I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old. I just thought it would be the coolest thing to care for people and their health. When I was about 12, I became interested in natural remedies. My mother and grandmother use to visit the local health food store from time to time and purchased a few books. One day I was looking for a video in the cabinet and I noticed a natural remedy book. I became fascinated by the things you could treat naturally. Still not knowing that there was a such thing as a Naturopathic doctor, I was determined to be a conventional doctor. During my early teen years, I started to experience a range of symptoms from difficulty breathing to abdominal discomfort. During my research, the doctors would tell me that I not have certain things because I would have been experiencing more symptoms or that my clinical picture would have been different. But by the end of it, I had diagnosed myself correctly. To me it wasn’t about the diagnosis and what I had, it was about the fact that I felt very unheard by those who were meant to listen. Unheard by those who were in charge of my medical health care. I knew that when I become a doctor I would be better and listen to my patient’s complaints. That I would make sure that they were heard and would keep searching for the cause of their symptoms until there was nothing left. The desire to work with my patients and to do better by them carried me through my remaining high school years.
After graduating, I began my pre-med courses at a local community college. At the time, I didn’t feel prepared for my first semester, so I thought about my future. I had always wanted to be a doctor but I needed to figure out if I was truly ready to go to school for 8 years. I remained in school and completed an accelerated medical assisting program in order for me to get into a medical office and get a true feel for the medical industry. Shortly after completing my internship, I worked in a medical facility with a dermatologist and a group of pediatricians. During my time there, I learned all the doctors were very unhappy people. The dermatologist would go so far as to tell his patients that had children who wanted to be doctors, not to do it. When faced with the idea of going to school for 8 years and being unhappy, I decided to switched majors.
I switched from being pre-med to becoming a business major. I attended an accelerated night business management program at a university while working full-time during the day. Immediately after completing my BA in business management, I attended another university to begin my master’s degree. Shortly after I began, the economy took a crash. Suddenly my job and my future was uncertain. I was faced with decision on if to complete my master’s degree when there was so much uncertainty. I decided to revisit the idea of doing something in science, more specifically health care as the desire to care for people had never really left. , I considered cosmetic chemistry, but I knew chemistry was definitely my weak area. I began to discuss my future with a friend and she told me that she always saw me as a doctor and maybe it was time to reconsider the idea. Since she was in a chiropractic program, she invited me to check out the naturopathic medical program at her school. She told me that I could be a primary care doctor and “play with all my natural remedies“ too. I never knew there was a such thing as a naturopathic doctor, I had only heard of a naturopath. While I have much respect for naturopaths, they are not exactly the same as a Naturopathic doctor. After visiting my friend’s school, I knew It was where I was meant to be.
Before I could start I had to complete all my pre-med courses, I was broke, but I knew I had to make it happen. I began the naturopathic program in 2010, but there was one problem, Illinois is not licensed for naturopathic doctors, which meant that I could not be considered a physician in Illinois even after 8 years in total (more for me). I would not have the rights to practice how I learned or wanted to, but many people at the university assured me that in 2 years we would be licensed (currently Illinois is still not licensed). Towards the tail end of the naturopathic program I considered obtaining my master’s in Oriental medicine and acupuncture. I saw how acupuncture worked for me and I felt it would be a great addition to naturopathy and would be an added benefit for my patients. In addition, it would allow me to hold a license in Illinois. Immediately after graduating the naturopathic program, I opened Acure Wellness in Naperville, IL. I saw patients during the day, I worked weekends at a health food store, and attended my acupuncture classes at night. As I planned out my course load for graduation, I realized half way in that it would take me much longer to finish due to how the classes were set up and that there was no possible way to finish early. After further investigation, I noticed that if I dropped the oriental medicine portion, completed the acupuncture and add chiropractic medicine, I would graduate at the same time. Adding chiropractic medicine would mean a second doctorate degree and I knew that it would come with its own new set of challenges. Making that decision was not an easy one but when I thought about what it would mean for my patients, it was one that I had to, but more importantly wanted to make for them. This decision, would give me the right, in Illinois, to be a primary care physician. I could practice how I wanted and I could better serve the people in my community.
Despite the path to get here, I have always been and always will be dedicated to my patients. The same drive and commitment I had completing all my schooling, is the same drive and commitment I have with my patient’s health. My goal is to change the face of healthcare one visit at a time. I look forward to working with you to better your health.