Meet the Doc: Dr. Vivian Sovran, ND
This month, we are excited to introduce Dr. Vivian Sovran!
Dr. Sovran specializes in naturopathic pediatric care, working with infants, children, adolescents, and their families.
What are your specialties?
I practice primary care with a special focus on pediatrics and women’s health. In addition to the ND program at Bastyr, I also completed the course work in midwifery, and assisted at many births. The experience was extremely rewarding, as it gave me invaluable tools for working with newborns, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and new parents.
How did you become a Naturopathic Doctor?
So many things led me to this path. One big influence in my decision to become an ND was my interactions with doctors during my childhood and adolescence. I never had a particularly bad experience, and yet I often felt unheard and disempowered after my visits with them. The visits were so short. I never received a full explanation regarding my health concerns or their treatment. The traditional doctor-patient dynamic just did not work for me. It always seemed that it should be a relationship based on equality and teamwork, and not solely on the blind trust of an “authority figure.” I strongly felt that it was important for people to understand their symptoms and medical concerns so that they could become advocates for their own health.
On a more personal note, as an adolescent I developed severe migraine headaches . While I explored alternative medicine as one avenue to address them, my strong pull towards science and math led me to McGill University in Montreal, where I studied Human Physiology. While there, I met the brother of a friend who was studying at Bastyr and who introduced me to the concept of a “naturopathic doctor.” The philosophy and education seemed to align well with my beliefs regarding how medicine should be practiced, and so from there the path was clear.
What is one thing you want patients to know about you?
I love working with kids. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient through her pregnancy, meeting her newborn during the first few days of life, and watching that baby grow up to become a vibrant, happy, healthy, and dynamic child. My first infant patients are coming up on their 10 year birthdays this year and it has been such an incredible honor to come to know them and their families.
What is your favorite health tip for the month:
It may be a controversial one, but I am not a fan of foods that have been made to be “fat free,” and “low fat.” Healthy fats are an essential part of a good diet. Our society has become obsessed with fat, and as a result food manufacturers have been replacing the natural fats in some foods with sugars and nutrient-poor fillers to recreate the texture and satisfaction that the fats normally provide. The increased sugar, and some of these fillers can be harmful for our long-term health. Instead of fat-free, flavored, Greek yogurt, go for an organic, plain, grass-fed, whole fat one instead. You can always add your own flavors at home, like blueberries and a touch of honey or maple syrup, and you will likely find yourself more satisfied with less. Your body, and taste buds, will thank you.