness in the chronically sick, it is my goal to educate patients on their options and let them take health in their own hands.
What keeps you engaged in your profession?
Prevention and docere (doctor as teacher) are the top two fundamental principles of Naturopathic Medicine that I can’t wait to share with my patients, and that keeps me motivated and engaged on a daily basis. I feel strongly that if we continue to educate our society, especially our younger generations, about healthy lifestyle practices, we can prevent the rise of chronic illness. Heart disease, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, obesity…these are all preventable!! The emphasis of our current healthcare model is that of reactive care. This is not a sustainable model, and it is my goal to assist in a global movement that focuses on healthcare opposed to treating the sick.
What kind of patients do you like working with most?
While I love working with patients of all ages, my specific passions are working in the areas of pediatrics and women’s health. I also thoroughly enjoy the opportunity working with individuals who are new to Naturopathic Medicine and are looking to begin taking health into their own hands. It’s so fun to help patients become empowered and motivated about their health – those “ahha” moments while they make connections between their health, symptoms, lifestyle, diet, etc, truly are priceless!
Tell us about a time you really connected with a patient.
A very memorable moment in my career was when I began working with the third generation within one family. Knowing I had built that degree of trust and connection with a family is a very rewarding feeling. From both a practitioner and consumer standpoint, building strong and supportive relationships is extremely important to me. It is my goal to build this type of relationship with each of my patients and to do away with the stereotypical hierarchy associated with many doctor-patient relationships. It’s a true honor becoming a part of one’s healthcare team, and an even greater honor when that extends to a whole family.
How do you spend your free time?
I love spending time with my family & friends, cooking, traveling, exercising, and trying out the many amazing restaurants here in the Twin Cities. In the summer my husband and I love to camp, and we take an annual week-long trip to enjoy the wilderness and tranquility of northern Wisconsin!
How do you celebrate living in your body?
I love traveling! There truly is no better way for me to both ground myself and celebrate life. I am fascinated learning about other cultures, traditions, foods, seeing them firsthand, and immersing myself in their day-to-day. Traveling is an educational experience that can’t be taught in a classroom – with each experience I come away learning a great deal about both myself and the amazing marvels of our world.
What do you look for in a health care practitioner?
A main attribute I look for is authenticity. To me this means the practitioner is passionate about their work, is in the business for the right reasons, cares about me and my goals, and is willing to go out of their way to make me feel like I am the most important part of their day.
Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Pharis here.