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. Back when I was applying to medical schools, there was a fundamental difference in approaching medicine between the DO and MD schools (this is now not as stark as it was in the 1990’s). The DO philosophy has always been about treating the person who has an illness where the allopathic schools were disease focused in their education. After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, I then did my emergency medical residency in Greenville, NC through the Brody School of Medicine and then passed the Emergency Medicine Boards. I have subsequently renewed my board certification with the American Board of Emergency Medicine as well as having the honor of being a Fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians.

In addition, I have been Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture after completing a 300 hour course and taking the Board examination. I also passed the Board examination from the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. I have also 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 but I am never done learning!!!

While I was working at Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery on Kiawah Island, SC, I was the only physician in the clinic for most days so I decided to start working with Injectables: the neuromodulators and the dermal fillers (colloquially known as Botox and Juvederm). I was initially trained by Aesthetic Advancements then received further ongoing education from other injectors provided by the different Injectable companies.

At the same time that I was busy working on Kiawah Island, SC doing Medical Acupuncture and Injectables, I was also in the inaugural class for a 2 year fellowship in Integrative and Holistic Medicine and graduated in January 2018. I then passed the Integrative Medicine Boards in May 2018.

So all of the above educational journey explains all of the letters after my name.

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 enjoying being back in the Catskills. I grew up in Pelham NY but my parents were coming to fish the Beaverkill since before I was born. I am so happy to be back in the mountains after spending 7 years by the beach in Kiawah Island, SC. I love to hike, snow shoe, fly fish and I have been enjoying and exploring the great local businesses (and breweries). I wanted a central location and am blessed to have found this beautiful property in Callicoon Center, NY (or Livingston Manor or Roscoe depending on which Maps app that you use!)

The other things that complete me are my family, friends, and my constant companions and healing partners: my animals. Since moving to NY, my 2 rescue dogs: Lady Josephine and Orion who was born blind and my rescue cat, Napoleon all crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the span of 1 year. The love and lessons that I have learned from my little “trio” will always be with me: faith in myself, love and trust (Orion would swim in the ocean and in the Beaverkill as long as he knew I was out there with him).

In 2021, I welcomed my beautiful dog Gaia who is trained as a Psychiatric Service Dog. Gaia is a healer in her own right and does like to help me with my energy healing work on patients. And of course, Ahbainn, a Gypsy Vanner horse, is such a huge part of my family as well. Ahbainn challenges me to be better together with him. Plus Ahbainn has some amazing healing skills as well.

In 2015, I was certified in Equine Gestalt Coaching so that, along with my equine co-coach Ahbainn, 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.