Healing Roots

Archived column.

Eudora Olsen Eudora Olsen (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Emory University School of Medicine

Eudora Olsen is an MD/MPH student at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA class of 2024. In 2017, she graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in comparative religion and women and gender studies. She enjoys running to her favorite podcasts, trying new restaurants in Atlanta, and traveling. After graduating medical school, Eudora will be an Internal Medicine resident at the University of California San Francisco.

“Taking a History:” Reflections from the Indian Health Services

In elementary school, Indigenous land lived in my imagination as an expansive, beautiful and windy place. Images from storybooks painted pictures of golden plains speckled with horses, an oasis away from my suburban hometown. History is told in stories and these were the stories we were told. In February 2024, I had the privilege of serving at the Indian Health Services (IHS) in Chinle, Arizona. This land belongs to the Navajo Nation, a sovereign state …

My Journey into Integrative Medicine

“Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.” —Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine The following is a brief summary of some insights from the path I traveled to come to an understanding of the type …

Recommendations for Referral to CAM Practitioners

The sister of a woman recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) came to the neurology clinic while I was on rotation there and asked the physician if there was anything else besides riluzole that her sister could use for treatment. Essentially, the doctor responded that there were no other treatments. This sister was inquisitive, though, and pressed further–“I had heard acupuncture might be useful. What do you think?” It couldn’t hurt, the physician replied. She then …

Ego or Confidence? Reflections from a Tentative Heart

A 77-year-old retired schoolteacher presented to the neurosurgery outpatient clinic to go over her lumbar spine MRI results. After looking at the computer screen for a matter a seconds, one of the leading spinal surgeons in the country turned to me and declared the diagnosis: “Spinal stenosis. There is nothing I can do for her. She is elderly, has a weak heart, and a smoking history. The risks are too great.” We went into the …

Finding Health with Integrative Medicine

“What am I supposed to eat?! How do I make the pain go away?!” An exasperated 41-year-old man with Crohn’s disease spoke to me in confidence upon his second hospital admission in two weeks for flare-ups of his inflammatory bowel disease. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease nearly 10 years ago and, up to this point, the only form of treatment he had been given was a single prophylactic pill that he took daily to …

Vincent Minichiello Vincent Minichiello (4 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Vinny is a Class of 2013 student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, applying to family medicine residency programs. Passionate about strengthening the body's own healing mechanism, he is invested in learning more about integrative medicine and hopes to practice family medicine in combination with Chinese medicine and osteopathic manipulation therapy in the future. He loves his fiancée dearly and is looking forward to their marriage in May 2013!