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Vegan Friendly Doctors

Posted by SynthVegan at 11/16/2009

So I've visited my new doctor twice now and he has insisted (both times) that my health problems are due to my vegan diet. I know with great confidence that my diet helps my condition and that eating meat/dairy would make it worse.

I decided to search the web for doctors but there doesn't seem to be too much information out there (for Chicago). The last thing I want to do is call several doctors (I will if I have to though). Does anyone have any suggestions?


SynthVegan11/16/2009 08:18:03
* In the second paragraph, I'd like to clarify that I'm searching for a new Vegan friendly doctor.
Tatiana11/16/2009 11:22:55
I hate when doctors think they know all about nutrition......
condekedar11/16/2009 11:34:55
I've found that non-American/European doctors, particularly those from Asia, are much more vegan-friendly (probably because they come from cultures that eat vegetables and have vegetarian traditions?). I've never had an Indian or Chinese doctor tell me my diet was a problem.

Moreover, I have vegan friends who have had similar experiences. A couple of them switched doctors and found people that were willing to work with the vegan diet and not assume it was the cause of any and all health problems. One female friend of mine was anemic and so she found a female doctor who suggested a revamped vegan diet that emphasized more leafy greens (which fixed the anemia). Other doctors didn't care and told my friend, "Eat beef."

The point is, you need to find someone who is more culturally aligned and sensitive about your beliefs. That's not to say all Asian doctors will be on your side, or that all American doctors won't be, but you should probably make it clear upfront that you're vegan and you're not changing your diet. If the doctor has a problem with that, you should move on and find someone else
kindlizard11/16/2009 14:20:36
I was always amazed that the ND and Homeopath (MD) I visited a long time ago were both against vegan diets. They wanted me to mimic their diets. I think its human nature to think we ourseleves have figured it out and all must follow. Oddly, I once saw a specialist, a well known guy who I figured would dump all over it since I was going more mainstream and surprisingly, he encouraged a vegan diet. Not in so many words, but his thoughts were more in alignment with veganism than not.

I think it goes to show that you really have no idea when you go see someone what their thoughts will be. I suppose word of mouth is the best resource. Short of that I will tell you an empowering piece of advice. When you see a doctor, he/she works for you. You are the customer of the medical model and you should voice your wants, needs, and yes, your expectations. Allow yourself to be in the driver's seat; though by design, they don't appreciate it. I have taken docs by surprise w that initiative, but I feel like my time is honored more, as well as my medical views and lifestyle. And what condekedar said, tell the doc upfront who you are and what you are about; if they don't respect you, you know the situation is not for you.
SynthVegan11/19/2009 10:44:36
Thank you all for your responses. I did tell the doctor up front that I'm Vegan months ago and that I wasn't going to change my diet; apparently he's not willing to work with me on that. The problem is that there are so many doctors out there and I can't just make appointment after appointment in an attempt to find a good doctor. It's hard enough calling the office to get that information since the receptionists aren't always too helpful. I think I will have to end up doing this…but my plan is to call the major hospital here in the loop and see if someone can refer me to a Vegetarian (friendly) doctor at the very least (there are many doctors there).

I never go to doctors because of this issue, and also, for their propensity to medicate every problem. This doctor just wrote up some prescription to remedy my symptoms – I will not be taking it. I don't understand why doctors will not take the time to find the cause of the problem rather than just slapping a band-aid (medication) on it. Anyway, sorry for my rant, but if anyone else has any ideas as to how to find a Vegan friendly doctor, please let me know.
kindlizard11/20/2009 00:52:04
my area has a Green Directory or Natural directory, in HF stores. Maybe your area has something similar. I know MDs are listed there. Likely if someone puts an ad there they are sympathetic at least.

if you are still Chitown...

Matthew Sorrentino, MD, FACC

University of Chicago Center for Advanced Medicine
5758 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 702-6924

that's the guy the comes up in Chicago. maybe he's the guy; though it looks like he's a heart doc, hopefully your ticker ain't the issue.

that one doc may be a good reference?

next time at the local HF store, see if you can find a directory, or even ask around who they see as docs, if they are a veg HF; if you get the same answer from a few folks maybe that would be a better bet. But like you said, calling the hospital is prob more informed, more so, the guy I linked at the hospital may be even more helpful!

Hope something works out and you are well!!
kindlizard11/20/2009 00:53:30
also, an ND (Naturopath) may be helpful as well. Have you considered that path? Seems up your alley
theplantrx.com02/02/2011 12:14:29
These folks may be able to help you locate one:(they are all vegan)

Jared, Jason
Chiropractic & PT

Notter, Cyd

Pontarelli, Michael
Health Nutrition Chiropractic

You are right not to compromise. I am a physician who advocates a plant-based diet. I, unfortunately, do not know anyone in the Chicago area but I am hoping that perhaps maybe one of the folks above may be able to help you in your search. If you do find one let me know as I am currently creating a database on my site to provide this information to people. :)

Best Wishes, Jenna
LeeleeHarrison06/06/2011 07:46:35
Wow-this is all so interesting! SynthVegan, it is not surprising that your doctor didn't care about your lifestyle, when for him it is all about money-that is one thing that continues to fuel me-money-government, FDA, lies, and pushers-if the pushers don't push, nobody makes money. I don't think doctors are bad, but my eyes are SO open now...

I am a very new vegan, and I have already decided to go hollistic when searching for a doctor. I haven't done it yet, but I will try to never use a conventional doctor again, if I can manage it. Because it will only result in prescriptions...drugs drugs drugs...I had never thought about "vegan friendly" doctors-I will look into that as well. I live near St. Louis, in Illinois, so I will look up the people that were recommended to you-thanks everyone!
onehealth01/29/2013 10:34:44
It seems like a lot of vegans/vegetarians are having a hard time finding a vegan-friendly doctor...

I'm a One Medical Group member and we have great vegan-friendly doctors in San Francisco and New York City (Mark Berman and Carrie Bowler):

Berman, MD
One Medical Group
595 Castro Street
SF, CA 94114

Bowler, DO
One Medical Group
30 Broad Street, 45th Fl
New York, NY 10004

So if any of you are in those cities, I would totally recommend them!

Also -- anyone know of a good vegan-friendly doctor finder?

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