“NDs are passionate about their profession and have an unquenchable thirst for learning clinical methods to improve patient health.”
Laying the ground work to become an ND
Practicing medicine wasn’t even on Dr. Geo Espinosa’s mind until his junior year of college when he had an epiphany and realized he wanted to be a clinician. Despite being behind on prerequisite courses, he decided to follow his passion. “I discovered naturopathic medicine at the library and felt compelled to pursue it as a profession. I never looked back,” Dr. Espinosa says. “In my gut, I felt naturopathic medicine was right for me.”
UBSNM as a springboard
In his quest for a naturopathic medical school on the East Coast, Dr. Espinosa found the University of Bridgeport. The education he received propelled him to a successful career. “I had wonderful instructors who cared passionately about the principles of naturopathic medicine. I learned to become a good naturopathic clinician with the use of botanical medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle, which are currently the cornerstones of my practice.”
Dr. Espinosa went the extra mile to build a strong foundation for his own practice. “I learned about marketing, business and personal growth by reading and listening to audiotapes on the subjects. NDs are passionate about their profession and have an unquenchable thirst for learning clinical methods to improve a patient’s health. That’s a good thing. But learning how to market yourself and run a business is equally important.”
Finding fulfillment as an ND
Following graduation, Dr. Espinosa worked at a local urology clinic in Manhattan while completing acupuncture coursework. He then completed a five-year fellowship at the Holistic Urology Center at Columbia University which led him to specialize in naturopathic urology and men’s health.
Dr. Espinosa is an assistant clinical professor in the Urology Department at the New York University School of Medicine. He practices acupuncture and naturopathy for urological conditions. His focus is on the nutritional, naturopathic and functional medicine methods to help men improve their health. However, he’s not a urologist. “Here’s the difference between urologists and naturopathic and functional medicine doctors specializing in urology: Urologists treat disease. I build health. Urologists work from the waist down. I work with the whole body. Urologists treat bladders, kidneys, prostates, and penises. I treat people. In other words, all your urological parts are connected to the endocrine, cardiovascular and other biological systems. I investigate that connection then see how that affects your bladder, prostate or penis.”
“What’s most exciting about being a naturopathic doctor is the concept of treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. It is not uncommon for a patient with a prostate problem to report that not only their prostate problem was resolved, but also their migraines, or IBS, or anything else. That’s where the magic is: treating the chief complaint while improving the patient’s overall health.”
Outside of his clinical work, Dr. Espinosa has contributed to Men’s Journal magazine, WebMD, medical textbooks, and peer-reviewed journals. He is also the author of Thrive – Don’t Only Survive: Dr. Geo’s Guide to Living Your Best Life Before & After Prostate Cancer.
He is the founder and director of the Integrative and Functional Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC) and lectures internationally on the application of integrative medicine in clinical settings.
As a husband and father of three, Dr. Espinosa enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family.
Advice for aspiring NDs
Passion is key for a successful career in naturopathic medicine. “You have to feel it in your gut, not your brain, that naturopathic medicine is the right path for you.” he says. “Lastly, once you commit to becoming a naturopathic doctor, you need to be all in and practice a naturopathic lifestyle.”
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