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Dr. Stephen Christensen (“Doom” to his closest friends) was trained at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where he “lost a lot of sleep, learned which end of a stethoscope to put in my ears, and finally figured out where babies come from.” He was also elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and he earned the Dean’s Award upon graduation. The doctor completed a three-year residency in family medicine at the McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden, Utah, and went on to practice rural medicine—what he called “being a real doc”—for the better part of two decades.
Dr. Christensen retired prematurely from medicine in 2003. When pressed about his decision to leave the profession, he might quote Henry David Thoreau: “Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.”
Perhaps his failing vision had something to do with it, too. An autoimmune illness (which still eludes diagnosis) had damaged his retinas, impaired his central vision, and made it difficult for him to practice his art. The thought of his own physical incapacity placing a patient at risk was intolerable, so he reluctantly “closed shop before I hurt somebody.”
In the ensuing years, Dr. Christensen has explored new horizons and revisited places he’s been before. He is a certified herbalist. He has dabbled at the edges of Ayurvedism, shared ideas with Chinese physicians, rubbed shoulders with Native American Healers, and wondered about the salutary powers of channeled energy. He has rekindled his life-long fascination with living things, which is reflected in much of his writing.
Steve Christensen lives in Sandpoint, Idaho, with his wife, Tonya.