Dr. Kristen Bishop NMD
His warm, aged voice with it’s distinct German accent echoed through our home. “Gutentag! Hello!” he’d say to my mother, as a caring smile spread across his face.
This was our family doctor, and a man that profoundly affected my life, my philosophy of medicine, and my future. To understand who I am, my story, and how I got into Naturopathic Medicine, it’s important you understand who he was and what he taught me...
This Doctor taught me the importance of having a real relationship with patients. You see, he had been seeing my grandparents and their eight children (including my mother) for decades before he ever began caring for my father, my two siblings, and me! He served three generations of my family! He knew and understood our health and our needs more than we did. He also knew that a person’s relationship with their doctor is vital in health care, and that to help someone to be truly healthy (not to just treat symptoms of illness) meant you had to understand them as a whole person- you had to understand their emotional health, their family relationships, their family’s health histories, their eating habits, etc.
Things were different back then, though. He would ask each of us how we were doing, and he look us in the eyes as we answered. His questions weren’t busy formalities, they were a part of his practice and he genuinely cared to hear.
There were no laptops standing between us, and no insurance companies dictated what health concerns we could and couldn’t discuss. He saw us as people, holistically, and treated us as people. He helped us understand our health and how to keep our bodies healthy, based on our large, busy family lifestyle. He took the time to listen to our concerns and questions.
Doc and his care are what made me know, ever since I was a little girl, that I wanted to help people with their health (apparently I was confident at two years old that I’d be a doctor and I never waivered!).
Little did I know when I was a young girl though, that many years later his relationship style of family medicine would lay the foundation for my very own medical practice...
After college, I started my healthcare career in traditional sports medicine. That’s where I really began seeing how much “the system” and big insurance companies dictate health care...but it wasn’t until after I had children that I made a big change...
After some time in sports medicine, I took a 10 year hiatus to get married and have four children. I delivered my first two children how many do- in a traditional hospital with traditional medicine. However, I took a more natural approach with my 3rd and 4th children, and delivered them at home. These home births changed my life, and opened my eyes to the wonderful benefits of natural medicine!
I felt eagerly compelled to share the benefits of naturopathic medicine with people. So once my children grew a bit older, I went back to school for four years to become a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor! I was elated when I graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ as a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD).
In 2011 I opened Keystone Natural Family Medicine. That’s also when I began getting involved in the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association. I travel to Washington DC yearly with this association, and meet with legislators on Capitol HIll to advocate for Naturopathic Medicine awareness and regulations. My main goal with this association is to get the word out about Naturopathic Medicine and help people understand that they have options! Many people are very unhappy with the current health systems and the dictating role that big insurance corporations have on health care, and I want people to understand that they don’t need to adhere to that system; that Naturopathic Medicine is legitimate medicine and is available for them.
The thing I love about being a doctor is how truly awesome human bodies are! I’m fascinated by how they heal and how everything is interconnected; the emotional is tied to the physical and how treating one can treat the whole person. It’s truly remarkable!
Personally, my favorite hobbies are working out, traveling and reading.