Our Relationship with Food, Ourselves and the World
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Born in Houston, Texas, Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross spent her childhood in San Antonio where as the oldest of five children, she comes from a long line of physicians and healers. Her mother’s father was a well-known physician in Bryan, Texas, who opened his own hospital and nursing school. His mother, Betty Love, was a Cherokee medicine woman.
Dr. Ross wanted to be a doctor from the age of nine and worked many summers and vacations in her grandfather’s office, going with him on house calls, helping him deliver babies and learning how to dispense medications in his office pharmacy.
Dr. Ross’s Medical Background
Dr. Ross completed her undergraduate degree in Modern Foreign Languages at Purdue University and then was a full-time mother of her two older sons before returning to school to complete her Pre-Med requirements. She then went to the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Ross’s practice experience after medical school helped fuel her interest in understanding what makes people heal as she saw that most of her patients’ medical problems were related to lifestyle habits and the stresses of modern living.
In searching for a better way to address these issues, Dr. Ross began to explore complementary and alternative therapies and the use of herbs and supplements for her patients. She then completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University and set up practice in San Diego, California, where she eventually opened three women’s centers where she practiced primary care and office gynecology. Her women’s centers integrated the best of western medicine with complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, and nutrition counseling. She developed and ran The Anchor Program that offered a holistic approach for individuals with food and body image issues. The Anchor Program is a non-diet approach with a philosophy that health and well-being are everyone’s right no matter their size. During that time, she also served as the medical director of The Rader Institute’s inpatient eating disorder program.
Dr. Ross’s Focus on Integrative Medicine
Dr. Ross’s own personal health crisis and the diagnosis of her mother with Alzheimer’s led her on a journey to healing in which her perspective about medicine changed and her desire to focus on integrative medicine led her to the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Ross completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine, studying with Dr. Andrew Weil. Her path then led her to work as the head of the Eating Disorders Program and the Integrative Medicine Department at world-renowned inpatient hospital, Sierra Tucson where she pioneered the Integrative Medicine approach to eating disorder treatment. She currently works in private practice in Denver, Colorado, as an addiction medicine specialist and suboxone doctor who specializes in opioid addiction treatment. She also is a consultant for treatment centers across the country on eating disorders and integrative medicine.
Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross is a mother of three sons and has one granddaughter. She is also a nationally known author, speaker and expert in the field of Eating Disorders and Integrative Medicine. Her most recent book is “The Overcoming Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Overeating Workbook.” Other books include, “Healing Body, Mind and Spirit: an Integrative Medicine approach to the treatment of eating disorders” describing her own journey to healing and the miracles she found along the way. Dr. Ross has also developed a line of supplements as a result of her research, which are designed to support the recovery of patients with eating disorders and addictions.
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