For Dr. Wendy Weber, a naturopathic medicine degree has been more than just a means to deliver natural health care; it has been a launching pad to a wide variety of pursuits. In the short time since she graduated from Bastyr in 2001, Dr. Weber has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Development Award, served as a co-investigator on two NIH grants, published studies in several medical journals, created and led the ADHD wellness clinic at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, earned a Master's in Public Health (MPH) degree, and received her PhD in epidemiology from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington.
In addition to this impressive list of accomplishments, Dr. Weber has also taught classes at Bastyr University while running a part-time private practice. Somehow she found time for it all, and she feels that each endeavor is important. "I have really enjoyed all of the different aspects of my work, and they all have supported each other," she explains. She recently left Bastyr University to take a full-time job as a research scientist.
In her former role as a faculty member and mentor at Bastyr, Dr. Weber actively encouraged students to consider unusual and ambitious career options. "I have always worked to inspire students," she explains. " As they observe my multifaceted career, they see that there are many ways to make a difference in people's lives, from research to teaching to patient care."
Throughout her years as a student and during her time as a faculty member at Bastyr, Dr. Weber sought out opportunities to conduct research on her areas of interest, children's health issues, including ADHD, pediatric diabetes and the common cold. While still a student in 2000, Dr. Weber became the project manager of a randomized controlled trial funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NCCAM) that tested the efficacy of echinacea for treating upper respiratory infections in children.
In 2002, Dr. Weber was the first naturopathic physician ever to receive a Career Development Award from NIH/NCCAM. One feature of that training grant was the opportunity to earn an MPH and PhD in epidemiology, which enhanced her research training.
Dr. Weber is especially proud of successfully completing her PhD. She wrote her dissertation on the effects of St. John's wort (hypericum perforatum) on ADHD in children and adolescents. Says Dr. Weber, "It was really exciting to take a project from conception to implementation and finally to submit it for publication."
Dr. Weber is grateful to Bastyr University and the Bastyr community, which have given her the chance to pursue her diverse career. "I think Bastyr — and the naturopathic program in particular — offers an amazing opportunity to become an expert in complementary and alternative medicine that really isn't available in any other program," she says. "The community at Bastyr University is very supportive, and it is a unique place because of that. It offers students a cooperative learning environment to help them succeed."