My journey into medicine began in undergraduate school at Gonzaga University where I finished my bachelor’s degree with a double major in visual arts and biology. Originally I planned to become a medical illustrator but soon realized that a career in a cadaver lab was much too isolating. Because my biology degree closely mirrored the premedical curriculum, I started thinking about attending medical school to pursue a field where I could help and heal others. Taking some time off of school, I moved to Nashville after graduation to participate in an AmeriCorps program in a low-income health clinic.
In 2005 my family and I had our lives dramatically changed when my father had a major stroke. After weeks of hospitalization and months of physical therapy, his insurance stopped paying for rehabilitation. At this point my parents turned to several alternative therapies, including acupuncture, warm-water physical therapy and Feldenkrais. It was their encouragement that led me to check out the naturopathic medicine program at Bastyr. My eyes were opened to a completely new type of medicine – a natural, holistic and truly patient-centered model of practice.
At the same time it was becoming apparent that I had my own health issues that were getting progressively worse. After multiple rounds of imaging and medication trials to find the cause of my stomach pain, I was finally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was told by my medical doctor that there was nothing more I could do. Being a motivated patient, I searched for answers on my own, and learned of the link between food sensitivities and IBS. After my doctor refused to do the testing I called the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and the year before I began the ND program I had my first experience as a naturopathic patient. I learned that I had multiple food sensitivities, including gluten, soy and dairy. Eliminating these foods from my diet, in addition to other naturopathic therapies, changed my health and changed my life. I am happy to report that I am now 99% symptom-free, and my health continues to improve year after year.
In 2012 I graduated from Bastyr University with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. The same summer I moved to Missoula with my husband and young daughter Annika. I founded Montana Whole Health, a naturopathic medical practice that specializes in improving the health of families in the Missoula valley.
I am incredibly blessed to be a physician, a counselor and a healer, and I am honored to be a part of the lives of patients as they are transformed. The human body continues to amaze me as I see naturopathic medicine dramatically change health.
I look forward to working with you and your family so you may experience the joy of continually improving health.
Dr. Erika Krumbeck