I grew up in rural settings with animals and enjoyed learning how to take care of their needs and to “doctor” them when necessary. As the oldest sibling and cousin, I also did a lot of baby sitting, so it became part of my nature to care for others. That’s probably why I ultimately leaned toward the healing arts as a career choice.
I have always wanted to live a life that would contribute to a better world. Initially, my love for languages and cultures led me to pursue an education in social science and psychological & cultural anthropology at UC Berkeley. I wanted to be a part of bringing peace to the world and thought I could do that by working in intercultural relations. This interest led me to study in Norway, France and Thailand, before and during college.
After college, I worked for an international non-profit organization of business leaders who believed that socially responsible business can be a force of positive change in the world. I then worked in public relations, corporate communications and marketing in the telecommunications industry. At a certain point, I realized that there was something more I was being called to do and that it had to do with healing.
I moved to San Diego where I got a job at Scripps Clinic, and later, at a pharmaceutical company while starting pre-med courses. I learned a great deal about conventional medicine, drugs and drug development while working in those environments and came to appreciate both their strengths and weaknesses. I also studied several forms of iridology and enrolled in an herbal course during this period. After considering pursuing a professional degree in conventional medicine, chiropractic, or traditional Chinese medicine, I finally decided that naturopathic medicine was the best fit for me, offering a sound philosophy and great flexibility in treatment options for patients.
I chose to go to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in sunny Arizona. Shortly after arriving, I met my husband-to-be. It has been wonderful to share the educational journey with him and I very much enjoy having him as my colleague and practicing together.
In January of 2016, I was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Naturopathic Medical Committee, the medical board for naturopathic doctors. It is my hope that through this public service position, I can help to positively shape the role of naturopathic medicine in California as a safe, effective and well-regarded profession.
One thing I really appreciate about practicing naturopathic medicine is that we really seek to address the cause of illness. Sometimes, causes are straightforward and physical, but often, there are emotional or inherited components that need to be addressed for permanent results. This allows me to work with the “whole person” and really get to know my patients. Also, there are many ways of addressing issues, so we have lots of options for treatment. Working with children is especially rewarding because early treatment and prevention can help a person avoid chronic health problems later in life.
My goal is to help all my patients to be independently healthy in every way possible so that they can move forward in life with more freedom and joyfulness.