For the last 12 years I have held positions in healthcare. I worked in social and mental health services for roughly 8 years until graduating with my doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 2010. I combine the skills I learned in social and mental health services everyday with my medical training and experience for the best outcomes with patients.
What made you choose to pursue your profession?
I was planning on attending veterinary medical school until I had two very life-changing experiences. The first was moving to Central America and my experiences there teaching and advocating for women and children’s access to health care. My eyes were opened to the many people living in this world without healthcare and access to basic resources and I became committed to partnering with people to get quality care that focused on preventative medicine and was cost-effective. I decided I would return to the U.S. to go to medical school rather than vet school at this point.
While applying to programs I worked as a counselor in a residential treatment facility for adolescents with addiction and mental health issues. Here, it became evident that the most effective treatments addressed the mental, emotional, and physical spheres of health. In addition, superficial treatments that only addressed symptoms and relied entirely on prescription medications were not effective in the long term. It made sense that a practitioner that focused on all spheres of health while treating the root cause could offer the most benefit to patients. I then sought out an integrative four-year medical program that combined conventional medicine and natural medicine, so I could do just that.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I love working with people to help them meet their health goals as well as solving puzzles. This profession is the perfect fit because I get to do both. When I was younger I would voraciously read anything that I could get my hands on related to health and I loved sharing what I was learning. I continue to do this today - sharing knowledge with patients and inspiring them to make changes so they want to get out of bed in the morning too. This never gets old.
What conditions/health patterns do you like to work with most?
I especially enjoy helping people with chronic digestive issues, fertility or hormonal issues, and thyroid concerns. I also love working with children to help them establish foundations that will foster their health through a lifetime.
What are you currently working on in your professional life?
I am currently working towards Maya Abdominal Massage certification which will nicely compliment the work I do with patients looking to improve fertility, women’s health concerns, and digestive issues. I continue to study the immense field of nutrigenomics and the latest research in SIBO, fertility, pediatrics, and women’s health issues.
How do you spend your free time?
I can usually be found on fun family outings like roller skating, bowling, and sledding adventures. My dog, Whiskey and I enjoy running through the local parks and woods. I love open water swimming and biking, being out in nature, and especially playing music with family and friends.
What do you look for in a health care practitioner?
The qualities that I look for in a health care provider are those I try to foster in myself--empathy, honesty, supportive, knowledgable, caring, grounded in real life experience, and not afraid to laugh--laughter is so important.