Dr. Steven Sorr – SCNM


“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.

Learn more about Dr. Steven Sorr:





SCNM Shares New and Upcoming Developments

SCNM Holds Spring Research Night

On February 23, 2018, SCNM hosted its semi-annual Research Night for our students, staff, faculty and local community. Under the guidance of our Director of Research, Jeffrey Langland, PhD, SCNM students have the opportunity to conduct research studies on topics they are passionate about, ranging from the characterization of botanicals effective against viruses to the effects of prolotherapy on chronic injuries.

When asked about the importance of the work that the SCNM Research Department is conducting, student presenter Elliot Zyglis said, “Research night is important for students at SCNM because it is a great opportunity to learn about some of the exciting research we are doing within the field of Naturopathic Medicine. Not only does it provide clinically relevant information to current and future physicians, but it opens doorways to new avenues of future exploration. I love the fact that we are able to conduct studies that are motivated by our individual passions and interests. We are standing on the shore of a vast frontier; there is so much within our field that has yet to be probed with the tools of modern science.”

Click here for a complete listing of presentations. The next research night will be held in the fall.

SCNM Students Continue to Produce Stellar NPLEX Scores

SCNM students recently produced another round of fantastic NPLEX scores! The recently released August 2017 testing results saw 95% of SCNM’s test takers passing the NPLEX Part I. This was 18% higher than the 77% average of all naturopathic schools.

We are proud of our students for their stellar work and our dedicated faculty for their efforts in preparing students for these important examinations.

SCNM Unveils New Website and Virtual Tour of Campus

Join SCNM on a virtual tour of campus! You can visit the SCNM campus from the comfort of your home. The virtual tour highlights many features of SCNM’s beautiful campus in Tempe, Arizona. Click here to experience the tour.

We’ve also launched a brand new website. Click here to explore!

ND Spotlight: Integrative Oncology Expert Dr. Jennifer Havens

We are excited to announce that Jennifer Havens, ND has recently joined SCNM. Dr. Havens is a naturopathic physician and clinical researcher specializing in integrative cancer care. After graduating from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, she completed an NIH/ NRSA clinical research fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle and then continued her clinical training as a Resident in Naturopathic Oncology at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia.

Dr. Havens focuses on integrative protocols for patients with cancer, informed by genomic analysis and quantitative cellular nutrient status. Prior to becoming a naturopathic physician, Dr. Havens completed her doctoral training at the University of Virginia in the Department of Molecular and Cancer Biology after which she continued as a researcher specializing in DNA-based molecular diagnostics. Her background in cancer biology and genomics, coupled with her training as a naturopathic physician, makes her uniquely qualified to create integrative treatment protocols driven by patient-specific genetic analysis.

Dr. Haven’s current research investigates the effects of somatic hyper and hypomethylation on tumor biology during both conventional and integrative treatment, as well as the use of natural products to modulate methylation both during treatment and during survivorship. Additionally, she is investigating the role of natural products in conjunction with Viscum album extract (VAE) therapy and modulation of progression of disease in patients using conventional chemotherapeutics and patients who have failed all lines of conventional therapy.

SCNM Leading the Way on Regenerative Injection Therapy

Regenerative injection therapies are a growing treatment choice for patients suffering from pain and illness. We are excited to announce our Regenerative Injection Therapy Program, which will provide medical professional with high level training to bring injection therapies to their practices.

This hybrid online course will consist of two on-site weekend workshops as well as recorded lectures and materials online. The onsite workshops will be taught by Dr. Tyna Moore and the SCNM Pain Relief Center’s Dr. Casey Seenauth. Furthermore, the program is open to 3rd and 4th year medical students and is available for 5 hours of pharmacology and 96 hours general CME credits.

Don’t Miss SCNM’s Open House Saturday, April 14th!

Hear from students, alumni and practicing NDs to learn more about the profession and the SCNM experience. Click here for more details.

Dr. Jillian Finker – SCNM

“There is nothing more rewarding than what I do on a daily basis.”

Dr. Jillian FinkerDr. Jillian Finker always knew she wanted to be a doctor, but finding the right discipline wasn’t so straightforward. She considered osteopathy and chiropractic careers before eventually discovering the perfect fit, thanks to advice from her chiropractor. “He counseled me that I should look into becoming a naturopathic doctor since that would be more in line with my goals,” Dr. Finker recalls. “I had never heard of that profession. This was before Google, and I actually had to go to the library to look up what becoming a naturopathic doctor entailed. I was so excited to find this profession. It was exactly what I was looking for.”

Since she was a child, Dr. Finker wanted to help people with natural medicine. She had asthma at the age of eight, and was prescribed a detrimental treatment by a conventional doctor. This led her parents to turn to an alternative healthcare practitioner, who provided a lasting solution for her condition. She had a similar experience during her pre-med training, when she suffered from severe lower abdominal pain that was alleviated with a holistic approach to health. These two outcomes solidified Dr. Finker’s passion for naturopathic care. “I didn’t choose this path, essentially this path chose me. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says.

