Dr. Lori Brown isn’t just a doctor. She’s also been called the “Monk” of medicine, meaning she is passionate about researching the underlying cause of the illness or symptoms that her patients come to her with. Her dedication to providing care that transforms the lives of her patients is why her practice at Natural Family Medicine has become a highly sought after healthcare facility in the Clark County area.
Founded in 2002, Brown began Natural Family Medicine with two other practitioners who had recently graduated with her at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland. Brown spent more than a decade as a research chemist before she decided to practice naturopathic medicine, and this chemistry foundation has been vital in many of the cases that she has seen throughout the years.
“My background as a research chemist with a master’s degree in organic chemistry has been invaluable in complicated cases since I understand both the biochemistry (what is working well as well as what is not) and problem-solving approaches,” she said.
Within the first year of opening Natural Family Medicine, Brown and her fellow practitioners dispersed to pursue other commitments, and since then, Brown has employed other doctors while continuing to expand her areas of expertise. Today, she practices alone with an office manager that has been with her since 2003. She also employs a part-time assistant and she contracts with an insurance biller, bookkeeper and accountants.
Since opening, her practice continues to grow and Brown reflects often on what makes Natural Family Medicine unique. Her Christian faith, prayerful approach to patient care and strong chemistry background are all huge factors in what makes the business stand out.
“Medically, my strength is diving into difficult cases where people have been told that ‘everything is fine’ when their health is clearly not, or when standard medical care of symptom management is not working,” Brown said. “I see things that other practitioners have not.”
Natural Family Medicine offers a wide range of family medical care services, including primary care, children and women’s health services, chronic disease, immune system support, allergy treatment, acute illnesses, pain management and hormonal imbalances, just to name a few.
When asked about the changing healthcare landscape and its impact on her practice, Brown shares that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased the number of cash-paying patients.
“It was more economical and medically effective to see me than use their insurances,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, these plans are important for so many and for medical emergencies. I was just surprised.”
Brown also discussed the increasing number of neurological and thyroid disorders that she has seen recently.
“I’m uncertain if this is the nature of my practice or an increase in general of these conditions,” she said. “I suspect that our increasingly toxic environment, reduced nutritional value of our foods, increased processed and packaged foods, and stress are all contributory.”
The future looks bright for Brown and her practice. She shares that her services continue to grow through word of mouth referrals and while she is still accepting new patients, she must limit the number of incoming people so she can provide appropriate follow-up appointments. Brown is considering adding another practitioner in the future with a strong chemistry background to help further serve her patient base. She also plans to take her medical knowledge and expertise into various mission opportunities. She recently served with Haiti Foundation of Hope on a medical mission and she will return there next year.
Natural Family Medicine is located at 16701 SE McGillvray Blvd., Suite 265, in Vancouver. Call (360) 882-1339 for more information or to schedule an appointment, or visit the Natural Family Medicine website at www.naturalfamilymedicine.com.