Very often our path is set in motion long before we even know it. For Dr. Damon Miller, such was the case. As a child he grew up with a grandmother in his life who rarely went to the doctor and was excellent with home remedies. Her enthusiasm for natural living rubbed off on him and he purchased his first medicinal herb book at the age of twelve, with money he had earned mowing lawns. This sparked an interest in health and wellness and he began to consider becoming a doctor.
After high school, he attended college at Yale University and worked for four years for the Yale Psychiatric Institute before deciding that he would return to his home state of Ohio to attend medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Miller later completed his post graduate work at UCLA in Diagnostic Radiology with specialized training in Interventional Radiology.
“I went in to private practice at a community hospital in Northern California and was there for a number of years before becoming disillusioned with the hospital practice of medicine,” said Dr. Miller. “Pretty much what happens with a diagnostic background is you see every interesting case that comes through and I would contribute to these incredible workups on people with MRI’s and CT scans, biopsies, nuclear medicine, opening up clogged plumbing and so on. But at the end of the day what did we have to offer these people with difficult chronic cases? I knew from my upbringing that there were better alternatives so I left the practice and pursued a different way.”
Dr. Miller knew that he was going to need a different modality if he wasn’t going to offer patients drugs as the answer to their illnesses. He realized that the closest practice he already had in place was Oriental medicine so he enrolled in a branch of a Japanese acupuncture college and studied Chinese herbs and then began meeting people in the integrative community. Over time he was blessed to work with a lady who had developed a protocol for overcoming macular degeneration, found his way in to association with an Orthomolecular group in California and capitalized on every contact and experience that presented itself so that he could learn to better serve his patients. The wide expanse of knowledge that Dr. Miller has collected over the years led him to develop eight principles of approach and application that will help most all conditions that people are afflicted with.
“The bottom line for me is that I love what I’m doing and I have no desire to stop or to retire,” said Dr. Miller. “Most of my colleagues from my hospital days have retired or are desperately looking for a way to get out of medicine because there are so many headaches associated with it and very little gratification. I don’t do any third-party billing and I’m not trying to fit in to a system so I can spend more time with people. I get to talk to the patient about their story, their history, what’s been going on in their life and how that connects to their illness. The mind body connection is real but it takes time and I get to have that time since I’m not in a more traditional practice of medicine.”
For Dr. Miller, he feels the hardest part of operating an alternative type of practice is flying under the radar and not shouting from the rooftops all of the modalities he can use to bring about wellness. He doesn’t rely on advertising but rather on word of mouth however, he does struggle with the knowledge that there are those that are stuck on a traditional route and may never hear about him or an alternative form of treatment. As a result, he has chosen to approach the subject with humor and chooses to broach the subject in a light and comical way but still reach people who need his help.
“How we speak to people about this topic matters. Standing on a soap box and telling them there are better ways doesn’t work,” said Dr. Miller. “I’m looking for ways that I can speak about this with some humor and drama and help people connect with this different mind-set of medicine.”
When not in the clinic seeing patients, Dr. Miller loves being out in nature, visiting old growth forests such as the giant sequoias found in California, being out on the ocean and bicycling. He and his wife raise chickens and also enjoy urban farming and have written a book on the topic for those looking to grow a garden in a confined space.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Miller and the clinic he operates south of San Francisco, visit his websites at bettereyehealth.com or organicmd.com