Britt Marie Hermes is a former naturopathic doctor (ND) who was “trained in the ways of complementary and alternative medicine.” She worked in a clinic, she called in prescriptions, she billed insurance companies, and she was known to everyone around her as “Dr. Britt.”
It took years before she realized that naturopathy was a sham — it’s not based in science, even if it feels like it, and even if practitioners are falsely taught to believe they’re helping patients.
Now, in a powerful essay for Science 2.0, she explains how she’s working to undo the damage by calling out her former profession:
Prior to this seminal moment, I was skilled at ignoring information that I did not agree with. Today, I can no longer disregard the inconvenient fact that I was a quack.
I am currently completing a Master of Science program in biomedicine, while trying to understand my journey into, and out of, magical ways of thinking. Along the way, I am exploring why I have a (surprisingly persistent) bias toward naturalistic philosophies, how to think critically, and what can be done to educate the public to prevent mistakes resembling mine or those of my former patients who only wanted to be treated by a doctor like me.
As anyone who’s left religion knows, it’s extremely difficult to walk away from something you once believed in wholeheartedly. But helping others down that same path can be extremely rewarding.
Hermes has a website called Naturopathic Diaries where she analyzes many of the practices she once believed in. It’s definitely worth checking out.