I was born in the mid 1960's in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one site of the National Laboratories. My mother was a registered nurse, and my father a mathematician. My dad saw the development of the first computer at the lab, and predicted the technological age we live in. When I was 11 my family moved to Vienna, Austria (Europe) and stayed for three years. That exposure to foreign culture and language proved formative for me; I continue to thrive on transcultural adventure. In high school I took up whitewater kayaking, martial arts, and Transcendental Meditation. In college I studied everything...but mostly biology, psychology, philosophy, religion, nursing and chemistry. In 1988 I graduated with a double major bachelor's in Holistic Health and Philosophy. Holistic Health was an individualized program I designed based on my early conviction that true health requires wellness of all aspects of a person. If I'd known about Naturopathic Medicine at that time, I would have graduated with an ND degree in 1992. But I didn't know. My home state of Tennessee is one of the states where Naturopathy is mostly misunderstood or unknown.
I kept working where I'd been employed during college, at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. I worked my way up as the company grew, from dishwasher to cook to store clerk to raft guide to trip leader and kayak instructor to outpost manager. I took up ski patrolling in the winter. I was certified (and re-certified many times) as a Wilderness First Responder, and had ample opportunity to use that training in real outdoor emergencies.
At some point I realized that I liked it when somebody got hurt. It didn't seem right, but I enjoyed the process of assessing the damage, reassuring and stabilizing the patient, calculating logistics and evacuating the patient while also maintaining the health and morale of the rest of the group. I knew I didn't want to participate in the modern medical machine, having had my own experiences with it. But I still didn't know about Naturopathic Medicine. I researched natural methods for maintaining health so that I would not have to go to the doctor. But unfortunately river guiding is abusive, and my body began to complain. I needed to find work that was less physical and more intellectual to keep me engaged for the second half of life.
In 2000 I accepted an office job in Flagstaff, Arizona, with Professional River Outfitters, a company that specializes in setting up Grand Canyon river expeditions for private river runners. I enjoyed my seven seasons there and during that time obtained the services of a local naturopath. I also became a bicycle commuter and settled into a daily yoga practice. I began to study natural health more intensely. The dots began to connect. One by one I completed the pre-requisites for a Naturopathic Doctorate, and in 2007 I relocated to Portland, Oregon to attend the National College of Naturopathic Medicine.
I finished my training and took Clinical Board Exams in 2012, obtained my state license to practice medicine in January 2013, and opened my practice. I am available to people anywhere in the world, if we can find a way to communicate. I send my thanks out to everyone who has helped me through this education, and to those who have been so patient waiting for me to be legally licensed to practice medicine. I am eager to help people sort out real medicine from the rest, and will continue to be a student of life and medicine for as long as I live. Finally I have found a profession in which I can invest my whole self without reserve.