A very important introductory message from Pat Elliott, ND
In an effort to obtain the most productivity from our sessions together, I have put together a list of people/character traits that tend to not be a good fit for my practice:
1. People who are unwilling to make strict lifelong dietary changes.
2. Committed vegetarians unwilling to eat meat.
3. Patients who are opposed to taking medication on a regular basis.
4. Those whose primary reason for seeing me is weight loss.
My treatments often include dietary restrictions that require a serious commitment on the part of the patient. For example, many of my current patients strictly avoid all wheat containing foods and/or follow carbohydrate conscious diets. There’s a possibility that after medical testing you too will fall into one of these categories (if not both). In addition, many of my patients are prescribed various medications and supplements that they must take on a regular basis. Think carefully if you are willing to make these types of changes in your life, if not please reconsider keeping your scheduled appointment.
Please also note that I do not recommend that you see me specifically to lose weight. Although weight loss is often a healthy side effect of the treatments that I prescribe it is not my primary area of expertise. If weight loss is your primary reason for seeing me please reconsider keeping your scheduled appointment.
Welcome to my practice,
In this State and a number of other states and provinces, naturopaths are one of the type of physicians that the state Health Department licenses. All Physicians including Naturopaths, MD’s, and osteopaths are separated out from other health care providers by their advanced level of medical science training, their ability to make diagnosis, dispense medication, and independently provide care for patients.
To qualify for these rights and privileges, naturopaths attend 4 year graduate level naturopathic medical school, much of it devoted to the same basic medical sciences courses as other physicians. They must pass boards for the state regarding this education. (*See attached educational outline for further information).
Despite its shared medical science foundation, naturopathic training differs from other standard medicine training in several ways. For instance, naturopathic training regarding therapies has a completely different emphasis. While MD’s are training to use pharmaceuticals or perhaps doing their surgical rotations, Naturopaths are devoting their therapeutics training to natural medicine areas such as nutrition, lifestyle education, exercise physiology, plant medicine and counseling. Naturopathic education and practice also encompasses the use of natural pharmaceuticals such as hormones, physical therapy techniques such as massage, hydrotherapy and bone adjusting. With the vast array in therapeutic options available to a naturopath, it is not unusual to see a great amount of variety of practice specialization within the field. One naturopath may use herbs in their practice while another may focus on bodywork or another does counseling.
Despite differences in therapeutic approaches amongst naturopaths, the profession is united by its philosophical perspective of treating the cause of illness, to use only natural and non-invasive techniques, to treat the whole person, and to have an educational and supportive partnership-like relationship with the patients.
To achieve these goals, naturopathic practices are typically structured differently and patients spend more time with their physician. They undergo a lengthier initial interview, have their signs and symptoms analyzed and receive explanations and education regarding their health issues.
By taking time and looking at the whole picture, naturopaths use the symptoms a person is experiencing as clues which lead them to possible underlying hidden problems. A naturopath’s perspective is that one will be well when there are no obstacles to the cure present. It’s their job to identify these obstacles to allow the person’s health to become optimal.
For example, a woman may present with an undetected but severe iron deficiency. She may be experiencing such seemingly unrelated symptoms as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, itching, leg cramps at night, frequent infections and social withdrawal. It is a naturopath’s job to analyze the seemingly unrelated symptoms, identify patterns, and then determine potential underlying problems which then need to be verified.
Many naturopaths have general family practices and see people for acute problems or annual check-ups. On the other hand, my practice is a specialty practice, devoted solely to treating patients with chronic medical concerns; some patients come with identified problems such as hypertension, acne, or elevated cholesterol, while some come with undiagnosed problems such as digestive problems, mood problems, sleeping problems, or unrelenting fatigue.
My interest in working with chronic health problems began early in my practice. I saw first hand how the quality of life of many people struggling with ongoing symptoms was affected and how many of them were having difficulty getting to the bottom of what was going on for them. Those problems and puzzles waiting to be solved drew me in. I eventually closed my practice to anything but chronic problems and have now been seeing only patients with them for the last 16 years.
Some of those earliest patients taught me how often hormonal problems are involved in chronic health issues. As the regulators and controllers of the body’s physiology, I began to understand how powerful this influence could be. I also saw how disruptive common hormonal problems are, how difficult identifying hormonal problems often is, and also how life-altering proper treatment can be. Over the years I have accumulated a great deal of experience with hormones, a tricky and complicated subject, including how best to identify different problems, how hormonal problems can interact, treatment options, etc. The benefit hormonal treatments have created in my patients has been substantial.
Another area of specialty of my practice is thorough evaluation of chronic digestive problems often labeled as IBS. This typically includes testing for food sensitivities such as gluten intolerance and/or bacterial, protozoal or fungal infections.
In our first visit together I will be reviewing all of your information, including any past testing results you have obtained for me, your family and personal medical history, and your current pattern of symptoms and issues. Toward the end of this review, I will be giving you my impressions, my suspicions, and my recommended plan which will typically include any additional needed testing of suspected problem areas, any further records that need to be obtained, any recommended diet or lifestyle adjustments and a plan for follow-up visit to discuss results and outline a long term plan to address and correct identified problems.
After 4-12 months of regular follow-up visits most patients have made good progress and “graduate” to yearly follow-up visits if needed.
I look forward to working with you.
Pat Elliott ND
Your initial visit with Dr. Pat Elliott will entail going over your medical history in detail. Plan on spending an hour and a half to two hours at your first visit..
Based on the information you provide at this initial visit Dr. Elliott will make her recommendations for any needed laboratory testing.
Most patients have two, sometimes three, office visits in order to establish a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. Following this initial series of appointments, patients are seen for follow-ups visits on an as needed basis.
For patients without insurance coverage, fees for naturopathic services are as follows:
First Visit (approximately 1.5 hour): same day cash, check or charge payment
fee is $305.00
Missed appointments without 24 hour notice will be billed to the patient in the amount of a full office visit. Emergencies excluded.
Payment is expected at time of service. Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.
|Prior to your visit
1. If you do not have copies of your recent lab work (within the past 2 years), please obtain them by phoning or visiting the doctor's office. You must send copies to us prior to your visit, or request to have the doctor's office fax them directly to us at our fax number: 360-671-5218. In addition, if you have had any recent ultrasound, biopsy, or other procedure performed, you may wish to obtain a copy of the report from the procedure as well. Click here to bring up a medical release form which you may print and use.
2. We require that you return your completed health history form prior to your visit. You may mail it to 1155 N. State St. Suite 610 Bellingham,WA 98225 or drop it off in the waiting area of our office.
3. Confirm your insurance coverage by calling your insurance plan. If your coverage requires referral from your primary doctor, request and confirm your referral authorization prior to your visit. If your insurance provides coverage, please be sure to bring your insurance ID#, group #, insurance card, claim submittal information, or other required information to your first visit.
|Need a prescription refill?
Should you be out of refills for a current prescription call our office at (360-647-0228) and Dr. Elliott will review your chart to see if there is any updated information she requires from you prior to your obtaining more medication. Doctor Elliott will call in more refills for you once your chart has been reviewed.