Recently Dr. Marcantel sat down for an interview covering a wide range of topics. In this video she talks about the path that brought her from a conventional medical career into a more integrative type of practice.
I was practicing as a registered nurse, and one of the things I did was home health nursing. I would go into people’s homes. I took care of a lot of diabetics and I would see people with amputations or people on dialysis [due to complications from diabetes]. I started talking with my patients about other alternatives like eating better or exercising regularly to reduce blood sugars instead of constantly taking more insulin and other medications and we would see the blood sugars go down in a more natural way.
I started looking at other things; I had a couple of friends that were diagnosed with breast cancer and I started studying about the power of food and how it affects our bodies. Our whole body changes—our cellular makeup changes—according to what we put into our bodies. Even after thirty years of practicing medicine that still gets me excited—the thought that your whole body can change according to what you put into it.
So I was getting more and more interested in natural therapies but also continuing to use what I had learned as a nurse.
That led to me going back to school at forty-three years old. I was in nursing for about twenty years before I went back to medical school [at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona]. We learned conventional medicine like the pathophysiology of disease processes, biochemistry, and all of that, but we also learned about alternative therapies: acupuncture, homeopathy, good nutrition, and basic things like that.
I consider myself more of an integrative doctor because I use the best of both worlds. We can use conventional medicine, for instance, with the good technologies available to us like ultrasounds, x-rays, and such as that. Sometimes people do need prescribed medications and I can do that, as well, but sometimes the answer is not always using one medication after the other; it is trying to get to the root cause of the person’s problem.