I, Dr. Jennifer Karon recognize that many Patients of Color have not experienced collaborative healthcare in which their body sovereignty is recognized and valued. I commit to take action and work for change, while working with each patient to get to the root cause of their health concerns.
As a naturopathic physician, I have committed to uphold the principles of naturopathic medicine. These principles include:
- The Healing Power of Nature: Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
- Identify and Treat the Causes: Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
- First, Do No Harm: Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
- Doctor as Teacher: Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
- Treat the Whole Person: View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
- Prevention: Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.
As a physician and a human, I oppose all forms of racism and stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. With humility, I recognize that I exist within a system in which White people inherently benefit at the expanse of Black Lives and People of Color.
I believe that healthcare is a human right, and I acknowledge that institutionalized racism exists within our healthcare system. I commit to identifying where and how it exists, and commit to take action and work for change.
I further acknowledge that Black and People of Color experience poor health outcomes at a much higher rate, due to lack of appropriate care, lack of resources, and institutionalized racism within our care model. Within my own practice of medicine, I pledge myself to equitable and accessible care for all patients, regardless of the color of their skin.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- The Healing Power of Nature: Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself. I assist Patients of Color in identifying barriers to healing, and help to overcome those barriers by providing resources needed to achieve optimal healing.
- Identify and Treat the Causes: Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause. I recognize that systemic racism and unequal access to health resources greatly impact the ability of Patients of Color to get to the root cause of their health issues. I work with patients to examine and treat their health concerns, taking into account the system in which those concerns exist. I welcome feedback from Patients of Color on an ongoing basis, to make sure that I am serving their healthcare needs. I recognize that I practice medicine from my own lens and know that at times I will stumble over my own prejudices and preconceptions. When I am called on this, I pledge to listen with humility and do better moving forward.
- First, Do No Harm: Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies. I recognize that patients do not always need or want medication, and that many medications carry significant side effect profiles. I further recognize that many scientific studies have been conducted on Patients of Color without their consent. I pledge to work with each patient, individually, to determine the best course of action to achieve their health goals, including a full discussion of treatment options, alternatives, benefits and risks. These options include medicinal herbs, nutritional supplements, dietary modifications, exercise, homeopathy, counseling, medications, and specialist referral.
- Doctor as Teacher: Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health. I recognize that many Patients of Color have not experienced collaborative healthcare in which their body sovereignty is recognized and valued. I pledge to meet each patient where they are and collaborate with them as I serve as their physician. This includes, but it not limited to, education about body physiology and how lifestyle changes and natural medicines can help achieve their health goals. During this process, I pledge to listen and modify my approach as needed, understanding that each patient’s needs and goals are different, and that my understanding of their experience is limited.
- Treat the Whole Person: View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions. I recognize that the body, mind and spirit exist within the societal systems surrounding them. Validating the experiences of Patients of Color, as well as providing resources for mental health and spiritual connection, are part of my ongoing work with every patient.
- Prevention: Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention. As Patients of Color are at higher risk of poor health outcomes from chronic disease, I pledge to follow screening guidelines for common chronic conditions, as well as assess genetic risk of disease, for every patient. I will do this in a collaborative manner that allows each patient to maintain sovereignty over their body and control of their healthcare.
Finally, I commit to:
- Continuing my education on the topics of racism and the experiences of People of Color through completing yearly CE on these topics.
- Supporting Black & People of Color Owned Businesses for sourcing of my office and personal needs
- Contributing to charitable causes that benefit underserved Black and Indigenous Women and Children
- Continually assessing and updating my diversity plan, as needed