“I am passionate about connecting people with their health. I love being the person to demystify a patient’s medical concerns to help them understand what is going on and what to do in the most logical way. In that, ‘doctor as teacher’ and the ‘treat the root cause’ are always my favorite guiding principles.”
Dr. Steven Sorr is emphatic in his opinions of naturopathic medicine. “This profession is amazing,” he says, “and has allowed me to help people in such deep and profound ways, all the way to the simplest easy fixes.” He feels that the multidisciplinary approach of naturopathic medicine is what sets it apart from conventional medicine. This approach gives NDs the flexibility to treat the entire person instead of merely treating the presenting symptoms.
Laying the groundwork to become an ND
Dr. Sorr took an unusual path to becoming a naturopathic doctor. He actually started with two different career paths—as a Yoga instructor and a pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Both professions provided him with a background of service to others with the goal of helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle. As Dr. Sorr attests, his culinary skills “[benefit my] patients who need simple solutions in the kitchen for making delicious and healthy meals, although desserts are something I typically steer away from these days.”
Dr. Sorr decided to expand these skills and train as a naturopathic doctor because “it offered a wider variety of therapeutic modalities.” He was also intrigued by the rigorous medical education that exposed him to traditional and naturopathic methodologies. He chose to pursue his medical training at SCNM because of the highly praised faculty. Furthermore, the AANMC phrase “mind of a doctor, heart of healer” stuck in his mind and sold him on the naturopathic philosophy.
SCNM as a springboard
Dr. Sorr was drawn to SCNM because of its curriculum. He went from being an advocate to a leader in naturopathic medicine. One of the strongest aspects of the curriculum is that it taught him how to read and interpret research without “cherry-picking” the data. SCNM has also provided him with a network of colleagues across the U.S. and Canada that he can turn to for advice or mentoring.
Part of what has led to Dr. Sorr’s success is the fact that he has maintained a business plan since before he even entered SCNM. He was able to not only gain the medical background that he needed to survive, but he was able to pair that with a business acumen that helped him hit the ground running and flourish.
“Living the dream” after graduation
After completing all of his classes and board examination, Dr. Sorr realized he was about to begin a voyage that would be “the most arduous in [his] whole life.” As such, he treated himself to a nice vacation. But even before he graduated, Dr. Sorr began to scout locations for his clinic. Once he was back from his post-graduation break, he broke ground on the Source of Health in Scottsdale, AZ. While the first year is known to be the toughest, he was already turning his practice into a success within just a few months.
Finding fulfillment as an ND
When asked about his life and a sense of personal fulfillment, Dr. Sorr states that “work and life balance is the key to my sanity.” He makes sure to practice what he preaches, utilizing diet, exercise and rest to stay healthy and centered. Even though he is expanding his business, he makes sure to leave his work to spend time with his friends and family and to enjoy his new home.
“Becoming a naturopathic doctor has given me the most incredible gift,” adds Dr. Sorr. He finds personal fulfillment in being able to take the time to “truly listen to a patient and properly identify, diagnose and treat accordingly.” It’s the ability to ease patient’s frustration when a health problem is not diagnosed, that provides him with the strongest feeling of success.
Advice for aspiring NDs
Dr. Sorr offers one key piece of advice for aspiring naturopathic doctors: “Focus and niche down on what you wish to treat.” Finding your specialty will set you apart and will help you to become more successful. In addition, specializing helps you to find greater fulfillment in your work. Many students think they will graduate and get a job, when, in fact, you must create your job by helping others in a unique manner.” That is why it is so important to develop a business model early on to craft your vision of what you want your practice to be.
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