Hi I’m Dr Mélanie.
I have to admit this is not the first version of my about page. The original one was everything I thought a doctor’s about me page should be. And quite frankly it was painstakingly boring. Since I know one of the questions I need to answer is “are you legit?” the following paragraph will get to the chase and give you what you need to know straight away. After that, we can move on to more interesting things.
My academic career began at Brock University where I graduated with first-class distinction in an honour’s bachelor of science from the department of health sciences. After completing this degree I was accepted into the largest North-American 4 year naturopathic medical program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.
I currently practice at Spring Medical Centre in Burnaby, BC and co-founded Therapeutic Lifestyle Inspired (TLI), a clinically validated program to improve body composition, and improve cardiovascular risk factors. My clinical experience also includes practicing at the Robert Shad Naturopathic Clinic, gaining vast exposure in a family medicine setting as well as completing a rotation at a HIV clinic. I was also selected as a member of the CCNM sports medicine specialty team where I gained extra-curricular education in sport related injuries, myofascial release acupuncture and sports nutrition. Fueled by my passion of traveling and experiencing new cultures I participated in two clinical externships in Ometepe, Nicaragua and Hanoi, Vietnam.
If you’d like to skim some of the nitty-gritty check out my online resume, that’s were I highlight all my glorious show and tell accolades. If you are more interested in the person that I am than the letters after my name or the trophies on my shelf, keep reading here.
How does one decide to become a naturopathic physician? Let’s face it, most people pass much of life without really knowing what one does, how to say it and especially what to expect from one. For many naturopathic medicine docs, naturopathic medicine is something they stumbled upon during a personal health crisis that led them to an interest in pursuing it as a career. For me it was different. I actually knew at quite a young age that I wanted to be a naturopathic doctor. When nobody knew what one was I was on a streamlined path to reach my goal. I wrote my grade 10 career project on naturopathic medicine and I knew exactly what courses I would need in high school to apply to pre-med in university to fulfill my application requirements for naturopathic medical school.
Why was it that when most people my age didn’t know what one was I knew that was what I wanted to do? It all very likely started with the random chance that I was the child of my parents. My father, a world-class and Olympic level wrestler knew the synergistic importance of both physical and mental fitness to health and success. My mother, an incredible teacher, was also a lifelong learner herself studying and reading all she could on health and nutrition. While I was growing up, I regularly saw my naturopathic physician and in less than a handful of times found myself with my medical doctor, not due to avoidance, simply due to the fact that my health concerns were very well managed by my naturopathic physician. From then on I knew naturopathic medicine offered the solutions I wanted to provide.
Who should you choose as your naturopathic doctor?
I wish I could answer that question for you. And I wish I could scream out saying it’s me it’s me. The truth is for some of you it will be me and for others, it won’t be me. Here in lies the art of medicine whether we are talking about conventional docs or naturopathic docs. Ever have two doctors give you opposing recommendations? Annoying isn’t it. The truth is we all have the same foundational educational background, the reality is that’s just the beginning and our professions demand a continuous commitment to education. What ends up happening is that we tend to study things that get our fire going! Doesn’t that make sense? For that reason, there can be quite a degree of difference between the experiences you will receive from doctors. Therefore, you can experience a relatively good or bad experience based on your personal preferences. In just the same way you can’t label all docs with the same colour brush based on one experience.
What you need to know about me as a doctor.
- I don’t know everything and won’t pretend I do.
- I’m a healthy skeptic, a critical thinker and very resourceful.
- I feel very confident in my ability to look for answers and read the research. I’m a PubMed geek.
- I love to teach and educate. I’m in the continual process of creating new visuals to simplify and aid me in presenting complex topics during the visit. This is a key to collaborative care since now you truly have an opportunity to understand and take an active role in your health.
What I shouldn’t tell you but I will anyway
A colleague of mine couldn’t have said it better on her blog. Take a look:
“You see, those in the public, at least many of those with a basic awareness of naturopathic medicine, often perceive naturopathic doctors as nutritionally perfect teetotalers who were naturally born with a predisposition to choosing vegetables over pizza. When I go out with friends they often seem to feel they need to apologize for any perceived inadequacy in their diet or lifestyle, as if I’d never intake anything that was not perfectly wholesome in every way.
Well, to be perfectly accurate, I should say that they really only tip toe around me until the inevitable point when they discover exactly how much I love nachos and chocolate. I crave them because I’m human, and they are delicious.”
That’s right folks. I wish I was born with a taste bud mutation that made sugar and fat taste like the devil. For me la piece de résistance is pizza, I automatically salivate at the smell or talk of a good pizza. I get it! So yes just because I’m a naturopath doesn’t mean I have this innate gift of gagging at anything that is not wholesome. That being said I have learned to establish some healthy thinking about food that contributes to some healthier choices. This is a continual never ended journey I believe we are all on.
Things you might find me doing.
- Figure Skating at 8-rinks with my fellow adult skaters.
- Outdoor adventuring.
- Cartwheeling wherever I can. A movement enthusiast. A circus super fan.
- Reading. And to let my full-on geek flag show usually non-fiction books. Always want to come out knowing something new and exciting.
- Lately, when I’m not in the clinic I’ve been spending much time behind the good old computer. I’m passionate about education and feel strongly that there are ways I can improve this by using technology in my practice. From creating certain graphs to simplify harder concepts to creations of specific programs.
That’s it, folks, the cat’s out of the bag.
This should give you a good chance to love me or ….. love me not as much. That’s ok. Naturopathic medicine has a lot to offer and you should find the naturopathic doctor that works for you. By now you should also have a pretty good sense of who I would like to work with as well. I’m looking to work with people who have a sense a humour, are light-hearted but ready for a change in their health. I’m here to be a collaborative partner.
Je suis une Canadienne française. Despite my best efforts please don’t be surprised if you catch some typos or grammar mistakes. Consider them a gift. I used to worry about them thinking it would make me look unprofessional. This led me to produce less of the good stuff I like to produce. I’m a doctor first and I love to educate. I feel more confident about the content I produce than the tense of the verb. I’m still making an effort to evolve my writing skills but until then enjoy the show.
On that note. If you appreciate the content I produce feel free to join my list for updates. I’ll also throw in my book Rock Your Life Bundle.