Member Spotlight: Michael Walker, ND

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Member Spotlight: Michael Walker, ND

Website: www.walkernd.com

My private practice is Emcura Integrative in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I also see patients in the Beaumont Integrative Medicine department at Sterling Heights/Troy and Royal Oak.

How you got into naturopathic medicine and specifically, the field of naturopathic oncology?

A number of influences inspired my eventual decision to pursue naturopathic medicine. When I was growing up, several of my loved ones struggle with common chronic conditions and cancer which were known to benefit from nutrition and physical activity in addition to other medical interventions. At around the same time, as a high school and college athlete I was exposed to the roles of nutrition, physical therapy, acupuncture and botanical medicine, not to mention exercise. It surprised me that the foundations of health were not vigorously communicated and implemented in health care, particularly in the care of my grandfather who had type 2 diabetes. I wanted to play a role in helping Americans build their health to prevent and treat illness and initially intended on going into public health prior to learning about naturopathic medicine.

As a naturopathic medical student in clinic, I observed patients seeking integrative cancer therapies. It was apparent that for this group of diseases, no one discipline in medicine had access to all the answers. I was inspired by naturopathic physicians whose passion for cancer care allowed them to 1) pursue a scientific and clinical understanding in oncology that transcended integrative-conventional divides, and 2) had the compassion and communication tools to best empower patients and serve their individual needs and priorities. In a world of otherwise heterogenous and inconsistent blends of natural and standard oncology therapy it was clear that these NDs provided a model of best practices in integrative care.

What are you most grateful for in your practice of Naturopathic oncology?

I am always grateful for those enterprising naturopathic physicians who laid the groundwork for integrative oncology departments, naturopathic oncology residencies and other cross-disciplinary collaborations. Because of their efforts, I’ve had the good fortune of learning from an exceptional and diverse group of NDs and other physicians from my time as a student at SCNM and resident at CTCA. Here in Michigan, I get to work with an extraordinary practice partner and wonderful group of colleagues.

What do you do on your down time and/or what do you do for fun?

I enjoy reading non-fiction when I get the chance–mostly history and world affairs. These days, that usually means listening to an audiobook while driving or cooking. Speaking of which, cooking has been enjoyable for me since I was very young. Like most NDs, I try to eat a nutrient rich and healthy diet but do also indulge in my fondness for American and Latin American barbecue.

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