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Life and Work with Dr. Cara Slater

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Cara Slater.

Dr. Slater, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am an Arizona native. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ where my parents still live. I am one of four girls and I am lucky to call my three sisters my best friends. It is such a beautiful place to grow up. I am especially grateful for the closeness to nature and outdoor activities. I love being active and especially love hiking, camping and exploring our beautiful state. I was first introduced to Naturopathic medicine at a very young age because both of my parents are Naturopathic doctors. I grew up “living” the medicine.

I went to college in Boulder, CO. I double majored in Spanish and International Affairs. I love working with people and thought that I would do humanitarian work abroad. However, after graduating I began working at a women’s clinic and found that I had a passion for healthcare.

After many twists and turns, I ended up following in my parent’s footsteps finding my passion as a naturopathic doctor. I graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. and joined Naturopathic Physicians Group in Scottsdale, AZ.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
After graduating from college and having a “real job” for several years, I decided to go back to school for a career in healthcare. I was accepted into nursing school. However, halfway through my program, I began to experience bouts of depression. I have a “type A” personality and for the first time, I couldn’t find the motivation to keep moving forward. I made one of the hardest choices of my life, I decided to drop out of nursing school. It was the first time I had ever quit anything and I had so many doubts. Nursing is an amazing career and you have the opportunity to change people lives every day. Plus, dropping out meant starting over, I did not know exactly what I would do and I was going against the grain for the first time in my life.

It took a lot of souls searching, and support from my loving husband and family. Finally, I decided to change my course and go to a naturopathic medical school. This meant I had to get more prerequisites and prepare for four years of medical school.

One year later, I was accepted into medical school and began my journey. Through a dark time and some tough decisions, I found my passion and calling for my career.

I look back now and the best advice I can give to people facing challenges is that it is never too late to make a change. Life is too short not to go for your dreams. It is normal to have fear and uncertainty with big decisions.

Often times, we are pressured to know what we want to do out of high school and have the same career our entire lives. But that’s just not realistic for everyone. Try different things, get out of your comfort zone, have adventures and get comfortable being uncomfortable, that is the only way you can grow and thrive. No dream is too big, just take the small steps each day to get there.

When facing uncertainty, I recommend taking a moment to write out your “vision.” Writing your vision is an opportunity to explore your dreams and goals. It can always change. What sorts of things excite or interest you? If you had nothing holding you back, what does your dream life look like? Sometimes, it is surprising what we reveal when we allow our thoughts dreams flow without judgment. Listen to that little voice inside and follow your intuition, it will not lead you astray.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Naturopathic Physicians Group – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I help people reach their health goals so that they have the energy and vitality to live life to the fullest. My goal is to have people looking and feeling their best both inside and out.

A huge part of what I do is teaching my patients about their own health so that they can make life long changes to improve health and prevent disease. I treat the WHOLE PERSON. I want to hear your story and look at not only your physical health but also your mental and emotional wellbeing. Everyone is an individual and needs unique personalized treatment.

Naturopathic medicine is all about getting to the root cause of your symptoms. If a patient is coming in for headaches I don’t just want to give you pain medication to suppress your symptoms. I want to know what is causing the headaches. Are you getting enough water? Are you missing vitamins and minerals? Is there something in your diet that is causing headaches? Or many other causes.

I love working with patients of all ages especially women. I am passionate about balancing hormones throughout every stage of life. I focus on natural fertility treatments, thyroid health, PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, menopause, bioidentical hormone replacement, weight loss, acne, fatigue, and autoimmune conditions.

We offer comprehensive and specialty lab testing, nutrient IV’s, PRP and stem cell facials for anti-aging.

One of the most important aspects of being a doctor that my parents instilled in me is to be a model of health for my patients. I practice what I preach, the recommendations I make for my patients are the same that I practice for my own health. I don’t ask of my patients what I myself would not or have not done.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that a lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Make connections! Every person you meet has something to offer and vise versa. Don’t be afraid to contact people you admire. Go big! The worst thing they can say is “no” and you are no worse off than if you didn’t contact them, to begin with.

Get involved with your community. Find fun events that interest you. Soon, you will start seeing the same people regularly and build new relationships. There are so many events around the Valley. I love some of the yoga and fitness events as well as great fundraisers. Grab some friends and make a day/night of it. Networking can be fun!

Once you start putting yourself out there, you realize that even big cities are actually quite small social circles.

Also, nurture the connections that you have. And always write a handwritten thank you note when someone helps you out!

Nearly all of the best opportunities I have been offered in my life are due to my connections with people. And, you will be surprised how willing people are to help!

Contact Info:

        Image Credit:
Ryan Humiston

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