Faculty Spotlight – NUNM – Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH
Director of Research, Senior Investigator and Associate Professor
What do you teach?
Currently I teach Public Health. Medical Nutrition Therapy and guest lecture in Cardiology. I was also clinical faculty at Bastyr University between 2005-2013.
My current role is primarily as a researcher, research mentor and research administrator.
Why did you choose to pursue naturopathic medicine?
I left a PhD program in Pharmacology to pursue an ND because I wanted to do research on lifestyle and non-pharmacologic interventions. Before I left Duke University to go to ND school, the Heart Health Study was published by Dean Ornish, MD, demonstrating advanced cardiovascular disease could be stabilized by lifestyle changes. Upon learning about that study’s findings, I decided I didn’t want to study drug mechanisms anymore, and instead I wanted to learn how to help people create health.
What do you like most about being a naturopathic doctor?
I like how the knowledge base is growing every day as natural therapies are validated with rigorous research; models of health and disease that have been known to naturopathic doctors for generations (e.g., “leaky gut”) are now considered cutting edge science.
I am passionate about representing a different path to health and applying that approach to health care. The public deserves to know there are ways people can stay healthy and not need drugs and increasing medical intervention.
Do you focus on treatment of a specific health condition(s)?
Yes, in my practice I specialize in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I specialize in these areas because lifestyle is proven to make a difference, and not only affects risk factors but also mortality. Also, these are two of the costliest conditions in the United States, and result in the most deaths in the developed world. Naturopathic doctors deliver preventive cardiology in almost every visit, but many other providers do not. It’s a natural fit for NDs.
What do you like most about teaching naturopathic medical students?
They are willing to think “outside of the box,” and as a result end up with a very detailed, and holistic, understanding of physiology and determinants of health.
What advice would you give to those considering naturopathic medical school?
Interview a few practicing doctors, see if it’s a good fit, and apply!! We need more good naturopathic doctors!
Studying naturopathic medicine creates the opportunity to learn and contribute to a prevention and wellness-based model of health care that works. We’ve never needed naturopathic medicine more than we do right now!!
What qualities make a strong ND student?
Curiosity, professionalism, and entrepreneurship.
Besides teaching, are you or have you been involved in the naturopathic community in other ways? If so, please share more about your involvement.
So many different ways. As mentioned, I teach, perform research, and practice. I have also participated as a Board member for state naturopathic institutions, have directed continuing education committees, and participate as an active member of a scientific advisory committee to our national organization, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
To find out more about Dr. Bradley: