Learn about Dr Deborah Brunt and her experience here!
My journey into medicine began as a child in the UK where I spent many summers at Barnsley Hospital pediatric ward visiting my sister. She is one year younger than myself but each summer was hospitalized with severe asthma attacks aggravated by her allergies to pollen. I became interested in nutrition, the human body and it’s function and how the environment around us influences our health.
These interests led me to pursue studies in medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand after high school. I also completed a Masters degree in Health Science writing my thesis on maternal, infant and toddler nutrition, dietary patterns and micronutrient deficiencies.
Early Doctor Experience
I worked as a junior doctor for 3 years before beginning work in general practice in rural NSW, Australia. I had inherited a practice of a retired GP who had practiced integrative medicine and most of his patients were on minimal if any medications.
As I began practice I followed clinical guidelines and treated my patients but was dismayed to see them receive an increasingly long list of medications. Often subsequent medications were being prescribed to remedy side effects of former medications.
After returning from maternity leave I found many of my patients had abandoned their medications, and were feeling better without them. As I spoke with patients about what made them feel well it often had less to do with medications and more to do with their life. The things we often call lifestyle, their stressors, sleep, leisure activities and their diet.
Eating for nutrition, moving their bodies, being in nature, having nurturing relationships. These elements not only aided my clients to feel better, but biochemically their bloodwork improved as did their biometric data on clinical assessment.
I had also personally experienced burnout and somewhat disillusionment with a medical system that focusses on fast interactions with patients without time to get to understand them, their underlying stressors and causes of illness and dis-ease.
From that point onwards I began reading journal articles and attending conferences and training that focused on the wider systems approach to health and wellbeing. I became interested not only in lifestyle medicine – the level at which a patient can act to change their own health, but also the wider social and commercial determinants of health and health environments, that require community and governmental action to improve the health and wellbeing on a community level.
Holistic Health Practice
Returning to Dunedin, New Zealand, I spent 7 years working in general practice while I furthered my interest and study in holistic healthcare. I have now moved to work in the area of lifestyle and integrative medicine. In doing so I am able to take the time to explore the complex and multiple factors influencing the health and wellbeing of my clients, to hear their stories and to collaborate with them on their health journey.
I have over 10 years working with women who have experienced sexual abuse, trauma, rape, domestic violence and interpersonal relationships. I also have worked with many women dealing with sexism and misogyny in the workplace and societally.
I work with women who experience difficulties with sex and intimacy i.e. low sexual desire or pleasure, or issues with consent, boundaries and trust.
I also have an interest in metabolic health which includes heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight management and body image.
Optimal gut health is another area of interest and often overlaps many of the above mentioned areas of health. In terms of nutrition I focus on wholefood diets which includes whole food plant based diets.
Outside of work I have an abundant life. I am mama and aunt to 6 amazing children and my niece. Currently I love walking/running in nature, yoga, gardening, camping, reading, writing and spending time with good friends.
I would love to work with you to discover more about your underlying health issues and to help you meet your goals to improve your health.