Dr. Lara Martin, a naturopathic physician, opened her business, Balanced Family Natural Medicine, when she and her husband moved to Hillsboro in 2015.
As a senior in college Lara had the opportunity to shadow different types of practitioners to help her decide what her next career decisions would be. One of the doctors she shadowed was Dr. Shawn Peters. Her approach resonated deeply with Lara. “She practices primary care in the exact way that I have always believed it should be practiced, and she is just a wealth of knowledge for a young mom that is opening her own medical practice,” she explains.
The main focus of Lara’s practice is pediatrics, midwifery and primary care. Although she sees entire families, she gravitates towards women and children. She opted to open her own practice because she wanted to be in control of how she treated patients. “I believe in giving my patients a very personalized connection with their physician.”
Outside of work, Lara enjoys spending time with her children and husband by going on family hikes, playing board games, or just cuddling under a blanket eating popcorn and watching movies.
She says her biggest struggle in business right now is balancing work life and home life. Although Lara loves her job and the impact she makes for her patients, she also feels pulled to spend time with her three children. “I am working through this by only working part time, but with a medical practice there are always things that need to be taken care of on my days off. Some weeks I feel like I can do it all and it is not much of a struggle where as other weeks I feel like I am barely treading water,” she says.
She would tell anyone thinking of starting a business to make sure they have a strong support system in place and to think about what they are really passionate about. “For me, I have to really enjoy the work in order to feel better about spending time away from my family. I am also a midwife so there are times when I will be at a birth for over 24 hours which can be really hard, but it is all worth it to help that mama bring a beautiful baby into the world,” she says.
She would advise her younger self to learn more about medical billing and insurance. “It is not something that they really teach so I have been trying to teach myself which at times has been very difficult,” she explains.
Lara says she loves the flexibility she has in her schedule because she works for herself.
This year she adjusted her work schedule to be able to do school pick up and drop off for her oldest. She’s also able to make appointments and school events thanks to her flexibility.
When things are challenging Lara is motivated by her desire to show her kids that hard work pays off and her desire to serve her patients.
The best referrals for her business are women of childbearing age, those interested in home birth, and children
Lara says the MOB has given her a place to escape from the stressors of the day because she can attend MOB Meetups at no cost and they a chance to enjoy an evening with friends and some good wine. She also appreciates the referrals the MOB has generated as well being able to refer patients to other MOBs.
She offers a 20% discount on any supplements to MOB Alliance members who are also her patients. She accepts most insurance plans.
Connect with Lara online: