Hello, I am Dr. Dennis Godby, ND, MA
As a naturopathic doctor for the last 18 years, I have witnessed the power of a preventative lifestyle and naturopathic medicine to transform the health and lives of thousands of patients.
To nationally share this extremely good news – how to prevent the preventable – I founded and co-directed The Run: Moving Natural Medicine Forward, in 2011, a run across the USA, at a 30 mile per day clip, over 4 months, to promote a healthier America and to increase the visibility of naturopathic medicine.
After talking to thousands of people across 16 states and Washington, DC, over 124 days on the highways and byways of America on The Run, I found that there is a virtual consensus across the USA that our nation is not preventing the preventable, that our very lifestyles are killing us, and that as a nation, we are overusing pharmaceutical drugs!
So that every American has an opportunity to be healthy, I founded (see WalkUSAForHealthEquity.org), a walk across the USA, walking 1/5 of the country each year, 2022-2026. The first leg of 605 miles from Myrtle Beach, SC to Knoxville, TN was held in 2022. The second leg of WUHE will take place in August 29-September 28, 2023 and stretch 655 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I grew up using conventional medicine, as many of you probably did.
My mother was a Registered Nurse (RN) at Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital, which afforded me the opportunity of hearing many amazing hospital stories. Over her 34 years of nursing, my mom provided care for generations of families throughout the community. To this day, it is the stories of her compassionate care for the “whole” patient and their extended family that serve as an inspiration for my work in the field of medicine. What made sense to me as early as my high school years was what we now refer to as preventive medicine.
The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
I became very passionate about exercise, while training for track, and other sports. Through running, I discovered the mind-body-spirit connection. I experienced the power of endorphins, also known as the “runner’s high,” long before I studied about these hormones in exercise physiology class. I became a lifelong runner at the beginning of the runner’s movement in the 1970s, but after a meniscus tear in 2018, I was not longer able to run, and became a long distance transcontinental walker instead, while also enjoying other rigorous activities such as lake swimming, bicycle commuting, and hiking. From my earliest memories, I have had a deep appreciation for food and healthy eating. Growing up with California’s abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, a mother that grew up on a farm and provided many meals for frequent guests, I became interested in nutrition at an early age.
Testing the Limits of Human Endurance
After taking a college fitness appreciation class, I changed my major to Health and P.E., emphasizing exercise physiology and nutrition. To encourage running and physical fitness I organized family “fun runs” in my college community. To test the limits of human endurance and promote physical fitness and nutrition I ran to Alberta, Canada, from Corvallis, Oregon, attempting the longest run ever, without a support team. Running 39 miles a day, alone, for 37 days, over the Cascades and Canadian Rockies, pushed my physical and mental limits, and also provided a tremendous source of spiritual growth. After college I became more aware of the African famines and world hunger, and thus began my increased involvement in social justice work. My conscience would not allow me to do nothing upon learning that our global brothers and sisters were dying prematurely, and unable to reach their potential – simply because of a lack of food, and social justice! After much study and traveling throughout the U.S. on a “Journey of Truth,” I spent the next decade working as a community organizer for peace and justice in Latin America. I had the opportunity along the way to meet and advocate for Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees being protected in the Sanctuary Movement. I was fortunate to be able to make many journeys to Central and South America. I learned Spanish, and fell in love with the Latin American people and culture.
Across the North American Continent
Again, using running as the way that I could best contribute my energies towards peace and justice in Central America, I organized and ran across the North American continent, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. This 3,006 mile run took place over a 16 week period, in the middle of winter, and became known in the media as a “Run of Conscience.” Having the yearning for a deeper spirituality, and more academic grounding, I attended the Maryknoll School of Theology, receiving a fellowship. After receiving my M.A. in Theological Studies, with an emphasis in social justice and peace, I taught high school religious studies courses and public school E.S.L. classes, for over a decade. My students and colleagues had a profound impact on my life! It was here that I discovered that the most significant element in the learning process as a teacher was not in imparting information to students, but in developing genuine relationships with my students. Interactive relationships provided a much greater opportunity for education to flourish and this experience has provided the backbone of my medical practice today. Leaving teaching was emotionally difficult, but I left with a leap of faith that there was something else I was supposed to do: to articulate the body-mind-spirit relationship of holistic health as a physician-teacher of natural medicine.
For the next six years, I attended and graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland. I now have had the opportunity and the privilege for 18 years to practice medicine in California as a licensed primary care provider. I can do what I love – helping people to not only optimize their health and energy, but to also improve the overall quality of their life. I feel honored that I am able to make a difference in the lives of my patients. After witnessing the struggle of my mother and other family members with type 2 diabetes – an almost completely preventable disease – I made the commitment to spend the rest of my professional life on the prevention, treatment and reversal of diabetes and the many other chronic conditions. My goal as a naturopathic doctor and teacher is to assist patients in living to their fullest health potential, physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritual.
Dr. Dennis Godby, BS, MA, ND
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Certified Gluten Practitioner, The Dr.com, 2016
Functional Diagnostic Medicine Training Program, Functional Medicine University, 2008
Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon,2004
Masters of Arts, Theological Studies, Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, NY, 1990
Bachelors of Science, Exercise Physiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 1979
Certified Seminar Leader, American Seminar Leader’s Association, Pasadena, CA
Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation
Board of Directors, Institute for Natural Medicine
Public Affairs Committee, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
Chair, Diversity Committee, AANP
Public Affairs Committee, California Naturopathic Doctors Association (CNDA)
Board Member for the California
Naturopathic Doctors Association
Sutter Center for Integrative Health Complementary Medicine Affiliate, Sacramento, CA
Diabetes Wellness Coach, Sutter Connect, Sacramento, CA, (2005-2006)
High School Social Justice Religious Studies Teacher, LaSalle High School, Milwaukie, OR (1993-98; Sacred Heart Cathedral, San Francisco, CA, (1991-1993)
Community Peace and Justice Activist (1981-1991)
California’s First Naturopathic Doctor of the Year in 2012,
Awarded by California Naturopathic Doctors Association
Author of The Practical Guide to Overcoming Diabetes Naturally