Karen Koffler, M.D. received her medical degree at the University of Miami. After her internship year in Chicago, she went to the University of Colorado to complete her residency in Internal Medicine. She began her career as an emergency room physician in a variety of settings, including the VA Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, and the Indian Health Service where she worked on several Indian reservations in North and South Dakota and in Arizona. She helped to develop the first Hospitalist program for Kaiser Permanente in Denver and went on to focus in Intensive Care Unit Medicine.
It was during her position as a hospitalist that she began to realize that the health care system she was working in did little to prevent disease, often contributed to illness, and did not seek to understand the root of a patient’s disorder. It was then that she decided to look for a way of practicing medicine that was more compatible with a personal philosophy of ferreting out the underlying process contributing to a person’s symptoms, and using as gentle means as possible to restore health.
This led to her being accepted into the first class of physicians trained by Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona, considered by many to be the father of Integrative Medicine. After a two-year fellowship focused on expanding her conventional training to include nutrition, herbs, vitamins, and supplements, mind-body therapies, spirituality, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and other alternative approaches to healing, she was recruited to Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Chicago to design and run an Integrative Medical Clinic.
In her seven-year tenure there, she helped develop a survey tool to evaluate outcomes of an integrative medical approach, influenced the hospital pharmacy so that their initial reluctance to investigate and carry supplements was overcome, ran a fellowship in integrative medicine, taught at Northwestern Medical School, and developed a clinic that received 60% of their referrals from the physicians on staff.
She is happy to be here at Canyon Ranch and serve as the Medical Director with her expert team of practitioners including Acupuncturist, Life Management Therapist, Nutritionist, Exercise Physiologist, Physical Therapist, Healing Energy Practitioner, and nurse. Dr. Koffler uses functional medicine and natural approaches to help transform the health of our guest.