Dr V's Personal Story Part 2
At 19 years old, I had to take my personal power and health back. I was determined not to end up a psychiatric patient for life. I inherently knew the things required to be healthy and understood much about the human body. On being released from the hospital I did the work, I ensured appropriate exercise, I flushed my drugs down the toilet (not recommended), I recalibrated my broken circadian rhythm with proper exposure to sunlight, and should have bought shares in the organic food shop in town because I practically moved into the cafe there. I researched which nutrients were required for biochemical pathways I felt needed supporting and within 4 weeks I was feeling like myself again.
It was at that point in my life, I decided I needed to be a doctor, rather than a veterinarian. I knew I could help people like me, who were damaged by the conventional system and its Band-Aid treatments. I remember asking my dad what he thought about the idea and him advising “Don’t become an old Mad Dog (MD) like me. Research integrative medicine, and specialize so that you can keep your patient load smaller and actually help people, without sacrificing your own health.” I decided to finish studies in pre med, before taking his advice to heart.
By doing my undergrad in pre-medical sciences, and postgraduate studies in Naturopathic (Integrative) Medicine at one of the top accredited residential colleges I was able to see the bigger picture. I’ve come to the personal conclusion that health cannot simply be reduced to biochemistry and pharmacology, and that to thrive as a human being in our modern environment requires a holistic approach. I am now able to now combine the very best of conventional medicine with evidence based natural and integrative therapies. I’m proud to offer a safe space, and ample time to get to know my patients beyond their symptoms or diseases. Thanks to my background and personal experience I have an appreciation for the usefulness of both systems and see how they could be beautifully melded to create better patient care and ability. The goal of any medical system should be addressing the fundamental causes of disease, rather than simply medicating symptoms, because it doesn't have the time to address them.
We absolutely need strong pharmaceuticals to ease suffering and save lives. Our modern dependence on them however is bankrupting medical spending and not making anyone any healthier.
After medical school, I ended up practicing in a busy multidisciplinary clinic, because, that's what new docs do; they work in hospitals or clinics and remain generally insulated from the business side of medical practice. At our practice we provided general health care to all segments of the population. I became like my father seeing anyone who needed help. While it was deeply rewarding it was completely unsustainable. I found myself making excuses, over promising while under delivering and once again for the first time since in my late teens, struggling to keep it all together day to day. Something desperately needed to change. To compound matters my home life was also a mess. After moving away from home at 17, I found myself again living with my parents while bearing witness to a failing marriage. I busied myself with other things, avoiding the obvious deterioration, while not quite caring enough or having the internal resources to mount a relationship rescue mission.
Once again I became deeply depressed, but this time instead of turning to pharmaceuticals, I relied on eating well, targeted nutraceuticals and spending time in nature to carry me through. Luckily it worked, and I was able to step back and begin some authentic self-work. I filled countless journals with sometimes-incessant rambles, meditated my way into clarity, and got serious about trying to manifest the life I wanted…