The body is an intricate network of feelings, thoughts, and emotions. These inner processes are manifested through behavior and result in physical presentation. Patients should be viewed as more than just the physical symptoms they present; they are individuals with personal identities and histories who come to physicians to be heard. The loss of my father sparked a strong passion within me to become a physician who looks at the many causes of disease and heals the body as a whole through several modalities, not simply relying on a prescription drug alone. As I searched for a career path to pursue in the broad range of medicine, it was the philosophy behind naturopathic medicine that truly spoke to my character and my concern with proactive healthcare as opposed to reactive healthcare. I believe in my future as a naturopathic physician.
Naturopathic medicine looks beyond the symptoms to get to the root of the problem. By addressing the important roles of environment and emotional health in the overall health of an individual, naturopathic medicine focuses on lifestyle changes through diet, vitamin and supplement intake, and spiritual health. Naturopathic physicians emphasize their roles as teachers, empowering their patients to reach their full potential of optimal health.
As a naturopathic physician I will treat patients from the womb to the elderly for a variety of illnesses. I will spend as much time with patients as needed to get to the cause of the problem and address all possible sources including environmental, social, spiritual, and genetic factors. Through the time spent listening to my patients and addressing everything from diet to exercise to religious concerns, I will develop a trusting and open environment where I will have the ability to teach the patient ways to obtain optimal wellness. In addition to my practice, I will be devoted to learning new methods, conducting research, and raising awareness of the benefits of naturopathic medicine.
I believe that bedside manner is almost as equally important as the medical knowledge itself, for when a patient does not comply with treatment, healing cannot occur. I have personally benefited from the use of herbal treatment, physical adjustments, and mind-body counseling. I fully believe that the air we breathe and water we drink have just as much impact on our overall health as the genes that make up our form. I understand the importance of diet and exercise on brain function and one’s overall feeling of wellbeing. It is through my own experience and my personal research of primary literature of alternative methods that I am convinced of the validity of this approach to medicine. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.