About Dr. W …
Curious about my credentials?
I have always taken the road less traveled when it comes to medicine — starting with becoming a DO, doctor of osteopathy, instead of the traditional allopathic MD physician. This was a decision that no one in my family could understand but I stuck to what my intuition told me and went to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I then did my emergency medical residency in Greenville, NC through the Brody School of Medicine. I have subsequently renewed my board certification with the American Board of Emergency Medicine and I am a Fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians. I have also been Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. I have trained with the Hackett Hemwall Foundation (HHF) in prolotherapy. And enjoy doing medical mission trips with the HHF to Honduras and Guadalajara.
Whew that was a lot of education!!! And I am still learning as I am currently in a 2 year fellowship in Integrative and Holistic Medicine (graduating January 2018). In fact, my Dad made me promise that after I take the Integrative Medicine Boards in May 2018 that I will not take up a new educational pursuit for 6 months! He wanted a year but I just didn’t know if I could commit to that – I love to learn.
While I was experiencing life and learning medicine, I was injured. I was introduced to acupuncture as a treatment option for my own chronic pain. This foray into Medical Acupuncture then afforded me the great honor to work with the Wounded Warrior Pain Care Initiative providing acupuncture to both inpatients and outpatients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
I strive to be a caring and intuitive healer priding myself in my ability to listen and to be fully present for each individual patient because I have also been a patient – and continue to be a patient. I understand the feelings of hopelessness and the frustration when it seems as if your medical practitioner is not hearing you.I pride myself on forging true contact and connection with each of my patients – I am a physician who listens and truly hears what is being said..and not being said. I now say that the last time I broke my back, it was the Universe saving my life and placing me back onto my true life’s purpose: to be an integrative physician who suffers from chronic pain and suffered from PTSD. I believe that my life journey has given me the tools so that I can really make that authentic connection with each person who graces me with their trust. I live my life by the philosophy: “when one door closes another window opens.” For me this window has become a huge panoramic bay window: bringing me back to horses, to nature and to be a healer of the mind, body and spirit. Healing is a such a powerful and multi-level word – people can heal even if they can not be cured.
My mission is to provide a safe haven for recovery from pain, illness, disease or loss — a sanctuary utilizing the healing power of nature, the love of horses and the compassion of my distinctive integrative medical approach (acupuncture, neurofeedback, meditation, laboratory evaluations just to name a few) to co-partner with you as life changes and challenges present themselves. Together we will create a cooperative approach; allowing you to find your unique path to holistic healing and health: Mind, Body, Spirit and Soul.
A little more of the story …
I completed the Helms Medical Institute Medical Acupuncture for Physicians course in 2011 and passed the American Board of Medical Acupuncture Certification Exam in 2012. I practiced medical acupuncture with The Wounded Warrior Pain Care Initiative at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. After moving to Johns Island in October of 2013, I have continued my work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center by flying up to DC once a month until August of 2015 as I believe that giving back to our country’s active and retired troops is paramount. I learned so much at Walter Reed and was humbled by the power of the acupuncture needles daily – how amazing it is to experience a situation where a man has practically non-stop lightning nerve pain in both legs so that he can not sleep and no pain medications nor sleep medications help this pain. To see his smile when I walked in the room was heart warming – the last time that I had the privilege to treat him, he fell asleep as I put the needles in and did not wake up when I removed them. His mother told me that he slept for a solid 7 hours – now that is miraculous and why I trust in the power of acupuncture.
I took 2 years off after graduating as a History major from the prestigious Williams College in 1996: living in DC during the 1996 presidential election, becoming an EMT and volunteer firefighter in NY, working at a NY psychiatric hospital and continuing my summer work as a wrangler in Wyoming. It was during my time in Wyoming that she first learned of osteopathic medicine when a youthful guest (in her 80’s) fell off a horse at the ranch.
Turns out, there were 4 doctors (DO’s or Doctors of Osteopathy) on the ranch as guests that week. They complimented me on my medical assessment and asked if I had considered going to medical school. I explained that I had become discouraged by the allopathic (MD) medical philosophy that emphasized illness at the expense of the person.They taught me that Osteopathy believes that the body has the innate ability to heal itself while the role of the physician is to help the body heal itself by treating the whole patient: mind, body and spirit. I started at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine the very next year. I had found the field of medicine that reflected my personal perspective on medicine and illness. Plus this training enables me to add gentle osteopathic manipulation, including cranial work, to either enhance the acupuncture treatment or as a stand alone treatment.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. You can also find me out with my 2 rescue dogs: Lady Josephine and Orion who is blind; or relaxing on my balcony where my rescue cat, Napoleon, also loves to say “Hi.” In 2015, I was certified in Equine Gestalt Coaching so that, along with my co-coach (a Gypsy Vanner named Ahbain), I am able to add another unconventional – yet very effective – healing modality for my patients and others. It is my Vision to help people to move past limiting beliefs that can arise when their lives are changed by illness and/or pain.