Frequently Asked Questions
Are NDs opposed to pharmaceuticals?
- No! NDs are trained in pharmacology, understand drugs’ merit, and know when they're clinically necessary.
- NDs ultimately believe in first prescribing treatments that do the least harm (while still being effective) for your specific case. Sometimes pharmaceuticals are that answer since there's no better substitutes. But we understand that pharmaceuticals are not the only solution for every situation.
Should I consult an MD or ND?
- It depends on your severity and needs.
- MDs are well-trained in pharmaceuticals that could provide immediate relief if you have unbearable or life-threatening symptoms. Also, they can prescribe some high-force drugs that NDs in California can’t.
- NDs are trained in both pharmaceuticals and natural treatments (which could take longer than drugs) with the goal of healing your root causes.
- You may simultaneously consult both! I’m happy to collaborate with your other doctors for comprehensive care.
ND vs. MD training
- NDs receive many of the same medical training as MDs.
- Additionally, NDs are educated in evidence-based natural modalities (which MDs are not extensively taught during conventional medical school). This includes clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, nutraceutical supplements, counseling, homeopathy, physical medicine.
- This gives NDs flexible options to provide individualized care and the understanding of drug-herb interactions (to design safe treatment plans).
- Like MDs, NDs are trained and licensed to practice "medicine" (write prescriptions, perform physical exams, interpret labs, and diagnose).
Are you a psychiatrist or psychologist?
- No, I’m not licensed as a psychiatrist or psychologist. I’m trained in integrative medicine and counseling through my Naturopathic Medicine Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
- The legal use of the terms “psychiatrist” and “psychologist” is reserved for individuals with specific degrees; only MDs or DOs with residential training in psychiatry may refer to themselves as psychiatrists.
- While NDs aren't allowed to use these terms, our training and treatments may overlap.
Visits' time and cost
- My office visits may take longer than what you've previously experienced. I'm dedicated to comprehensively exploring the many tangential body systems that affect mental health. I believe that addressing these are medically mandatory for the health changes you deserve.
- To get different health results, you need a different model of health care. Refer to "How It Works" for details of this health framework.
- To ensure availability for all patients, there’s a 48 hour policy for cancelled or rescheduled appointments.
- You'll be asked to provide credit card details when scheduling appointments to reserve your time. However, you won't be charged unless you cancel/miss/reschedule within 48 hours of your appointment.
For Prospective Patients
Will you prescribe psychiatric medications?
- It depends. Depending on your required regimen, I may be able to prescribe and manage that for you.
- If you require higher force medications, multiple psychiatric medications, or frequent dosage adjustments, you must also have another prescriber such as a psychiatrist (who I'm happy to collaborate with to reach your goals)
Can you taper me off existing medications?
- If indicated and safe, I can work alongside your prescriber to taper your dose for your desired outcomes. Since your safety is my top priority, I want to first ensure that your underlying causes are addressed and supported before starting this.
Will you be my Primary Care Doctor?
- No. Although I'm also trained in primary care medicine, my practice's focus is mental health. I require all patients to have a primary care doctor since I don’t serve as a substitute for that resource.
Can I see you in person?
- My practice is 100% virtual for increased access and ease. So I currently don't see patients in person. Using a secure telemedicine platform, I can still provide the same high-quality care without you spending time commuting.
Can I request an appointment for my loved one?
- The patient must be the one who requests the appointment. However, with the patient's permission, they may receive help booking appointments, filling out forms, and joining the visit.
If I'm a minor, do I need my parent or guardian's permission to see you?
- If you're 12 years old or older, please book a complimentary Discovery Call where we can chat about your specific circumstance. The laws for providing medical treatment to minors depend on various factors we can explore together.
- If you're under 12 years old, you must have a parent/guardian's permission to see me.
Treatments and labs
What types of treatments do you recommend?
- Depending on what is indicated and safe for your unique case, I may recommend supplements, herbs, nutrition counseling, lifestyle recommendations, pharmaceuticals, or other remedies.
- For instance, I may recommend something for quicker relief and simultaneously something that addresses your underlying cause (which may take longer). Then as your foundational needs are supported and you stabilize, I'll safely fine-tune that balance between pharmaceuticals and natural treatments until you no longer need either.
- My ultimate goal is to provide sustainable changes.
Do you sell supplements?
- I may recommend high-quality supplements as part of your protocol, but I don't sell supplements or ship them to patients directly. I utilize an online supplement dispensary platform (Fullscript) which will ship professional-grade supplements to you if you choose. Fullscript ensures proper storage and shipment to maintain the integrity of the products throughout their entire journey to your door (unlike other websites with supplements from unregulated sellers).
- To encourage patients not to order supplements from questionable sources, I offer a 10% discount for patients ordering through my Fullscript dispensary.
How do I get labs done?
- I use a wonderful resource (Rupa Health) that simplifies the lab process for patients. They act as your lab concierge no matter your location and give you practitioner wholesale prices!
- After I request your labs, they’ll email you to coach you through the entire process - where to find local phlebotomists (if needed), how exactly to take/send the test, payment options, consistent updates on your lab’s status, etc.
Do you accept insurance?
- No. I don't accept insurance to ensure that I make medical decisions based on expertise rather than insurance policies.
- Practicing within insurance rules limits the quality of care I believe you deserve. They restrict how much time doctors spend with patients, what labs can be ordered, and prescription types. This model limits the comprehensive, integrative, and customized care I want to provide you.
- However, I'm considered an "out-of-network" provider which some insurance plans may reimburse for.
How do I receive out-of-network reimbursement?
- You must first pay the entire session fee at the time of service. Then I will give you a "superbill" (a document that insurance companies require) that you directly submit to your insurance company. They then may reimburse you a portion of that cost.
Which parts of your healthcare can my insurance cover?
- Depending on your insurance plan, it may cover your office visit, labs, imaging, supplements, and/or pharmaceuticals.
- However, I can only provide superbills for your office visits with me because I don't directly charge for other services like your labs or supplements.
- Every insurance plan is different so I can’t answer specific questions about your coverage or guarantee reimbursement. Please contact your health insurance prior to our visit to determine what exactly is covered with your plan.