OANP Member Spotlight with Dr. Pamela Jeanne
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Posted by: Audra Bates
How are you currently using your ND? What is your primary focus area of practice?
I focus on women's medicine, particularly hormonal balance. I treat many women in the perimenopausal and menopausal transition of life, specializing in hormones. I have a lot of female patients dealing with fatigue. I am very focused on nature cure working with patient nutrition, cleansing, and releasing toxins from the body.
I also taught at NCNM for around 16 years - lecturing on nature cure. And during that time, I guest lectured in hydrotherapy and philosophy classes.
After many years, I am winding down my practice.
How is OANP valuable to you?
I've been a member since the beginning of my professional career. I knew it was important because OANP was an organization standing up for NDs and our profession needed it. Upon graduation, you are a lone star, trying to start a practice. You need the organization to support you. I felt the need to give allegiance (to OANP) as an ND, so we could grow ourselves. I have maintained membership over the years, because I knew that having a representing organization in the forefront is imperative to legitimize our profession. OANP serves as a watchdog on the legislative process and works hard to block legislation suppressing our ability to practice and passing legislation that enables us to practice. I held the role of OANP President for a while, so I have firsthand knowledge in the ways that OANP serves the profession. The organization is important for NDs to be able to keep their heads held high. Every professional needs an association to support them.
Do you have a favorite patient experience?
I had a patient whose best friend had a stroke. The patient felt the need for immediate change in order to avoid a similar outcome. The patient didn't have insurance or a large income, but had started a savings specifically for her health. With a number of chronic issues, I was able to help the patient by providing cleansing programs. She changed her diet and was able to succeed and was treated for several years, monitoring her labs (all her labs improved over the years!) mostly through nutrition. Which is the basis of naturopathy - it works so well when the patient is motivated to do the work. She was outstanding because she was so committed to become healthy.
I feel the basis of my work is education and teaching others. If you don't care deeply about yourself - you won't do it. We have to change our ideas about self worth - especially women. This is what naturopathy is about - teaching people that they are worth taking care of themselves.
Why do you practice naturopathic medicine?
I was an RN and worked in the medical system for 20 years. I saw firsthand how patients were treated and the system wasn't allowing an MD to go outside a very specific scope. I knew as mother, how important nutrition was to overall health. After 20 years in the medical system, nutrition wasn't a part of educating patients how to be "well". You can't improve health through pills alone. I wanted to do something more meaningful. After my 40th birthday - I asked myself "Is this where I want to be?" The answer was "no". I began a healthier diet myself, became vegetarian and eventually cut out dairy, and began feeling much better. At the time, I was living in Florida and I considered leaving medicine altogether and dabbled in solar energy business. One day was looking at a health magazine and saw an ad for NCNM. I immediately called them and the rest was history. Packed my bags and went to school. Drove across the country and entered school. As an ND, I could help patients in the ways I couldn't as a nurse.
Who is the most influential person to you on your naturopathic journey?
Louise Edwards. She was a few years ahead of me at NCNM. She has blossomed and is now teaching in Chicago. She truly teaches the principles of naturopathic medicine and The Determinants of Health.
Betty Radelet also comes to mind. I value that she stuck to the true roots of naturopathic medicine. She's was a very quiet woman but was very influential.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My most proud accomplishment is raising 2 well-balanced sons. They are wonderful parents and successful in their own careers. Children thrive with attention, love, and authenticity. I gave my children my best and they turned out well. Raising children is THE hardest profession anyone can do. This is not recognized as it should be.
In my professional life, I am most proud of the work I did on the OANP Board. I inherited the role of OANP President in the mid 90s. It was on the brink of collapse and with 2 other people, we brought it back to life. We literally pounded the table and said "the OANP is in trouble and we need your help!" We were able to hire someone to help with administrative duties. I was very invested in OANP in my early practice years.
Do you have any words of wisdom for recent ND graduates?
1. Trust yourself and trust your intuitive sense of what is right for a patient. You've gone to school, worked hard, and have the knowledge. When you are sitting with a patient, use your intuition in combination with your knowledge. If you can do this, you can be a great physician. Don't put your intuitive sense away - keep it. It is important.
2. I also think it's important to bring the spiritual into healing. This gets difficult because it can be triggering. I don't mean this in a religious sense. I say Spiritual because we are spiritual beings - and we need this for healing.
3. Always invite your patient into the solution. Because they know what can be helpful. Put your heads together to find the solution. You are not an authority. The patient is the actual authority and they are in charge.
What is your definition of happiness?
Contentment. Inner peace. When I feel my inner peace and feel content, I am happy.
Who is your favorite author?
I read mostly self-help books. But, I just finished the Michelle Obama book and I am so in love with her writing, what she stands for, and her advocacy of children and family.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
If you stand too close, I will hug you.
Anything else you want to add?
I love our profession because of its roots. I love that we can think for ourselves on what our patients need. I want to be a mentor now for younger doctors. Helping a young doctor find their way in an area they can focus on. This is my role now. I hope more doctors will continue to support to OANP.