Dr. Sara Norris
How did you get into naturopathic medicine?
My journey to medicine, and naturopathic practices, started across the Pacific Ocean in a small town in Australia, where I was introduced to an American writer, Caroline Myss, and her book Anatomy of the Spirit. At that time I was on a trajectory into the world of accounting and finance, utilizing my bachelor’s degree. Myss’ book opened up a new world for me, and made me question certain elements of our conventional medical model. Most pronounced, she introduced to me the connection between mind, body, and health.
A couple years later, when I realized that my true desire was to be a family physician, I looked for a medical school that would integrate conventional medicine with Myss’ ideas of mind-body medicine. As luck would have it, a friend in the pre-med program introduced me to the philosophy of naturopathic medicine. I found it to be the perfect match between modern conventional medicine and my understanding of the intricacies of what really makes us well. I decided at that moment that naturopathic medicine embodied the type of care that I wanted to provide to people.
How do you practice?
Authenticity and integrity: these words best describe my style of practice. I spend the time figuring out the root of the problem and offer solutions that are cures and not band-aids. I love naturopathic medicine because it embraces both conventional medical practices and the best of alternative medicine. I’m interested in spending the time figuring out the root of the problem and offering solutions that are cures and not bandaids.
I am a primary care doctor, which means I treat everything from ear infections and eczema to hypertension and vertigo. My philosophy is to offer the least intrusive, effective remedy. That means I try to stick with more natural treatment options like herbal medicine (western botanicals), evidence based supplements, diet and exercise, food intolerance testing, and homeopathy when I feel they will be effective. But when pharmaceuticals are the best choice – for example, pneumonia – I suggest prescription medications.
My areas of interest include pediatrics, women’s health (heavy menses, PMS, hypothyroid, perimenopause, etc), dermatology (eczema, acne, etc), and gastroenterology (GERD, IBS, chronic constipation, etc).
What is your favorite part about being a doctor?
Hearing my son tell his friends that his mommy is a doctor, I love that he is proud of what I do.
Mama bragging aside, I love when I can help someone who has lost faith in medicine. When someone comes in saying, “no one else has been able to help me” I rise to the challenge to help find them a solution.
I also like thank you notes, those are pretty awesome too. Guess I have 3 favorite things.
What are you doing when not at work?
Most Sundays you’ll find me with my family in nature somewhere. My husband and I call the woods “church” and make a point to get our family into nature every weekend as a rule. Our oldest son is currently obsessed with finding “dinosaur eggs” on our hikes (aka acorns) and waiting for them to hatch after incubating in the car (I have a great story to go with this! Ask me about it).
When I’m not enjoying time with my family or friends you’ll probably find me at a dance class, doing yoga, or out shopping for shoes.
What is your favorite baked good?
Hands down, lemon bars.
What is your favorite quote?
"Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." –Howard Thurman
Welcome to Los Angeles. We are excited you are here.
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