Skip to content
All posts

Clinical Team Spotlight: Dr. Emmie Brown, ND

Doctor Emmie blog header image

Meet Dr. Emmie Brown, ND, a Vibrant Clinical Lab Educator, and Vibrant Wellness Podcast co-host based in San Diego, CA.

In this month's Clinical Team Spotlight, we dive into Dr. Emmie’s passion for nutrition and genetics and explore how her natural positivity and curiosity infuse her approach to medicine and life. 


Background and Education  

What are your credentials and certifications? Where did you go to school?  

I’m a licensed naturopathic doctor. I earned my Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland in 2017.

During my time in medical school, I completed a naturopathic mental health rotation at Pacific Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinic and a preceptorship in community healthcare in downtown Portland focusing on transgender medicine, chronic disease, and medication management. 

I also completed a one-year residency at the Bastyr University Clinic here in San Diego.

What led you to pursue that degree?  

I've always been interested in medicine, particularly hands-on. When I was little, I wanted to be a brain surgeon.

But as I got older, I realized I wanted to spend more time with patients. In the conventional medical system, there are times when the volume of patients is quite high, and it’s hard to spend enough time to get a truly comprehensive history with patients.

I first heard about naturopathic medicine through my sister, who had really great success working with a naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic medicine seemed like it would allow me to spend more time with patients and explore root cause medicine, which is a bit more satisfying than just providing symptom support.

Of course, you need symptom support every now and then, but really getting to the root cause and putting on my critical thinking cap is what excites me.

Professional Insights 

Can you describe your role at Vibrant?  

I have consults throughout the week wherein I meet with a variety of multidisciplinary practitioners.

Everyone from MDs and naturopaths to nutritionists, dietitians, and chiropractors. During consults, we discuss how to interpret Vibrant test results and treatment and management options for their patients.

What led you to Vibrant?  

naturopathic medicine-1

I was always impressed with Vibrant technology, but I realized that as a clinical lab educator, I could really reach more people than in private practice. I was in private practice for 3 1/2 years after my residency, and educating patients was really the best part of that job.

I loved the feeling of opening someone’s eyes to a different way of approaching lifestyle or diet, or accompanying a medication with a natural therapeutic option that might mitigate the side effects of that medication. 

So, the ability to spread knowledge about naturopathic medicine more broadly led me to Vibrant.


What’s your favorite part about your job?  

There are a lot of aspects I love, but my favorite part is really connecting with providers from so many unique backgrounds and teaching them something new. It’s exciting when I can help them think critically about a complicated case so we can start putting the pieces together.

And with the help of lab test results, we really uncover answers that weren’t obvious before. That’s incredibly satisfying.

doctors solving puzzle

What's your biggest strength?

According to the Clifton strength finder, my biggest strength is positivity. For me, the cup is overflowing (I do consider myself a realistic optimist, however).

What achievement are you most proud of?  

I would say I'm really proud of being well-rounded, and this is something I’ll continue to work on. I worked in urgent care and primary care as a naturopath, which is not very common, and I get to work with a laboratory company where I can really dive into these complex cases and learn about the technological side of things.

Do you feel like all of those different experiences help you in your day-to-day life?

Oh, 100%. It helped me with relating to different people, being open-minded, and being able to talk about a variety of things.

Of course, I don’t know everything, but being open-minded, very curious, and drawing on a variety of experiences helps a lot. This also gives me the confidence to be honest when I don’t know something. I’m never going to fake it—I’m going to say “please tell me more.”

What is your favorite Vibrant lab test?  

It’s hard to choose one because there are so many useful tests, but I would probably choose the Gut Zoomer or the NutriPro

The Gut Zoomer is so foundational. We all know how important gut health is for overall wellness, and how it relates to so many other body systems. We can see markers like glucuronidase on that test, which relates to hormone detoxification as well as digestion and inflammatory markers.

I love the NutriPro because I’ve always been interested in genetics. It lets us put together those pieces of the puzzle to identify genetic predisposition while also looking at the actual nutrient levels to see if those genetics are playing out. It can be a little intimidating, but the test helps practitioners understand how to apply it.

Gut Zoomer Box

What motivates you to get out of bed and do the work each day?  

I would say our providers. They're so grateful for the work and it’s really lovely to work with people who are willing to learn something new.

During these consults, to make sense of complicated test results, we can really have a conversation and dive deep into the case. And that's what is exciting.

I think I said that before, but really diving into the case and saying, well, I'm struggling with this, and maybe this lab test and these results are giving us a clue to the next step and those light bulb moments.

light bulb moment

What is your #1 advice for providers?  

Do what you like, and don't try to do it all. It’s okay to experiment to learn what type of practice and lab testing you gravitate toward. To really help your patients and sustain your practice, you need to stay passionate and excited. And that only comes from focusing on what you like. And realize that this might change over time, and that's okay!

What is your #1 advice for patients?  

Find that practitioner who seems enthusiastic about what they're doing. Find that practitioner who not only really knows what they love to practice, but also when to refer to others and collaborate and coordinate care, because it takes a team. I truly believe it takes a whole team, especially with complex cases, to figure it out, because we need a lot of brilliant minds on board.

Do you have any seemingly unrelated job or life experiences that helped prepare you for your role today?  

I worked at the front desk of a spa when I was in my early 20s, so doing front desk work included checking people out, scheduling, you know, more administrative work, nothing really medicine related. Although, the multitasking and the leadership that I had to really tap into was there.

It helped me learn how to develop really good rapport and empathy with clients, and how to read people who might be stressed or unhappy. Of course, dealing with challenging clients or situations happens a lot in medicine, too. Many people come to you feeling unwell and that same empathy component comes into play.

Outside of Work: Hobbies and Interests 

What do you like to do when you’re not working?  

Because I live in San Diego, I want to be outside as much as possible. We just moved to a new home half a block away from the water with a backyard patio area. We’ve been wanting outdoor space in San Diego for years now, so I feel very lucky.

I love listening to live music, or listening just when I'm alone by myself. 

I also love creating things with my hands, so I just signed up for a pottery class that I’m looking forward to. There's something about using our hands that is very therapeutic and having a finished end product that's both useful and beautiful. It’s also good to push ourselves to learn new things like that—it keeps our brains healthy.

Share one surprising fact about yourself  


I've lived in five different states: Illinois, Florida, Oregon, Washington state, and now California. 

I'm also legally blind in my left eye, so my right eye is very precious and I have to wear my glasses when I drive because of it. Luckily, I don’t have to drive much because everything is right here and walking-distance in Ocean Beach.

Dr. Emmie Brown, ND is a California-based Vibrant Clinical Lab Educator and co-host of the Vibrant Wellness Podcast.

Her clinical interests include nutrition therapy and lifestyle medicine, integrative urgent care, women’s health, dermatology, and preventive care and wellness. 

Hear more insights from Dr. Emmie on the Vibrant Wellness Podcast and schedule a consultation through the Vibrant Provider Portal.