Gonzalo Flores, LAc MAcOM
GroundSpring Healing Center, PC
How has membership in APS been of value to you and your professional development?
Membership in APS provides a value-added benefit to discuss, debate, and collaborate with individuals both nationally and internationally on common issues we face in basic science and clinical theatre in the arena of pain. The intellectual roundtable discussions that I find in the lecture auditoriums and the hallways that lead to them are the kind of stimulation I seek in the practice of medicine. APS’s goals of research, education, treatment, and advocacy are the goals I share in my own profession. APS has afforded me the opportunity to elevate my own standards of research, clinical skills, and leadership in the fields of science and medicine.
What is your area of specialty?
Acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine.
What initially sparked your interest in working in your field? Briefly describe your career path.
I come from a family of indigenous healers. I am a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe. I spent 8 years in Okinawa, Japan, and was fortunate enough to apprentice with traditional Okinawan physicians of Kampo, a traditional Japanese herbal medicine. I am the medical director at GroundSpring Healing Center, an integrated medicine clinic in Portland, OR.
What has been a highlight of your work? Perhaps you and your staff are proud of a certain project or accomplishment.
The highlight of my work is the ongoing collaboration with my colleagues in the basic sciences and clinical setting. The efforts to produce a combination of the best science and clinical application are a constant reminder of how important our work [is and how it] helps patients in the day-to-day clinical setting.
Is there a particular challenge that you've either overcome or hope to address soon?
The challenges that involve clinical efficacy, financial sustainability, and practice management are ones that affect all of us, from research to the clinic. The long-term challenge is to establish a successful model of integrative health care in the United States within larger-scale operations such as hospitals and academic healthcare institutions.
Who is your favorite role model and why?
I have two role models: Dr. Ji Sheng Han and Dr. Candace Pert. Both of these scientists are visionaries, leaders, intellectuals, and scholars that transcend many disciplines. Their collective contribution has influenced how we look at pain and neuroscience today. They tirelessly continue to work in their labs, write about their findings, and spark discussion on the frontiers of science and medicine.
Featured in the April 2013 Issue of E-News.