Why did I become a Naturopathic Doctor? For as long as I can remember, naturopathic medicine has always been a part of my life, whether I knew it or not. I grew up in a small town in Northern BC where there were more cattle than people! We didn’t have the resources that you would find in a big city so we had to be resourceful. My parents built a garden that was probably bigger than most residential land plots you could buy in a big city. They always encouraged us to get outside to play in the dirt and run through the woods as our form of entertainment. When we got sick my parents were self-sufficient. They would use simple methods like steam inhalations to help clear my lungs and real, nutritious food to boost the immune system. I know this simple, natural way of living subconsciously contributed to me choosing this profession. But to be honest, it was kind of accidental how I formally got into naturopathic medicine. Before I began at the Boucher Institute for Naturopathic Medicine, I was pursuing a different health care profession, but it never felt complete – for me or as a health care model. After my wife had encouraged me to attend an open house at Boucher, I discovered how NDs were trained and the diverse set of skills they learn. I soon realized this was the complete approach to sustainable health I was looking for.
This gained skillset has really shaped where my interests lie and the people that inspire me to practice medicine. First and foremost I work on the platform of personalized, preventative health care. I have a focus in family medicine with a keen interest in pediatrics and men’s health. In our pediatric population, setting a foundation and strong values in healthy living will set the stage for our children’s overall wellbeing. Men’s health is a little trickier to approach because we men have a reputation for not really “fixing it until it’s broke”. However, when it comes to taking care of our home, car, garden, bike, or whatever else, we will gladly carve out the time. My goal is to help my patient set health as one of their top priorities.
You might be wondering what “healthy living” is to me. It’s actually pretty simple when I don’t over complicate it. Yes it takes work, balance, and adjustments all the time, but when you commit to it and when you have a physician committed to you this workload becomes quite manageable. Throughout my life I have always had an affinity for exercise and movement and grew up as an active individual – playing competitive soccer, competing in snowboarding and mountain biking, and now finding a passion in rock climbing. All these activities have guided me in seeing the importance of being active, but over the years, as I have gained experience and wisdom, I have discovered that being active is only a small piece of the puzzle to optimum health. I like to break it down into 5 separate but connected pieces:
- Relaxation (including sleep!)
I have been exploring this more balanced approach personally for some time and now incorporate it into my patient’s treatment plan in every visit. In doing this, I can dig deeper into the root of healing and guide the patient into a long-term solution for their health. With this naturopathic approach, you will see that what I teach can easily be built into healthy habits and rituals in every aspect of life – ultimately guiding you to being the best version of yourself.
So why did I choose the North Shore to set up my practice? Having lived here for the last 7 years, I can feel how much it breathes life and community. It seamlessly blends the beauty of the natural world with the amenities of a city, so you are never far from anything. If I wanted to go for an adventure, like the north shore trails, the cliffs of Squamish, or the million other natural wonders in the sea-to-sky corridor it is all at my fingertips.
Why did I choose to expand my practice to a rural community in Northern BC? Much like my practice in North Vancouver, a major draw to a place of practice for me has to be centered around community - it just so happens I have found this community in my hometown of Vanderhoof BC! It has been an incredibly exciting time with so many changes over the last year that have led me to practicing part time in a rural community. I have always been drawn to expanding my services to areas that don't have immediate access to naturopathic medicine. My late family doctor, Dr. Bert Kelly, MD, was a pioneer for bringing trained medical doctors to more rural settings and I know his values aligned with mine. Although I practice a different, but similar trade than medical doctors, I am still providing primary care to help those in need. Right now I am flying up monthly to be a general practitioner for the community that raised me.
What would be my ideal day in BC? A perfect day for me is finding my way outdoors – rain or shine. My wife and I love to explore new trails on the North Shore and take our little pup almost everywhere we go. If we are not staying local, we are exploring what the west coast has to offer and have made it a little project of ours to explore as many of the Gulf Coast Islands as we can. We are also huge foodies, so after a fulfilling, adventurous day we like to venture out into the city for some warm hospitality and creative culinary experiences. We value this time to connect with our friends who constantly inspire and motivate us to be the best we can be but also help provide us with those belly laugh moments that memories are made of.