My Personal Journey
My inspiration to become a physician started after my own journey of being ill for a year, during my adolescence. I was not able to attend school and was bed ridden. I went to several clinics, physicians and had several tests performed before learning that I had a terminal diagnosis and nothing could be done. For the first time in my life, I accepted God into my life. I asked Him to either heal me or take me. God healed me. God also blessed me with my purpose here on earth: becoming a physician. The year I had been ill during my adolescence, I experienced several physicians that were lacking in their bed side manner. When some of the physicians could not figure out why I was so ill, they attributed my symptoms and illness to being caused by psychological issues, which added to the difficultly, frustration and challenges of being ill. During this year, I realized how important it is for a physician to listen, be humble, compassionate and open-minded. This experience instilled a passion in me to become a physician who would be caring, open-minded and sincerely listen to patients.
After completing medical school and then residency, I worked as a family medicine physician in rural Wyoming. Since my teenage years, I had always had issues with what I thought were seasonal allergies, acid reflux and fatigue. In 2014, my symptoms had become worse. I was feeling more fatigued, having more allergy symptoms and acid reflux. I was taking the conventional medicine approach and was on three medications, with no relief. One of my friends recommended functional medicine. At first, I was skeptical, but did some research and decided to go for a consult. After obtaining a detailed medical history and obtaining labs, the functional medicine specialist was able to explain why I was having these symptoms and what steps were needed to address them. This explanation of the lab results and my symptoms was based on human pathophysiology. The specialist was able to explain what was going on at both an organ and cellular level. I was impressed and amazed. This explanation was based on science and was information I learned in undergrad and medical school. After making dietary changes and working on adrenal health, I was feeling much better. I went off all medications. My fatigue significantly decreased. I no longer had acid reflux or symptoms of environmental allergies.
After my personal success with functional medicine, I was a true believer in functional medicine! In September 2015, I began formal training to become certified in functional medicine. My first course with The Institute of Functional Medicine was a life changer. Everyone including facility, educators and attendees, were so excited and eager to learn or share their knowledge on addressing the root cause of a person’s disease or symptoms to work towards optimal health for patients. I knew immediately, this paralleled well with my goals and beliefs as a physician. I understood that this was a path to a therapeutic relationship with my patients without more regulations and restrictions from health insurance companies and the government. Utilizing functional medicine principles, I feel I can better serve my patients by listening, treating and alleviating symptoms and disease. Since changing to a functional medicine approach, I have been able to partner with patients to get to the root cause of their diseases and have helped some patients decrease or get off of medications entirely. I also feel that a “fee for service” clinic allows less interference from outside agencies and is the most effective way for health and wellness of my patients.
I enjoy hiking and spending time with my husband and two beagles. My passion is to partner with patients to help in their journey to new beginnings to better health.
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