OANP Member Spotlight with Dr. Hilary Andrews: Practicing in Portland and Specializing in Vaccines
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Posted by: Brook Schales
How are you currently using your ND?
Dr. Andrews: I teach courses on vaccine education through my business Vaccine Consult, llc. I teach a continuing education webinar on vaccines and the methodologies of creating individualized schedules for their patients; it is called The Vaccine Balancing Act. My courses teach docs how to individualized vaccine schedules for children: I have developed a method/algorithm for creating a patient centered individualized vaccine schedule based on a child’s unique health strengths and risks. I also help support immune health. I also teach webinars on vaccines such as Shingles, HPV, Influenza, Pertussis and Tetanus which include valuable information about the disease and how to utilize naturopathic modalities to prevent and treat them without the use of vaccines.
I have a small private practice my neighborhood and I have a good sized telemedicine practice. I almost exclusively see patients for vaccine/infectious disease related issues: I create a safe space for parents to talk about their concerns regarding vaccines and infectious diseases. I want my office to be a “soft place to land” for parents and all questions are great questions. Additionally, I work with children who have suffered vaccine related injuries, striving to bring their health back into balance. I focus much of my practice working with patients to prevent and treat infectious diseases using nutrition, homeopathy etc.
How is OANP valuable to you and/or your profession?
Dr. Andrews: I feel so fortunate to live and practice in a state that offers the scope of practice we have here in Oregon. The OANP has worked impressively hard to fight for the rights we currently have and to expand our scope. The OANP has forged incredible political relationships that have strengthened our profession and I have had the opportunity to witness this first-hand. Additionally, I am thankful for the CE courses they offer with their membership.
Do you have a favorite patient experience?
Dr. Andrews: Yes! I still get emotional thinking about it. I had a 2 year old child come into my office who presented with mood changes after being given the MMR vaccine at 18 months of age. The parent’s described that the child started to exhibit severe temper tantrums, difficulty falling and staying asleep, greater frustration almost immediately after the vaccine. The changes were too subtle to be considered a “vaccine reaction” in the CDC sense. The parents were told by many that the child’s changes were most likely the terrible twos and were, therefore, normal. I prescribed a small nutritional change, a single homeopathic remedy and 1 round of drainage. The parents called me within two days saying there was a wonderful change in their son and they felt he was back on normal. I was hesitant to be too optimistic and wanted to wait for the in-office follow-up in one month. At the follow-up visit the parents confirmed the positive changes, but what was really special to me was that they presented me with a group of letters from individual family members (grandparents) who also thanked me and talked about the positive changes they witnessed in the child. After reading the letters later that day I felt so grateful for our medicine…what struck me the most was that my interaction with the family on the first patient visit was so ordinary and routine to me (I knew I could help them) and the treatment plan was easy, and yet it changed this family’s life. I sometimes take for granted how incredible our medicine is. Often the solution can be so easy when you really understand how an individual is manifesting dis-ease in their body. That is the beauty of our medicine!
Why do you practice naturopathic medicine?
Dr. Andrews: I want to improve the health of the planet one person at a time.
Who is/was the most influential person to you on your naturopathic journey?
Dr. Andrews: The professors I had at NCNM were incredibly influential for me. These include Jared Zeff, Dick Thom, Russell Marz. Currently, I am a huge fan of the work done by Dan Chong (a fellow classmate). Actually, I am in awe of all my fellow practitioners.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Dr. Andrews: My continuing education courses! I feel really proud of them.
Do you have any words of wisdom for recent ND graduates?
Dr. Andrews: It’s OK to not have all the answers to your patient’s questions.
What is your definition of “happiness”?
Dr. Andrews: Oh gee, that’s a hard one…speaking as genuinely as I can, I strive to find happiness but I have struggled with depression over the last couple of years, that said, I find the most happiness with my husband and son who make me laugh almost every day.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
Dr. Andrews: I actually have a song list on my phone. The song at the top of the list is “Secondhand News” by Fleetwood Mac
Who is your favorite author?
Dr. Andrews: Philippa Gregory