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Now that I’ve had the privilege of working in a licensed and unlicensed state, as a primary care physician and a wellness consultant, teaching in nearly every conceivable way (I haven’t yet done a TED talk), it’s time to take this message of vitalism to the masses! I'm bringing my vast amount of accumulated knowledge and experiential wisdom as a pharmacist, naturopathic physician, credentialed vitalist and passionate educator to whomever I might reach around the globe.

That’s my mission: 

to bring awareness and information concerning the drugs people are taking for (most likely) a disease that could be reversed, rather than merely managed; 

to empower those who want to reverse their disease(s); 

to inspire and encourage these personal transformations along their journey.


Those who…

…are sick and tired of being sick and tired

…ask “too many” questions about health and how their own bodies work

…ask “too many” questions about medicine and how they can cause adverse effects along with the therapeutic benefits

…want to take control of their own bodies, minds, and emotions again

…recognize that we are more than the sum of our parts

…”know” there’s a better way

…are willing to do the work necessary to get back on the road of VIBRANT HEALTH!


Those who…

…strongly identify with their disease state(s)

…enjoy going to doctors and accumulating specialists on their medical team

…want to take something to make the discomfort go away, whether it’s a legal drug, an illegal drug, an herb, a supplement

…believe it’s the doctor’s job to “fix” them

…are unwilling to put themselves in a position of power, strength, and priority to make the necessary changes to get back on the road to vibrant health


At its roots, Naturopathic medicine is the practice of restoring health. Many people tend to get caught up in the therapies that naturopathic doctors use—nutrition, counseling, homeopathy, botanicals (herbal medicine), various physical or hands-on medicines, hydrotherapy (water as medicine), and the use of natural vitamins, minerals and supplements—but anybody can use any of those therapies in a conventional medicine way. It’s the thought process, the “why,” that makes naturopathic medicine different.

It can be confusing to understand the difference between online credentialed naturopaths vs licensed naturopathic doctors. Both typically use the ND abbreviation after their name, but the online naturopaths are not accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), the authoritative credentialing body for all North American naturopathic educational programs, meaning they are not licensable in any state. This becomes an issue when our society has become so mobile.

I’m a licensed naturopathic doctor in the state of North Dakota. I graduated from a CNME-accredited school (Bastyr University) and passed all licensing exams. But this varies state to state. For example, in my home state of Virginia, where I continue to keep my pharmacy license current, neither naturopaths nor naturopathic doctors are licensed.

So, if an Army personnel from Ft. Lewis, WA (a licensed state) gets transferred to Ft. Lee, VA (an unlicensed state), there’s potential for great confusion when encountering a “naturopath.” How was this practitioner trained? Was it a weekend seminar, an online program, a purchase from someone selling degrees with no training of any kind (this does happen!)? Or was it a 4-year (or 5, or 6-year in my case) program in-person with clinical training over the last half of the very expensive, grueling educational process? There can be a vast difference in training.

The Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine 

Now, let’s take it one step further and throw Vitalism into the conversation. There’s a growing group of CNME-accredited, licensed naturopathic doctors getting an extra credential through the Naturopathic Medicine Institute to set us apart from the rest of the CNME-accredited, licensed naturopathic doctors trained in North America.

Just like the osteopathic doctors (DO) went the way of the conventional medical doctor (MD) in the 1950s, so seems to be the trajectory for naturopathic doctors (ND) today.

Here’s a chart to differentiate us:

To sum up, the primary role of a physician (MD, DO and too many NDs, in my opinion) is the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Theirs is a “disease-focused” or “pathology-focused” practice. Vitalistic Naturopathic Medicine holds that the primary role of the physician is to restore health. Ours is a “health-focused” or “physiology-focused” practice. The Naturopathic Medicine Institute (of which I am a proud member!) considers this a foundational distinction for our profession and for healthcare consumers.

Now Let Me Introduce You to Wholism!

Wow! This is getting FUN, isn’t it? By definition, naturopathic medicine is a practice of wholism. (I’ve listed the principles below.) Unfortunately—or fortunately—it still remains to be seen—the current coronavirus pandemic has polarized people and nations and medicines and paradigms (how we see the world).

Many naturopathic medical schools closed their clinic and academic doors during the very time this profound medicine could have been showcased—a bright light of hope and HEALTH in a quickly darkening world!

Already, there is a new shift towards a true return to our roots and principles with a rise in the practice of wholism/holism.

