We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristiana Engelhardt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristiana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my business/blog as a second year medical student. My goal is to make it an educational platform for the general public, in which I share my interests and knowledge of various medical topics that I learn in school along the way. I want people to have the ability to learn about the human body, nutrition, diseases, and other health concerns in a fun and easy manner.
In our current healthcare system, I find that patient education is thoroughly lacking. As a future naturopathic physician, one of my biggest goals is to address any health issues they’re having by educating them on the root cause of the problem and how to work toward fixing it. By starting my business early, I am able to build content on my webpage for patients and present them with information on how to lead a nourishing lifestyle in order to promote optimal health.
Following graduation in December of 2023, I plan on making Reformed Natural Therapeutics into my own private naturopathic medical clinic specializing in women’s health. I want to help women optimize their hormonal health by regulating their cycles, evaluating nutrient status, promoting fertility, and so much more. I envision it being a holistic care practice that incorporates modern science and natural therapies to provide the best treatment plan for my future patients.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I decided to enroll into naturopathic medical school after years of suffering from acne and digestive issues. During the years of high school and early college, I spent a ridiculous amount of time and money on “name-brand” skin cleansers, exfoliators, masks, peels, pills – you name it, I probably tried it. And to no avail, my cystic acne never went away. The one time I went to a dermatologist, she immediately offered to get me on Accutane, but after reading the scary side effects of it, I denied her prescription offer, and I’m so glad I did. I took matters into my own hands and started researching skin and gut health on my own. I learned about the importance of nutrition and how big of an impact it makes on your skin, gut, mental health and so much more. To my surprise, not a lot of medical health professionals ever mentioned anything about nutrition, and that’s because most MDs and DOs only get a small amount of education on it themselves in school, so they don’t known much themselves, either. It wasn’t until I accidentally landed upon a naturopathic doctor that I learned about holistic healthcare and natural treatment options to treat acute and chronic illnesses. And I knew right away, that this is the career path I wanted to pursue. My goal is to eventually become a doctor who helps other women take control of their own health, by supporting their body through lifestyle changes, nutrition, herbs, and other holistic treatment options. This isn’t to say that people in the naturopathic community don’t agree with pharmaceutical drugs – we definitely do. But sometimes, it’s important to get to the root cause of an issue rather than just putting a “band aid” on it and suppressing the symptoms. I’m now two ways from becoming a naturopathic medical doctor. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Science classes are challenging, and a lot of the times, slightly boring as well. But I am so passionate about this field and thinking about the fact that I’m so close in helping other people achieve their health goals keeps me motivated to keep going.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love hiking! I would definitely take my friend to hike up Camelback or Piestewa to watch a morning sunrise. We would get coffee at my favorite spot in Chandler, Peixoto, but then get brunch at Farm & Craft, since I love their vibe and famous kombucha cocktails. We would walk around Scottsdale during the afternoon, visit an art gallery and stop by the stores, go to Il Bosco for my favorite Neapolitan pizza in the city, and then go to the bars in Old Town at night. I would also want to take my friend to the Olive Mill in Queen Creek since it’s a charming spot to get some lunch and wine. And one day we would go Salt River tubing to take advantage of the warm weather.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would definitely have to shoutout my mom for supporting me through my undergraduate degree and now through medical school, as well. Being a healthcare practitioner herself, she can also understand the importance of natural healthcare and how vital holistic treatment is in a variety of acute and chronic illnesses. She has continually had my back throughout the years and, most importantly, in my very early twenties when I decided to pursue my current career path. I am grateful to have her by my side (figuratively, since we live thousands of miles apart) and cheering me on as I become the doctor that her and I have always wanted to have.