I have been involved in healthcare since 1976 and have practised as a naturopathic doctor for twenty-six years.
At the age of 16, I worked as a nurse's aide caring for the elderly. On my days off I would bring my accordion to the nursing home and entertain these folks that I grew to love.
After becoming a registered nurse in Ontario, I worked for 9 years in hospital medicine, mostly working in critical care areas like ER, ICU, coronary care, neonatal ICU and paediatric ICU. This was a rewarding career, but filled with stressful moments due to the nature of the work.
At that time and for 2 years, I enjoyed teaching neurological nursing to registered nurses as part of a critical care program at Conestoga College.
In 1989, my entry into the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine (now known as the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) was precipitated by an improvement in my own health through naturopathy. Conventional medicine, while wonderful for so many people, I found to be incomplete for myself and others who had not found improvement in health with orthodox medicine.
I was inspired by the idea that we are more than just body parts, and that our body parts entwine with our emotions, mind and spirit to create an optimal quality of life. This was my entry into 'whole-person medicine'.
I graduated from OCNM in 1993 with the Dr. David Lam award in acupuncture, the Dr. John Bastyr award in botanical medicine, the Dr. R.B. Farquharson award in homeopathic medicine, the Dr. Leo Roy/Dr. Joseph Boucher award in clinical nutrition, the Dr. Dennis O'Hara award in diagnostic skills, and the Founder's Scholarship for the student with the highest academic record achieved during the four-year program.
From 1993 – 1995 I practised naturopathic medicine in Ontario. Upon first seeing the incredible beauty of the Bulkley Valley in the summer of 1995, my family and I planted roots and have been proud to call Smithers our home, workplace and playground ever since.