Why Don't I Practice Naturopathic Medicine?
I'm a naturopath, but I never knew if I wanted to be a doctor. I stumbled on naturopathic medical school to learn more about the science of the human body. Along the way I found that I enjoyed teaching patients about how their bodies and minds worked. I found that I could help people.
What I never liked was the actual practice of medicine, even naturopathic, functional, or integrative medicine. See, "medicine" involves taking a unique human problem and generalizing it by putting it into a diagnostic box.
If a person came into my office feeling tired and cold and depressed. I might test them for antibodies to the thyroid gland and diagnose them with Hashimoto's.
"Aha!" I said ten years ago, "Now that I know what's wrong, I know how to treat it!"
Alas, each case of Hashimoto's is unique and there is no one treatment that is generally successful.
I failed many times.
So, I dove deeper into study, training, and practice. I learned about all the underlying reasons someone could have Hashimoto's thyroid disease:
- Leaky gut
- Brain issues
- Hormone problems
- On and on and on...
"Aha!" I said eight years ago, "Now that I know what's wrong, I know how to treat it!" For each problem, I developed new tools to treat my new, more refined diagnoses. My naturopathic practice was evolving.
But our knowledge of these body systems is limited, the amount of money it takes to investigate all of them is finite, and the treatments often don't work. Oh, and my patients get tired of eating limited foods and swallowing pills.
I failed many times.
So, I gave up. I gave up trying to play "Doctor is God" and decide what is best for my patients. I gave up guessing. I gave up feeling overwhelmed with the never-ending search for the "next shiny object" that would finally make the difference in my patients.
I gave up medicine.
Elsewhere on this site you can find descriptions of my new philosophy of healing. You can read about the joy I experience every day in helping my clients discover their own innate healing capacity. And you can read about how easy it is for YOU to do the same.
But, here, let me say simply thus: I gave up practicing naturopathic medicine because I discovered a door to healing that simply works better for me and my clients. Clients still walk through the door covered in diagnostic labels. But now I can simply sit back and watch those labels fall off, unneeded, as we walk out of the medical model and into self-empowerment and true healing.