A: I’ve always wanted to be a doctor (besides the few months I wanted to be an Olympic gold medalist or the few years I wanted to be Elle Woods in Legally Blonde). I realized that my love for puzzles, science, and getting to know and interact with other humans would make me a really great doctor. I did hospital rotations while in undergrad and was not inspired to continue on that career path. Instead of entering that system and attempting to change it, I found a branch of medicine that combined all my love for modern technology and science with the expanded holistic tool box that can target specific biochemistry and make people better. I knew in that moment I was destined to be a Naturopathic Doctor.
I chose to go into Cardiology because of my curiosity and fascination with the heart’s physiology (I’m a details person, I couldn't resist!). I chose to stay in the specialty because I found there was a lot of fear-based decision making on the patient’s end to make quick decisions, especially when they are being told there are life-altering consequences on the line. During my internship, I found that if the doctor and the patient were all on the same page about risks, benefits, possibilities of adverse events, set specific guidelines and goals we could all work together to positively benefit their heart health. That's my practice philosophy – to have open lines of communication, collaborate with my patients, and have clear expectations and goals we are working towards. When we all do our part, your heart reaps the rewards.
Q: Tell us about a time you really connected with a patient and went above and beyond to meet their needs.
A: I’ll never forget a patient I followed in my internship, Q. He had been seeing my attending physician for quite some time with several heart issues (valve disease, arrhythmias, hypertension and eventually an enlarged heart) and we were working through all the holistic therapies in our tool box to get to the root cause, mitigate risks of adverse events, and ultimately heal his heart. He was getting better, so much better. His blood pressure came down, his arrhythmias were under better control, and his heart was healing.
There came a point in his treatment where we had to discuss risks and benefits of getting his valve replaced, and analyze the benefits his valve was getting with our current therapies. We ultimately decided that it would be the best decision to get the valve replaced and we (yes, we!) started interviewing surgeons. We advised him on his surgical options, and picked one we thought would be best for him and sought out to find a surgeon who could do it, and do it well. I followed that patient into the surgical room to observe and then post-surgery put him on a great healing protocol! He recovered quickly and was back to being the best version of Q possible!
Q: What is your favorite meal?
A: My favorite meal is chicken jambalaya, extra spicy. My grandma used to make that meal for me all the time as a child and when I came home from college, and it holds a lot of nostalgic memories for me. She spent her last Christmas eve teaching me how to make it the ‘right’ way, the way grandma always made it.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: I spend as much of my free time outdoors as I can! One of the biggest draws for me to move to Minnesota was the availability of year round outdoor activities! My husband, Sam, and I love to go skiing in the winter, and spend our summers hiking, camping, and hanging out at the lake. There’s just something about being in nature that reenergizes my spirit.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Doctor (ND). Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of Naturopathic Medicine and developed a passion for treating cardiovascular concerns, endocrine disorders, & mens health concerns.