Name, title, and credentials
Eleonora Naydis, ND, LAc, FABNO
Why did you choose to pursue naturopathic medicine? What were you doing before that?
I grew up in Odessa, Ukraine and immigrated with my family to the United States as a teenager.
My grandmother was a true family doctor, very compassionate and caring deeply for every one of her patients. That was inspiring to see. We lived in a small apartment complex and even after she retired, she would do blood pressure checks for neighbors or help with injections, and people would frequently ask her medical questions. She even taught me a little bit of medical Latin. So as far as I can remember, I always wanted to go into medicine. I went to the university for my undergraduate degree with the intention to go to medical school. As I was earning my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, I was also spending a fair amount of time reading about medical traditions around the world. I was very interested in Asian/Eastern Medicine and acupuncture, as well as chiropractic and osteopathic traditions, therapeutic fasting and botanical medicine. Around that time, I picked up Dr. Hudson’s Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and learned about naturopathic medicals schools in the US from a friend. That really resonated with me and I decided to pursue a naturopathic doctoral degree.
How did you know it was the right path for you?
As I was growing up, I was exposed to both natural and conventional medicine. We used a lot of home remedies in our household whenever someone got sick. I wanted a school that would offer education in traditional natural medicine and strong science classes. Naturopathic school offered the integrative curriculum that I was looking for.
Why did you choose your naturopathic medical school?
I came to visit Bastyr and loved the campus setting in the middle of St. Edwards Park. I sat through few classes and talked to students about their experience there and received a lot of positive feedback. At Bastyr, I also could work towards a master’s degree in acupuncture, and I knew that this was the right path for me.
What did you gain from your time at naturopathic medical school?
One of the best things is that I got to meet a lot of wonderful and interesting people. I also tried to have a lot of different experiences, including work in different settings, tutoring, contributing to Bastyr Materia Medica, and editing.
How did you plan for success in your career from the beginning?
I fostered a lot of connections and was lucky to be surrounded by people I could reach out to. I started small, initially renting an office space at the chiropractic clinic and then the practice just took off after that. I am very grateful to my preceptors, teachers, and colleagues for sharing their experience and their generosity in answering my numerous questions.
What happened after you graduated?
I started and have maintained my own practice for the past 16 years. In addition, I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to work at the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center for several years, learning more about integrative cancer care and clinical research. I have contributed to the Natural Medicine Journal, taught university students, and given many educational lectures for various groups throughout greater Seattle area.
What is your work and your life like now?
Work-life is always a delicate balance but being self-employed gave me good flexibility to shift my focus as needed during different times in my life. It is possible to have a successful practice, raise a family, and enjoy a full life. I am lucky to have support of my family and my work team through the years.
What do you like most about being a naturopathic doctor? What aspects are you passionate about?
I tried myself in different settings, but I think I love clinical work the most right now. While working with patients, I appreciate seeing how earlier interventions have enabled positive changes. I like that I can choose how I practice and constantly learn something new.
Does the flexibility of the profession appeal to you?
Yes, my degree allows me to explore different avenues. I was able to work in a research setting, write, present, give talks, and teach.
Does your practice focus on treatment of a specific health condition(s)? If so, please explain why you chose to focus on it and how naturopathic medicine can make a difference in treating that condition.
As a naturopathic doctor who is board certified in naturopathic oncology, I work with chronic disease and provide integrative cancer care. I also use acupuncture extensively in my practice. Going through cancer treatment is extremely stressful for patients and their families. By providing complementary oncology care, I love that we can educate, improve a quality of life, and help recovery of so many people.
What advice would you give to those considering naturopathic medicine?
Ask yourself how you want to spend your day to decide which direction you want to go. Do you like research, working with patients, teaching, running a business? School is just the beginning, so plan ahead, establish networks, visit doctors, speak to alumni, ask to observe people in action, plan financially. Learn about the business side of things if you are thinking about having your own practice. Embrace the fact that our profession is evolving. You have to love medicine to work in the medical field, but you also need to plan so you can effectively share your knowledge with others. Take care of yourselves in the process, do not neglect your health.
What are the links to your website, blogs, and social media?