Stephen Smith, M.D.
Northwest Integrative Medicine, a division of Healthcare and Wellness Center, PLLC, is my practice specializing in allergy and environmental medicine.
Medical School: University of Washington, 1980.
Undergraduate: Whitman College
I started my practice of medicine in Richland, WA where I opened an urgent care center. I opened additional centers in Boise and Pocatello Idaho. Unfortunately, I had some trouble recruiting physicians for the Boise Clinic in time for our opening. We were open 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we opened we were seeing 6 patients a day the first week. Then two things happened that changed my life and my outlook on the practice of medicine. We sent out a brochure announcing our practice and an outbreak of the flu hit our practice went from 6 patients a day to 100 patients a day overnight. I worked 14 hours a day for 30 days straight until I finally got help. Of course, delivering the highest quality care. That coupled with problems opening our fourth clinic in Wyoming (yes, I was crazy) caused me to crash and burn. I collapsed with exhaustion, It took me 30 days before I could function if you call it that. I had severe fatigue, severe allergies, brain fog, and it hurt all over. I had fibromyalgia.
That was the beginning of my journey into integrative medicine. I realized i was clueless regarding effective and rapid treatment. Surprisingly, so were most of my colleagues, who, like me, practiced traditional or allopathic medicine. Following the quote, “physician, heal thyself,” I started my own quest into functional and integrative medicine. Subsequently, I realized my case was not unique. I discovered that many of the physicians at integrative medicine meetings and training sessions also suffered from similar health conditions; many restored themselves to full health and vitality using integrative medicine.
However, it was my initial training in environmental medicine that really had a profound effect on my life and practice. As part of the training, we were taught how to formulate and give nutritional IV’s. We paired up in teams and we each made and administered a Myer’s Cocktail (an IV push) to each other. By this time I had made a substantial recovery and i was feeling “ok”, But at 3 AM in the morning the Myer’s Cocktail hit and hit hard. When i woke up my first thought was now this is “real medicine” I had so much energy i literally didn’t how to handle it. I had not felt like this since i was 17 years old. I built garden beds and did all kinds of projects. I was going like the Energizer Bunny for a month until the IV finally wore off. Of course, it is impossible to back the relatively boring practice of day to day allopathic medicine if you can do this for other people.
It has been my privilege to learn from some of the brightest physicians from around the world who generously shared their knowledge and expertise. It’s this knowledge that helped restore my own health and that of others i have had the opportunity to treat.
Although many medical practitioners in Europe used many of the techniques of integrative medicine for years, it’s a relatively new concept in the U.S. However, because of the benefits offered by both medical disciplines, many Integrative Medicine Clinics are now in the United States, as well. I have used integrative medicine techniques for many years, and i am pleased with the results i have seen in myself and my patients. It is one of life’s great pleasures is to see people recover from the illnesses that have plagued them for years.