Many people in Cranbrook have reported having difficulty attaining a primary care doctor, with some even creating a Facebook group that’s called Cranbrook BC Needs Doctors. Another option to attain medical attention is now available, courtesy of Cranbrook’s newest naturopathic practitioner: Dr. Katelyn Mudry whose clinic is located at 14A 13th Ave S.
WATCH: Meet Dr. Mudry
Mudry offers naturopathic family medicine — basically anything you could see your family doctor about she can look after, she can diagnose and treat ailments, offering both natural as well as conventional treatments.
“In naturopathic medicine we focus a lot more on the whole body as a complete system,” Mudry explained. “So let’s say you come in and you have this one digestive complaint and you also have some things like headache and you also have some fatigue issues and different things like that, we’re going to look at all of them together and try and find the associations between all of them.”
She added that conventional medicine doesn’t necessarily negate a holistic approach, but they are more likely to take a direct approach and singularly treat your individual ailment, be it headache, digestive problem, etc.
Another difference is that naturopathic appointments tend to be longer. So initial appointments are an hour, followups are 30 minutes, and Mudry also offers a more standard model of 15-minute one-concern appointments because they are more affordable.
“The conventional model has things going for them, they need to see so many patients, there’s a huge demand on the system. And so that’s something that I offer as well is that more conventional approach, but then treating them with natural remedies.”
A typical appointment consists of an approximately 30-minute conversation, then physical exams for a half an hour followed by some more pointed questions. During that interview the patient and the doctor will go over everything you eat (Mudry advocates the keeping of a “diet diary), and determining exactly what the triggers are — what do you eat that makes you feel worse, what makes you feel better and what remedies you’ve tried, be them conventional or natural.
“A lot of people don’t know that I am medically trained and that I can offer both conventional and natural treatments and that I understand both and that I will talk to you about the risks and benefits of choosing one over the other or choosing both.”
The physical examination helps Mudry do the medical aspect of things, like diagnosing a specific condition. And while she does recommend that people get testing done through their primary care provider, she realizes many are without one in Cranbrook and she does offer some conventional testing.
She said that the special naturopathic testing that is offered includes stool analysis, hormone analysis and food sensitivity training.
“Then we go over treatment protocols and that usually takes about ten to fifteen minutes, because I really like patients to understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it,” Mudry said. “So I’ll say we’re going to do this thing for this, it’s going to help with this, you should feel like this if it’s working appropriately, if it’s not working, contact me because we need to change it up.”
She stressed the importance of the fact that anybody, no matter what age they are or whether they’re into natural medicine or not, can come see her.
“I can work with anybody to help them to achieve any health and wellness goals and to help diagnose and figure out whatever kind of weird disease or pathology is going on with them,” she said. Mudry also offers quick appointments that people can book if they received a diagnosis from a doctor and don’t fully understand it — you can come in and she will walk you through it and explain it.
Another one of her big areas of focus is mental wellness: fatigue, anxiety and depression. If you feel physically well, but perhaps you think your energy level is too low, you’ve been sad for days on end, you’re overly emotional — you can see her for these things as well.
“It’s a normal way to feel in the sense that a lot of people feel that way,” she said. “It’s not abnormal to feel sad or anxious or to feel really tired or to feel really overwhelmed. It’s not normal to feel like that for forever. And so that’s where I really like to tell people like yeah there’s tonnes of stuff that we can do for that.”
While she is not a counsellor, she does offer a lot of mental health support to help people who are depressed or fatigued feel better.
“If you don’t have any energy and you’re depressed, or you’re feeling unmotivated it’s going to be really hard for you to do anything in your life,” Mudry said. “So if we can focus on those things, if we can help get you sleeping better, sometimes we just focus on sleep, you start sleeping better and then you can do everything else. And then we can look at everything else that’s going on.”
She added that she loves working with kids. She spent much of her youth as a camp counsellor and her love of working with kids persists to this day, and she believes they respond really well to natural medicine.
Mudry’s path into natural medicine is perhaps unconventional. Her first year of school at the University of Calgary was in pure math. Because that wasn’t the right fit for her, she went to Ryerson University in Toronto where she attained a Bachelor’s of Technology in Graphic Communications Management, which she hated at the time, but now values as a small business owner.
During her time in Toronto she experienced gastrointestinal upsets which led her to get into natural health.
“I’ve always been an athlete and really into nutrition and different eating lifestyles and so I ended up saving all of my tip money from my restaurant job to go see a naturopath and she helped me a tonne.”
It was also during this time that her grandmother and her aunt both had cancer. She saw them going through the conventional system and felt as though they had a lack of options, and they didn’t respond well to conventional treatments.
“I just wanted to know more about what other alternatives and compassionate care there could be for them,” she said.
So that’s when she shifted her career path. Mudry attained a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Master of Integrative Medicine Research from the National University of Natural Medicine in Oregon. Her master’s thesis was focused on cancer, specifically the immunology of solid tumours. She landed in Cranbrook because her and her husband loved the mountains around here and there was a large population with a lack of medical practitioners.
She said her experience in Cranbrook so far has been great, and she’s met many awesome people ih the community and business owners who have been receptive to her. She has been doing talks at various establishments and has a few upcoming.
To follow her health blogs, find out about upcoming health talks or to book an appointment and learn more about her practise, visit www.drkmudry.com