Hero Story

My journey to become a naturopathic doctor.

Dr. Houtan, NMD

Hello dear reader. Dr. Houtie here. I’d like to give you a first-hand account of why and how I came to be a naturopathic doctor.

I first knew that I wanted to be a physician in high school. I loved science, I was fascinated by the human body, and quite frankly I was a nerd who wanted to help people. Beyond that, I didn’t have much direction.

As I entered college, I began to notice changes in my own health. I stopped having my period for months which then turned into years, I had intense sugar cravings, and my mood was unstable. I was so unpredictable that my family didn’t know how to talk to me at times. At the time, I saw several endocrinologists and gynecologists with the hope that they could diagnose and treat my condition, or at the very least tell me what was happening to me. A few times I went out of my way to see a specialist off campus, other times I gathered dust for hours in a waiting room to see doctors who were, in a word, incompetent.

It turned out that conventional medicine had no clue how to help me.

They slapped a useless diagnosis on my case, threw a few varieties of birth control pills at me which made things worse and were never aimed at solving the core issue, and waved away at my questions. This is when I decided with a hot passion that I would be the doctor that I need, and that others like me need. I decided to become an endocrinologist halfway through college—a path that would only lead to greater things once I discovered naturopathic medicine.

Dr. Houtan, NMD

After I lost faith in conventional medicine, I was determined (as a good Type-A pre-med student should be) to educate myself on improving my health naturally, however misguided this attempt may have been. My first mistake was trusting Dr. Google to know how one should achieve health and wellness. With the erroneous information I found on the internet, I changed my diet and became “pescatarian,” which amounted to lots of carbs and processed food in lieu of eating meat. I exercised incessantly, to the point where it was unsafe and likely caused more harm than good. The moral of the story here is: don’t trust Dr. Google, and find yourself a worthy naturopathic doctor instead!

Eventually, I found my way from the regular gym to CrossFit because I wanted more of a challenge, which should be no surprise to anyone given how motivated I was to find “the answer,” and my erroneous belief that “more is better.” This discovery led me to the world of the Paleo diet and strength training, both of which helped me to nourish and strengthen myself in ways that I couldn’t have imagined at that point in my understanding of health. And guess what?! I started getting my period again! Eating more meat and removing processed food from my diet did wonders for my health. I still had a great deal to learn, but this was a nice start.

Dr. Houtan, NMD

At CrossFit, my coach (knowing that I was interested in medicine) introduced me to naturopathic medicine. As soon as I learned that this style of holistic medicine existed, I did my research, applied to SCNM, and was accepted. The fun was about to begin!

Throughout medical school, I made it my duty to learn everything that I could in order to further my own healing, and eventually be able to apply that education to my own patients. I shadowed amazing physicians, found warm-hearted mentors, and experimented on myself regularly. By the end of naturopathic medical school, I had found balance within my life, a delicious nutrient-dense diet, and a lifestyle to support wellness and longevity.

I continue to evolve as a human being, and I bring this evolution into my practice. I’m happy to say that on a daily basis, I can see the reflection of my hard work in the progress of my patients and their health. The journey on which I found myself in my late teens led me to a beautiful place where I’ve been able to blossom, grow, and spread wellness to others for many years to come.

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