Heather Auld, MD, of SWFL Integrative Medicine in Fort Myers, Florida, is a forward-thinking physician who combines her extensive knowledge and experience in mainstream medicine with a passion for health-giving herbs and plants.
Medicine is “in Dr. Auld’s blood,” as the saying goes, as both her father and grandfather were medical doctors. Dr. Auld’s grandfather was the only physician in his rural South Dakota county, before the advent of antibiotics changed the practice of medicine. She remembers fondly how he used to consult notecards containing formulas for herbal medicines that he kept in a recipe box. Dr. Auld’s father was a family practitioner who also delivered most of the town’s babies. She would often accompany him on these visits, developing her interest in obstetrics from her experiences.
Dr. Auld chose to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology when she began her medical career. She spent 25 years enjoying the privilege of being with expectant mothers on one of the most important days of their lives. During the last 10 years of her OB/GYN practice, Dr. Auld’s patients started to bring her vitamins and other supplements and ask whether they should take them. Dr. Auld didn’t know much about herbs and supplements at that time, as these topics don’t form part of mainstream medical education in the United States.
To learn more, in 2011, Dr. Auld enrolled in a two-year fellowship at the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona. This experience changed her life and the way she practiced medicine. Dr. Auld found she could now combine her passion for herbs and plants with her desire to heal, and in 2015 she sat for the American Board of Physician Specialties exam in Integrative Medicine. At the same time, she started working with naturopathic doctor Teresa Spano at Lee Health’s Department of Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Auld describes the practice of medicine and the love of plants as a perfect marriage that guides her work.
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