This has left me in a tough spot. I call myself a naturopath but in general alternative practitioners see me as an outsider because I trust the process of science to discover repeatable results more than I "believe" in the Vis, Qi, energy, spirit, magic or whatever you want to call it. I adopt each practice based on the best information I can find. Everything is a theory: this is the best that we know at this moment. Tomorrow there may be new information and I am willing and able to update my position. I am interested in correlations and information from all fields--biochemistry, genetics, botany, ecology, sociology, psychology, physics, biology, you name it. Opinions and testimonies do not count as information to me. I have had it with hearing people's conversion experiences to believe in unsubstantiated treatments. When someone tells me they "know" something because of personal experience, I think to myself **N = 1**, and catalog that as one tiny bit of *subjective* information in a giant and expanding data set. Are we humans capable of being objective?
Conventional practitioners usually see me as an outsider because I have this degree in naturopathic medicine. It takes time for them to come to know me and recognize that I am not an uncritical "believer", that instead I am a critical thinker and a seeker for the best possible treatments. Alternative medicine is a mixed bag, as is conventional. Dogma exists on both sides. I am not dogmatic. I have a lot to offer, but there is no place in this system where I can just plug in. To date I have been unable to support myself with my practice.
I do not know where this will lead but at this time the only patients I've been able to see and treat are those who are rich enough to pay me out of pocket. When I discount my services, people discount my value. When I charge full rate they complain that their insurance doesn't pay. When I start moving toward accepting insurance I realize freshly what a racket it is, and get very angry. I don't have a solution for this. At this time I am searching for alternate employment, and re-imagining what I may do with my desire to rennovate all medicine by bringing the light of science to shine on it.
One decision that I have made is that I am shedding the word "naturopath" from my professional vocabulary. It is an awkward conglomeration of Greek and Latin, and the meaning doesn't even come close to what I want to do. Nature disease is a bad name. I am looking for professional organizations to join that do not have that word in the title. I am looking to network and integrate with science-minded conventional practitioners.
From this time forward I am a holistic doctor or an integrative physician. I am a licensed prescriber in the state of Oregon, and I am willing and able to help people as long as they are willing to work outside of the limitations of insurance. Big business does not own me. The anti-vaxxers don't own me. And the mystical believers of the naturopathic bubble do not own me either.