The road to success

 Luckily, Dr. Finker had been setting herself up to pursue medicine from the very beginning. “I had already finished all my pre-med requirements,” she explains. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and addressing a few additional prerequisites, she turned her attention to ND school.

“I applied to and visited all the schools at the time. I wrote a checklist of the pros and cons about each school,” she says. “I felt that SCNM was the most progressive school, at the cutting edge of natural medicine. I also really fell in love with Arizona and how everyone seemed so happy all the time—probably due to the camaraderie and the weather. Everyone at the school was so welcoming and I felt at home there.”

Dr. Finker made the most of her time at SCNM by making connections. “I developed friendships that I will have for life,” she says. “I have mentors that I still get help from over fifteen years later.”

Upon graduating, she completed a residency that taught her the ins and outs of running a practice. Then, “[I] found an inexpensive place to practice with other practitioners,” she says. “Eventually, I did set up a healthy, non-toxic environment to help my patients heal.”

Living her passion as an ND

Now, at her own practice, Finker Wellness, Inc., Dr. Finker couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “I am able to do what I love every day and see patients consistently get better. There is nothing more rewarding than what I do on a daily basis,” she says.

She keeps very busy with patients and is typically booked two months in advance. However, because of the flexibility of the profession, she still has time for her family and herself. “I enjoy being my own boss. I can plan vacations on my time schedule. I make my own hours so I never drive during rush hour,” she says.

Above all, she finds the patient care to be the most fulfilling. “I enjoy transforming my patient’s lives. I always hear from patients, ‘you are my last hope.’ [During] the first year of practicing, that put a lot of pressure on me,” she says. “After fifteen years of practice, when patients say that now, I am so excited to help them get better. I enjoy seeing them go back to work, be able to spend time at their kid’s baseball game, and be able to dance again.”

Advice for future NDs

 “This is a calling,” Dr. Finker says. “If you have an interest in a natural lifestyle, enjoy helping people, and want to be a doctor, then this could be your calling too.”

The profession requires discipline, but it also reaps its own rewards. “You have to be your own motivator,” she says. “Fortunately, my patients inspire me. Every morning, I look forward to hearing their amazing healing journeys.”

SCNM Students Become Leaders, Volunteers, Researchers and More!


During a four-year journey through the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in Tempe, Arizona, students become leaders, volunteers, researchers, medical missionaries, and student clinicians. They will make a positive impact on the world both as a student and then as a graduate.

Naturopathic physicians play an integral role in the evolving world of medicine. NDs are increasing their role in addressing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The opioid crisis in America and the need for holistic and non-pharmacologic approaches to treating pain opens many doors for SCNM graduates.

SCNM strives to innovate, improve, and develop educational and healthcare partnerships to enhance the student and patient experience. Ultimately, SCNM’s success is measured by the work of its graduates and the successful treatment of the patients they serve.

SCNM Students Continue to Excel on NPLEX Exams

SCNM Student Library24 of 26 first-time SCNM test takers passed Part 1 of the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in February 2017. This is a 92% pass rate, outpacing the 77% average pass rate. SCNM’s prior round of scores was also quite strong. In August 2016, 85% of 62 first time test takers passed the NPLEX Part I. SCNM students rigorously prepare for these exams, with the help of dedicated faculty.

Naturopathic Medicine’s Important Role in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

With the opioid epidemic that is currently sweeping the nation, naturopathic doctors are more important than ever. Natural, non-narcotic forms of pain management provide relief to patients without the dangers of powerful opioid medications.

The SCNM Pain Relief Center (PRC) has been offering real solutions for chronic and acute pain by educating and training students in the best ways to help patients without the use of narcotics. Leaders in the medical community are now recommending alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga to deal with pain. Dr. Nitin Damle, the president of the board of regents for the American College of Physicians (ACP), has stated pills should not be the first choice in pain relief for back issues.

Students doing clinical training in the PRC have an unprecedented learning environment to combine traditional and modern therapies. Ancient modalities such as acupuncture and cupping are conducted in the same place as advanced treatments such as cryotherapy and stem cell injection therapy. This gives patients numerous options to relieve pain without the use of addictive pain medication. By bringing these methods with them after graduation, students are becoming a vital part of the solution to the opioid epidemic.

The New SCNM Roosevelt Health Center

SCNM Roosevelt Health CenterThe recently-opened SCNM Roosevelt Health Center, located within the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix, treats students and families from 19 different schools within the district borders. This 4,000 square-foot health center is the first SCNM Community Clinic with the unique design to incorporate group visits and encourage communal health education.

