I’m going to be very honest for a moment. I’m not your typical doctor. I may not even be your typical naturopathic doctor. Most people expect someone older (I’m 32), male, and maybe a little more professional looking. Sometimes I think they expect me to walk out in a lab coat. But I don’t do laboratory tests and you don’t sit on an examination table. Instead we sit at a desk together and talk. The people who come to see me are called clients, not patients. I don’t prescribe; I make suggestions. I don’t tell you what to do; we decide what to do together.
So this is what it is like when you come to see me for an appointment. We sit down together and we talk about you. If you have immediate health concerns we talk about that. I’ll ask how long it has been occurring, when it started, and what was going on in your life at that time. We’ll talk about long term health issues, about things that you have tried in the past, what surgeries or prescriptions you may have had. We may even talk about your family, your relationships, your emotions, or your spirituality. Anything goes in a holistic consultation.
My job is to be a detective. I have a certain amount of background education and knowledge that gets me started in the right direction. From there I might do some assessments. I’ll look in your eyes, look at your tongue, and utilize a few different “tools” I have to determine which body systems might be out of balance. Ultimately I’m trying to put the pieces together, find the cause, address the imbalances, and develop a plan.
I’m also a researcher. If it’s not familiar to me, or it’s an unusual symptom, case, or disease… I’m going to look it up. I’ve got all kinds of reference books and resources at my disposal and I’m not afraid to use them. I’m going to research the heck out of your individual case to figure out what works. There is a lot out there in the world of natural health. You probably don’t have time to pour over medical journals, blogs, newsletters and books. You’ve got a career, a family, or other interests. You just want to be well so you can get on with your life. So leave the research to me because that’s my job.
Then when I’ve found something I become a teacher and I help you to understand too. Sometimes our bodies seem so foreign, so against us. It is incredibly empowering to understand what is going on and why. The word doctor in Latin means “teacher”.
Then when we decide on a plan of action I become a coach, helping you stick to the plan, sharing in the pain of disappointment, celebrating with you on the success. It’s a personalized approach to healthcare that has been around for thousands of years but has fallen out of favor in the last century or so. I think it’s time to bring it back.
Come and see me. Let me be your detective, researcher, teacher, coach... and friend. Let me be your doctor.
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.