Graduates of our accredited schools share their stories of success – from schooling to their careers.
Help us congratulate Dr. Traci Pantusso, the first ND in approximately 10 years to win the prestigious Pilot Award from the NIH-funded Institute for Translational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. Learn about Dr. Pantuso’s path to naturopathic medicine and her work as adjunct clinical faculty and research investigator at Bastyr University.
Dr. Kachko has never lost sight of why he chose naturopathic medicine – not just to help people, but to become a part of their lives. Through the rigors of school, and the demands of practice, he believes it’s vital that young NDs and future students never lose sight of their why. Dr. Kachko currently serves as President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Learn about his career path, his advice for future NDs, and why the naturopathic approach to care is on the frontier of medicine.
“I’ve always loved nutrition and biochemistry, and I found naturopathic medicine to be strong in those areas. The principles of holism and the idea of the intrinsic ability of the body to heal also really connected with my personal philosophy on health.”
“My training and education have provided a bridge between two divergent worldviews. As an ND, I am not placed in either of these worlds – Indigenous or conventional, which allows me to maintain perspective and consider all angles of a research question, a community problem, or even a patient case.”
“After working with so many amazing practitioners in multiple disciplines of medicine, I felt there was a ‘gap’ in what I consider true primary care medicine. It wasn’t until I moved to the West Coast that I heard about naturopathic medicine, and once I did, I felt as though I had found true primary care medicine – medicine that works on a preventative, holistic, and integrative level.”
“Before discovering naturopathic medicine, I felt a hunger for more information about the human body in both physical and emotional states. I felt torn between more mental/emotional healthcare fields and the physical. It seemed confusing that they were separated in conventional medicine. Naturopathic medicine is the only healthcare profession that I know of that has the ability to fully support all aspects of health.”
“I encourage you not to chase after money or fame, but after a respectable reputation. When you provide the best care to your patients, your reward will soon follow.”
“I always thought I knew what the term ‘doctor’ meant, but it wasn’t until I started seeing patients on my own, that I really understood the true meaning of docere – to instruct or teach. Behind the doors of the patient-doctor relationship is where the healing begins.”
“I like to help the underdog because I’ve been the underdog. The one who is not feeling well, hasn’t found an answer, who wants to feel better and will do what it takes, even if that means facing fears of how their life may change and that they may actually get what they want – whether that is a baby, a relationship, a new job, or the ability to travel.”
“Throughout school through today, I have maintained a growth mindset, a gratitude practice, and had faith in my ability to create my own success. I coach many practitioners in business, and mindset is always a foundational piece that has been in place for me in order to succeed.”
“I knew naturopathic medicine was the right path for me because of the philosophy behind the medicine. It made so much more sense to use natural substances to support distressed organ systems and to teach people how to take care of themselves rather than having them rely on a medication.”
“I strongly believe that there is a huge difference between living a long life and dying a long life. We have become very adept at keeping people alive with amazing, life-saving medications and techniques, but have fallen behind in our focus on optimal health and disease prevention.” Kim Bretz, ND sees the value that naturopathic medicine offers in its approach to preventative health care and healthy living.