Medical students at Roosevelt Health Center will help empower patients of all ages so they can take control of their diabetes, asthma, obesity, or other illnesses. SCNM clinical students see patients alongside other health professionals to provide the best medical care the Roosevelt community has seen. Supervising doctors and residents oversee third and fourth year medical students and provide treatment of acute illnesses, wellness exams with preventative screenings, individualized patient care, as well as group visits to address the most pressing needs of this diverse community.

SCNM at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) National Conference in Phoenix

A number of SCNM doctors, faculty, and graduates recently presented at the AANP 2017 National Conference that was held in Phoenix. The convention was an incredible experience for everyone involved. The exchange of knowledge that takes place at the annual convention is invaluable to the naturopathic community.

Here are the individuals who presented at the conference:

Asia Muhammad, ND: Fatty Liver Monograph

Guillermo Ruiz: Distinct immune-modulating effects of Echinacea purpurea

Nick Buratovich, NMD: Manipulation Pearls

Matthew Baral, ND: “Why We Love Fractals”

Sara Polanco, ND

Jacyln Bain, ND

Nicole Shiffler, ND

Graduate Employment Statistics 2017

SCNM GraduatesSCNM is proud to announce that 70% of June 2017 SCNM graduates had positions waiting for them after graduation. Congratulations to all the graduates as they launch their exciting careers!




Keep up with the latest news on Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences’ offerings and other noteworthy developments by visiting their website.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Continues to Take Students to New Heights

Tempe, Arizona is home to the warm, friendly community of future holistic physicians that make up one of the premier naturopathic medical schools in the United States – the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (SCNM). SCNM is committed to the advancement, education, and application of cutting edge naturopathic treatments in the classroom and on the campus Medical and Pain Relief Centers. It is within this supportive atmosphere that students feel they can grow into the future leaders of naturopathic medicine.

This year has been one of success and growth for SCNM students and faculty. Here are a few recent highlights.


SCNM prepares students to score high marks on licensing exams


SCNM’s dedicated faculty and progressive and integrated curriculum are engaging students and preparing them for critical Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), as well as a future in naturopathic medicine. At the most recent administration of the NPLEX, 85% of SCNM students passed the Biomedical Science Examination on the first attempt, and 86% of SCNM graduates passed the Core Clinical Science Examination on the first attempt.

SCNM provides a supportive, can-do culture and invests in student success through offices and resources such as the Learning Specialist, the Doctor Development Center (Tutoring Center), and the Directed Skill Development Laboratory. Dr. Garrett Thompson, Dean of Academic Affairs at SCNM states, “we are very proud of our students’ accomplishments, and I commend the campus for continuing to foster SCNM’s culture of learning!”


SCNM students win national academic competition


scnm-nmsa-cup-2016A group of students from SCNM recently proved their excellence in naturopathic medical knowledge by winning the Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA) Cup. The Cup is an annual academic competition, held during the NMSA Convention, where students from the accredited naturopathic medical schools compete for top prize. Selected students are challenged in topics related to naturopathic history and philosophy, physiology, anatomy and biochemistry, pathology, botanical medicine, and homeopathy.

SCNM’s NMSA chapter acknowledges faculty, the Student Government Association (SGA), colleagues, the administration, as well as friends and family for their support.


Groundbreaking research at SCNM


tiffany-and-guillermo-research-picSCNM fosters the advancement of naturopathic medicine with an emphasis on new and groundbreaking research. SCNM is proud that many faculty and alumni regularly contribute to research projects and have been published by a variety of sources including PLOS ONE and The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine.

Additionally, SCNM frequently hosts research presentations on campus to inform both students and the public at large of new and emerging naturopathic developments and findings. The Research Team at SCNM maintains a significant portion of the college website to promote research presentations, link to a large number of SCNM research publications, and announce current and on-going research projects.

New clinic construction underway


roosevelt-constructionSCNM is participating with a variety of organizations to bring a new community education and wellness center to the downtown Phoenix area. SCNM partnered with the University of Arizona Masters in Public Health (MPH) program on the design of the new wellness center. The design stems from a functional needs assessment of the community conducted by MPH students who identified the need for medical services in the area. This partnership was a continuation of an existing joint degree program that allows SCNM students to obtain a Masters degree in Public Health in addition to a Naturopathic Medical Degree.

The SCNM wellness center marks a unique opportunity to help educate the community about health issues and practice naturopathic health treatments and services. It represents an exciting prospect for students as well.

The center will be approximately 2,500 square feet with six exam rooms, a small lab, and a dispensary. SCNM Student Clinicians will be able to conduct rotations by mid-2017.


Keep In Touch


Keep up with the latest news on growth and other noteworthy developments by visiting the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine’s website.

Interested in learning more about SCNM and our other accredited schools?