Thursday, October 9, 2008

NDs & MDs - Choosing a Doctor

Naturopathic doctors are the best at preventing and treating chronic illness. They are trained to treat the whole person, holistically, not just as a conglomeration of body parts. NDs are knowledgeable in a wide variety of healing modalities, including nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and psychology. NDs excel at correcting systemic imbalances, such as the hormonal, nutritional, and neurotransmitter imbalances that cause mental illness. They can help you heal from longstanding chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, depression, diabetes, chronic fatigue, premenstrual syndrome, and much more.

Naturopathic Physician Information

If I crash my car, need surgery, or have an acute illness that requires prescription drugs, (god forbid!) I need an MD. Allopathic doctors provide valuable services for emergency and acute care. Allopathic drugs are powerful at relieving symptoms, and can be life-saving. They can also cause nasty side-effects and unintended consequences, such as the antibiotic drugs that kill all the body's beneficial bacteria, leading to candida (yeast) overgrowth. Allopathic MDs can be good listeners and helpful allies, just like naturopathic NDs. They just don't have the holistic training that NDs have, and thus their success at resolving systemic, chronic illnesses is limited.

If you do need an MD, try to find someone who listens, cares, and has time to answer your questions. Many MDs nowadays work in overcrowded "managed care" facilities, and have very little time to spend with each patient. An independent MD with a small practice may be able to spend more time with you, and thus be a more effective ally for your health. Here in Eugene, I see Dr. Pamela Wible, who has created a new model for responsive, patient-oriented, community medicine at her Family & Community Medicine clinic at Tamarack Wellness Center.

Naturopathic doctors are legally licensed in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and I feel fortunate that here in Oregon, NDs are licensed as primary care physicians and covered by many health insurance policies. I recently found a wonderful new ND here in Eugene, Dr. Ananda Stiegler. Dr. Stiegler is knowledgeable, compassionate, a creative problem-solver, and a great listener. She recently opened a new office in downtown Eugene, Balance in Health. We are working together as a team to resolve my health imbalances holistically and effectively.

Whoever your doctor is, please remember to speak up, ask questions, and advocate for your needs. Despite their professional expertise, YOU are the true expert at your own health. Only YOU can heal yourself. You just need some help! So make sure that whoever your doctor is, you work together as a team.

Wishing you all health, well-being, and happiness.

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