“The key is to know your 'audience' before designing your practice."
Dr. Phranq Tamburri (SCNM 2001) didn’t just fall into the world of naturopathy—he entered in strategically.
Before pursuing a career in medicine, Dr. Tamburri studied neoclassical economics and gained much of his initial economic knowledge from his grandparents—a couple that lived through the Great Depression. By age 15, he knew the United States’ economy would turn sour over the next few decades, which was one of the main reasons Dr. Tamburri pursued medicine.
“My grandparents said if you can feed people, fix things or heal people, then you’ll never starve because you can always barter and trade your services,” he explained. “I couldn’t fix anything and I wasn’t a farmer, but I was good at school, so I decided to become a doctor.”
Dr. Tamburri was attracted to naturopathy in particular because of his own health battle with Tourette Syndrome. He attended college in Japan before going to medical school, and while overseas, Dr. Tamburri lived at a Buddhist monastery. There, he began to understand and appreciate Eastern medicine, particularly because his Tourette’s symptoms almost completely disappeared during his time spent with Buddhists.
When he came back to America, Dr. Tamburri decided the naturopathic route would fit his strategy best.
“Naturopathy is wonderful because I can be—especially in Arizona—a full physician with pretty much full rights for prescribing and all the rest,” Dr. Tamburri said. “Plus, I knew the power of naturopathy because of my own experience in Japan.”
Dr. Tamburri practices at three different offices—two in the Phoenix area and one in Seattle—with about 85 percent of his patients traveling from out of state or out of the country. He specializes exclusively in prostate cancer, and he has garnered recognition as a world leader in its assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Tamburri was named a Top Doctor by Phoenix Magazine in 2010 and 2014. In addition, he has taught the senior clinical urology class at SCNM since he graduated in 2001.
One key idea Dr. Tamburri likes to explain to students is the availability of different markets within the medical realm.
“I encourage students to think outside the box,” Dr. Tamburri said. “There are so many doctors out there and so many different cultures ... Students should learn how doctors design their business models and how those models are different. The key is to know your 'audience' before designing your practice. And above all, tailor your patient base to your own strengths."
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