Naturopathic Principles

Primum Non Nocere (First Do No Harm)Vis Medicatrix Naturae (Stimulate the Healing Power of Nature)Tolle Totum (Treat the Whole Person)Tolle Causam (Treat the Cause)Docere (Doctor as Teacher)Preventare (Focus on Prevention)

There’s about to be a NEW SCHOOL of HOLISM based in naturopathic medicine! 

The principles will change slightly, 

removing Preventare 

(because it becomes rather pointless/redundant) 

and adding Tolle Singula, (Treat the Individual), 

which apparently was an old principle, 

and adding Physician (Heal Thyself)!

Too many physicians—even vitalists—miss the power of working to correct false beliefs that cause pain and suffering—in themselves AND their patients/clients! 

I’m no exception to this. 

A colleague recently pointed out that I’m definitely a VITALIST. 

I know how to reverse chronic disease by (re)establishing the determinants of health like nobody’s business! 

But/and he was looking for someone who embodies wholism FIRST, 

using vitalism when necessary, 

not the other way around.

THAT altered my thinking!

That’s the POINT! 

Altered thinking—moving away from limiting beliefs—can be THE hinge on which chronic disease pivots to vibrant health!

All this to say: 

if your brilliant, 


wise body 

that speaks to you in the kindest way it knows 

that will get your attention 

to change your lifestyle 

is nudging you to remedy the emotional traumas 

that fostered limiting beliefs (or downright lies) 

about who you are… 

if you recognize that you are SO much more than the sum of your physical parts… 

that you are body, emotions, mind, spirit, environment… 

we may be meant to work together!

More About Dr Fleetwood




 “Let’s sell everything we have, leave everyone we know, and move to the other side of the universe so I can go back to school full-time to become… a naturopathic physician!”

As a retail pharmacist for nearly a decade at this point; I knew I couldn’t continue another 10 years, much less until retirement age. The FDA had put a "Black Box Warning" on a drug for heartburn that had been heavily marketed to pediatricians for babies who spit up. Many precious little ones had died.

A "Black Box Warning" is literally a black box with a warning inside it about what devastating side effects a given drug can cause. Never seen one? That’s because it’s folded up ever so nicely and placed inside the cardboard box that bottles of medicines are packed in for delivery to hospitals and pharmacies. So, you probably never will!

Some backstory: my own sweet babe had died because of an asthma drug I’d been given to stop early labor at 32 weeks of pregnancy. 

Twenty years later, I discovered that truth while teaching a pharmacology class. 

By then, I’d worked with enough pharmacy customers to watch their disease progressions:

More drugs for the same disease, not less. 

More drugs for more diseases. 

More interventions when the drugs weren’t enough. 

I was making connections between what people put into their bodies and their diagnoses.

Plus, I personally had gotten radically ill and the medicine I’d grown up with, bought into, studied and promoted, failed me. 

I began to read everything I could get my hands on, in an effort to determine what else was “out there” like herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, nutrition, homeopathy, orthomolecular medicine (high-dose vitamins and minerals) and mind-body medicine. 

Then, through a series of seemingly unrelated events, I learned about naturopathic medicine, which incorporates much of the above listed studies. 

I wanted something radically different—for myself and my customers.


I quit my career, 

sold everything we had, 

left everyone we knew, 

and moved my family across the country 

so I could go back to school full-time

and earn a doctorate in naturopathic medicine!

Fast forward a few years, I now had an amazing set of skills as a pharmacist/physician. My patients and clients all over North America and beyond were reversing their chronic diseases and creating “medical miracles” on a daily basis. It was a unique situation, even among other NDs. 

Medicine is an art as much as it is a science. 

Ever been through an art gallery? Michelangelo and van Gogh—while both masters—produced vastly different kinds of art.

My peers began asking me to write continuing education for them. 

Students asked for specific pharmacy/pharmacology curricula. 

As a homeschool Mom to my two sons, I’d already learned how to teach to multiple learning styles, so found teaching at all levels fun and challenging. 

I was one of the first students ever to be granted the post-doctoral certification of Vitalist through the Naturopathic Medicine Institute. I now have as many letters after my last name as in my last name!

And now I'm ready to help you! 

No matter what disease or condition you are living with, 

no matter what medications have failed you up until this point 

and no matter where you are, 

I am confident that with my unique skills, 

vast knowledge and experience 

and some grit and hard work, 

we--together--can help you to transform your health, 

your life 

and your true self.

Let's get started!

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