|Dr. Karen Fraser, B.Sc., N.D.|
|Naturopathic Physician and Board Certified Acupuncturist|
|My earliest memories are of my parents taking me to the beach daily in the summer, watching the Comox glacier change with the seasons and picking peas out of our giant, organic garden. Living surrounded by nature’s beauty must have helped lay the foundation for my interest in naturopathic medicine as I grew towards my career.
My background is in science – plant biology and microbiology. Before I became a naturopathic physician, I was a student researcher and lab technician for Agricultural Canada in Ottawa. If you happen to have an old Journal of Canadian Plant Pathology lying on your coffee table, you will see some of my work in there…
While I was studying the effects of different insects and field rotation on our Canadian crops, I was also studying the philosophy and history of Traditional Chinese Medicine – it fit with my logic that if something has been working for 2000+ years in another culture, then maybe we should be thinking about incorporating this into Western medicine. I was able to see that there was an art, philosophy and spiritual connection to healing and not just a scientific base.
When I was growing up, my family was generally always healthy and I grew up learning that homemade chicken soup, vitamin C, resting and fresh air were how you looked after yourself when you were sick.
If you take my childhood background of living in this beautiful location, my interest in science, and my curiosity for natural and traditional forms of medicine, this combination is what lead me to becoming a naturopathic physician. I graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in ’97. I had a great work opportunity in Ottawa where I worked at the Carp Ridge Ecowellness Centre and had a satellite clinic in Brockville for a few years before making my way back to Vancouver Island. After establishing a rapport with other physicians in the Nanaimo community, I was asked to be the Clinic Director of the Integrative Medical Wing at a large medical clinic with a group of medical doctors. This was a teaching clinic where we hosted medical students from UBC, U of A, and McMaster. I enjoyed this position for a few years and then went back to a quieter and brighter clinic where I am now.
A large focus in my practice is informing and ordering privatized lab tests with my patients. I can access all LifeLabs tests, but I also use a variety of labs in the US and Germany to test for biological markers that we do not test here in Canada. With this testing background, I recently accepted the position of Science Advisor for Rapid Testing with Hawktree Solutions – a Canadian company providing national and international pandemic support, PPE and Rapid Testing. In this time of Covid, the work environment is very fast paced and demanding, but also interesting regarding public health and policies.
I have been fortunate and have had the pleasure of treating thousands of patients over the years who have entrusted me with their personal stories and health concerns. I have learned from each of these patient relationships.
I am an eternal optimist. I have seen some amazing things as the body naturally seeks a balance and harmony of health. I see my role as providing knowledge, supportive natural therapy, and helping patients remove some of the obstacles that get in the way of their body’s ability to heal on its own – thus helping patients achieve optimal health.