Dr. Michelle Gerber
How did you get into Naturopathic Medicine?
I always knew, from the time I was very young, that I wanted to be involved somehow in biology, in the life sciences, but I also knew that I did not resonate with nor accept completely all of conventional medicine. What an illuminating joy it was to discover naturopathic medicine. I love what I do and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with practitioners from many fields to provide the best possible healthcare to our patients.
I was (and am) passionate about women's health and sustainability, about peace and community. I was fascinated with infectious diseases and appalled by the rise of antibiotic resistent bacteria. I was unsatisfied though, before I stumbled upon naturopathic medicine. I couldn't see myself spending my entire life behind a microscope, but I was dissillusioned with many of the tenets of conventional medicine and our failed healthcare "system" of inequalities. From the moment I heard about naturopathic medicine, I knew I had found something incredible. I could have a livelihood, a life's work, not just a career. I could merge my activism and my love of science and my love of the earth and living systems.
My passion led me to Bastyr University near Seattle, where I also studied both naturopathic medicine and midwifery. After school I traveled to Vanuatu in the South Pacific and delivered babies at a developing hospital before completing a rigorous family practice residency at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
How do you practice?
I consider myself a primary care doctor, with pediatrics and women's health as specialities. I work particularly well with acheiving lasting lifestyle changes--helping people make goals and actually reach them. Fertility is another area of speciality. Also adolescent health care--I really love working with this population.
I follow naturopathic principals in my practice. I strive to simultaneously meet people where they are and hold the space and the vision for their optimal self--to support them on their journey. I try to connect with people and cultivate the oh-so-important therapeutic relationship that is crucial to healing. I resonate most with botanicals and nutrition and active preventive medicine, but call on a wide variety of naturopathic treatments to best address a whole person, a family, and ultimately, a community and the planet.
What is your favorite part about being a doctor?
Watching people grow, including myself. Seeing magical transformative moments. Laughing with my patients. The excitement of researching a new case, of finding the right path forward through the maze of possibilities, of the "ah-ha" moment, of forging an alliance with someone excited about their health. Being present with another human being as they suffer and triumph and evolve. Being able to bring patients compassion in sensitive or painful moments. Being present at the birth of families. Hearing someone's story. Having the knowledge and skills to help someone when they need it and/or hook them into a web of resources that can help them. Watching patients succeed. And, I really love working with pregnant women and babies and kids--they're just so much fun.
What are you doing when not at work?
Hiking in the mountains, cooking with my husband, singing, eating good food with my friends, biking, running in the park, playing with my cats, travel and road trips and camping, theater, fantasy football, reading and drinking tea, and spending time with my loved ones, especially my sweet little Juniper Mae and Remington James, who make every day.
And your favorite baked good??
A hot, fresh, cinnamon and sugar apple cider doughnut, preferably dunked in coffee. Also crust cookies.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I really don't have one-- but, a favorite book, movie, political philosophy-- I've got those! Just ask me! "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead
Michelle holds clinic hours by appointment and teaches our vaccine classes. We are honored to have her as part of our family! Click here to find out more.