Philosophy / Evidence-Based Medicine

As a member of a medical profession, I believe that the naturopathic principles which give the naturopathic profession its identity includes, and must actively be tempered, by self-examination through both clinical research at a mostly institutional level, as well as clinical governance at the practice-level.  I hold the position that it is ultimately part of my Naturopathic Physician’s Oath (“I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and science of Naturopathic medicine”) that I must subject my clinical decisions to the test of science when and where possible.  I try my best to practice according to established clinical guidelines of the European Society of Endocrinology for endocrine disorders, the European League Against Rheumatism for musculosketal diseases, and the American Academy of Family Physicians for most everything else.  I will only deviate from these guidelines when there is compelling reasons, which occurs more often in my practice because most of my patients have to some degree failed to do well enough with standard care.  I am surely more likely than conventional-only doctors to use adjunctive therapies such as acupuncture or manipulation because I have also had much training and experience in these areas.

There are some in the naturopathic, chiropractic, and acupuncture profession who believe that evidence-based-medicine is a product of a mechanistic world view, which is using an overly narrow/restrictive view of science, deliberately designed to place such professions distinctively on the outside of the circle of science.  As an integrative physician, I do not participate in this interprofessional debate, which I believes is based more in economics and turf-war politics more than what is in the best interest of patients and the public.

As a doctor with one foot in alternative medicine and one foot in conventional medicine, he often finds himself in unfriendly waters by one or the other group.  Many fellow naturopaths or other “alternative” practitioners, for example, do not like his positive embrace of CDC immunization guidelines.  Some patients are taken aback by his lack of enthusiasm about some aspects of alternative medicine that they may they favor.  Endocrinologists may shake their head at my predilection for glandular medications over Synthroid or its generic for post-thyroidectomy and Hashimoto patients. Despite which side is critical, my positions are based on evidence and safety concerns for my patients and public health above all else.