Dr. Deborah McKay, Naturopathic Physician
Dr. McKay’s vibrant energy is what most people notice first. She is fully licensed as a primary care doctor. Her focus is on hormone balancing, but since every body system is affected by hormones, holistic care is her passion. She is a firm believer in treating the whole person, and has great personal warmth and good humor that puts people at ease.
She is a graduate of NCNM, National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, which is the oldest and, she insists, is also the best of the accredited naturopathic medical schools. She graduated with Honors in Philosophy from PSU, Portland State University. She also attended PCC, Portland Community College; SMC, Santa Monica College; the other PCC, Pasadena City College; and UW, the University of Washington in her home town of Seattle.
Already a soccer mom by the time she enrolled in medical school, Dr. McKay’s personal journey has traversed adventures with health-related issues including overweight, allergies, sinus infections, childhood trauma, ADD, infertility, broken bones, PTSD (post-traumatic stress), TMJ (jaw pain), and chronic back pain.
In 2009, she overcame a rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer: “I had lots of help! I had great doctors, generous friends, amazing family, and the gift of natural medicine. Let me tell you, natural medicine pretty much kicks booty!” She now feels a special affinity for her sorority of survivors, those who need the support of adjunct natural cancer care. She says, “I think all those challenges meant something. Good health is a treasure, which I no longer take for granted. I am so glad to be here. I know it sounds trite, but it’s so true — I am just plain glad to be alive.”
She recently spent several years as a consulting physician at one of the finest hormone laboratories in the world, ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton. She is trained in counseling, including energy psychology, and was already practicing as a lay homeopath for 13 years before medical school. She also had a 15-year career in the workers’ compensation field. Before that, she enjoyed doing public relations for Pacific Science Center, the science museum in Seattle, where she met her husband of almost 30 years, Rick Hooker, a graphic designer and art director. They are residents of nearby Multnomah Village. Their lovely daughter Brianna now lives on Maui.
Her publications to date include Biomarkers of Wellness and Longevity, a handbook for holistic practitioners. She was an editor of The Workers’ Compensation Handbook by Gwen Hampton. She is a popular speaker in the Portland metro area, covering nutrition, hormones, and weight loss. She is certified in Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and is listed with Livin’ La Vida Low Carb. She continues as a well-respected consultant to other physicians and pharmacists regarding BHRT, bio-identical hormone restoration therapy. She serves on the Board of Directors of Hospice and Palliative Care of Washington County — the only not-for-profit hospice and/or palliative care provider in the region. She is also on the editorial board for the Journal of Restorative Medicine.
She is active in OANP, the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians; a supporter of AANP, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians; and recording secretary for HBPA, the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association — where the new Hillsdale Main Street project is inspiring many fine local residents to actively work together, strengthening and beautifying the Hillsdale Town Center business district. She supports the SW Community Connection, loves the Southwest Portland Post, and is an active member of BACC, the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. McKay grew up on Vashon Island, WA, in the Salish Sea (Puget Sound), between Seattle and Tacoma. She was “a bit of a superstar in high school,” she laughs. She won a National Merit Scholarship, but also worked in the cherry orchards and substituted as a church organist. She spent a summer studying at the United Nations. She taught her childhood border collie, Bonnie, how to play tetherball: “That dog was so smart, she understood to hit the ball in the opposite direction to win the game, even if it made her sneeze!”
More recently, the family’s black Labrador, Lucy, was a strong swimmer and hilarious ball-chaser. “Dogs are so good for people’s health that sometimes I write prescriptions for puppies,” she chuckles. She is also a cat-lover and avid bird-watcher, two activities which do not go well together. After a long sojourn in sunny L.A., she feels that the damp forests and beaches of Cascadia (Oregon-Washington-British Columbia) are her favorite places on Earth. “I love the way moss grows in your hair up here,” she smiles.