Why did you start Darou Wellness?
I have been practicing as a naturopathic doctor for the past 11 years, and what has been missing is a sense of community with other practitioners, and within the neighbourhood itself. My hope is that Darou Wellness will provide more services to our patients, the opportunity for collaboration between practitioners, and a space to house lectures, classes and community events.
Tell me more about building community?
We are located in a fantastic, vibrant neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, just off of Queen St. West, near Trinity Bellwoods park. I want to bring women and families together, and to have a community of practitioners to fill in all of the complementary health services needed. We also house regular weekend events, to support local neighbourhood businesses, and bring people together.
How is Darou Wellness unique?
We are different integrative health clinics, in that our focus is on the community, which allows us to branch out of the conventional healthcare roles. The amazing group of practitioners are extremely skilled in their fields and we offer a great team approach to your healthcare.
Why did you pick the Queen West neighbourhood?
I have been located in Queen West since I started my practice in 2004, and it has always been a fantastic location. It has a combination of population density, slightly alternative thinkers, and bright talent that has helped my practice thrive. There are also so many complementary businesses nearby, and we all support each other.
Tell me about your space?
The clinic is in an old loft-style building, very typical of Queen West, meaning we have lots of exposed brick and interesting pipes on the ceiling, which certainly adds some character. Our space has 5 clinic rooms where you will find our practitioners working, and an open studio space where we have the lectures, seminars, classes, and IV vitamin therapy treatments. The studio space has an attached kitchen for cooking and healthy meal preparation demos.
How did you select the members of your team?
I selected most of my team through word of mouth and great referrals from friends and patients. I first sent out a survey to my existing patients to ask what they would look for in an integrative health centre, and then I searched for the right practitioners. I’m thrilled with the team now, in their combined passions, caring and teamwork.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
That’s hard to answer, because there are so many things that I love about it! I love working one on one with my patients, and being able to make a difference in their lives. I also love that I am in a career where I can constantly learn and study – this is still an exciting and growing field, and it’s great to be able to learn more about health and wellness to incorporate into my practice. Currently I am passionate about building community in healthcare, as so many of us are trapped in a mindset of having to figure it all out on our own. By creating a community where people can learn and grow, and by providing a collaborative team, I hope to change these attitudes.
How did you become interested in Naturopathic medicine?
My interest in naturopathic medicine began while I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in engineering. Through a friend, I was introduced to health food stores, celiac disease, meditation and natural health. This was the beginning of 6 years of my own research, study and working with other naturopathic doctors before beginning school again. I was incredibly interested in this field right away, when I first learned that there were alternatives to med school.