Trendsetter to Know: Dr. Mel Schottenstein

Name: Mel Schottenstein


Instagram: @drmel.mitogenesis


Age: 40

Title: Dr. Mel Schottenstein, NMD, MBE, MScN, FICT, FSCT

Married/Single:  I have been in a relationship with my best friend and partner Kevin, for the last 10-years.  We met in medical school in Gross Anatomy lab wherein we agreed to partner in our participation within our academic and clinical pursuits. That partnership continued post-graduation and has evolved into many other areas.  

Kids: Kevin and I currently have no kids.

City you live in: Kevin and I live in the Ahwatukee Foothills, near South Mountain, in Arizona. 

A typical day in my life includes… LOL, no day is typical.  Each day at Mitogenesis, I meet with a variety of people presenting unique concerns that need individualized solutions. Because of this, I could be performing a procedure, administering IVs or simply engaging in a consultation. When I return home for the day, I prep a fresh organic meal for Kevin and I.  

I was born… I was born in Columbus, OH, but grew up in Cincinnati, OH.  Then, after graduating from Seven Hills High School in Cincinnati, I moved to the east coast for a decade for undergrad and my first Master’s degree, while living in Cambridge, New York City, and Philadelphia.  After finishing my Master’s, I moved to the Northwest for my Naturopathic Medical training. 

My favorite thing about Arizona… There are many things to love about Arizona.  The weather — for most of the year — is fantastic.  Additionally, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and mineral collecting. Kevin and I share a passion for rock hunting/collecting and have visited many of the existing mines in AZ.  For example, the historic Tombstone Mine tours are phenomenal.  I always see something new on every tour, some of which have lasted over 6-7 hours at depths descending beyond 400 feet.  Similarly, Kevin and I love visiting the Cuesta Fire Agate mine off historic Route 66, where we perform hard rock mining that has allowed us to extract some beautiful and unusual specimens. Arizona presents many opportunities for adventure; Kevin and I can always find something interesting to do on our relaxation days.

I’m listening to… I love variety and will listen to all types of music from Spanish Guitar, to country-western, to pop, to disco, to reggae, to rock ‘n roll.  

My family… My family shares my passion for learning and adventure.  As a child, my parents, brother, sister, and I traveled around the world together. Some of my favorite adventures include a safari throughout Kenya, touring with an Egyptologist around Egypt, and visiting different cultures and countries throughout Southeast Asia.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…  I would like to meet Elon Musk.  Musk’s transformational leadership qualities are present in his ability to think beyond known paradigms, investigate unique solutions for large global concerns, and remain open-minded to evolve. He has expressed tremendous courage in purchasing Twitter, promoting freedom of speech.

One thing I cannot live without… Hope – The moment we give up on hope for a better future, or even hope for better health, we give up on our ability to improve our lives.   We need hope to think outside the box and find creative solutions.  Similarly with our health, we need hope to achieve optimal wellness. 

When I was younger, I wanted to be…  Because I have so many different interests, when I was younger, I tossed around many different career ideas.  I thought about becoming a chef, a paleontologist, an anthropologist/archeologist (Indiana Jones), and a surgeon.  However, having chronic health issues throughout my childhood and finding no options for recovery within the realm of allopathic medicine, I found Naturopathic Medicine.

I’m inspired by… I am inspired daily by my patients.  Not only can we learn from each other, but these individuals motivate me to continuously learn and find better ways to help them overcome their concerns.

The one person who motivates me is… There is not one particularly, but many colleagues that question and challenge my ideas, enabling me to learn, grow and continuously think beyond the standard paradigm. 

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… I would change how we treat our earth and our health.  Our bodies and our planet are bombarded daily with EMF exposure, toxic chemicals, and pollution.  These exposures harm our water supply, our soil, our air, and our bodies down to their basic cellular levels. Our bodies and mother earth have immense capabilities to repair, regenerate and restore themselves.  However, perpetuating a toxic world, makes recovery a Sisyphean task. They present themselves as obstacles to cure.

The perfect day would be… A perfect day would be one in which I am surrounded by those whom I love and inspire me.

My first job was… Since 8th grade I have held many non-paid internships in a variety of fields ranging from public health research, food catering, a tech at a dinosaur lab in a natural history museum, to shadowing a maxillofacial surgeon.  

My favorite escape…  I don’t have a favorite escape.  However, whether we are visiting a mine in Arizona or traveling abroad, I love going on new adventures.  

My life… Being chronically ill as a child and regularly offered little to no hope from my many providers, I am thankful for each day of health and the regular support of my loved ones.

I’m currently working on… I am currently completing a Master’s degree in Nutritional Leadership at SCNM.   Additionally, I am pursuing various advanced medical trainings, which is consonant with my pursuit of life-long learning experiences.

Always… Always believe in the power of our bodies to heal themselves.  Our bodies are amazing, complex structures that possess an ability to restore itself, given the right conditions.  

Never… My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor and taught me that no matter how grim life can become, one must never give up on hope.  We must find that little glimmer that helps us overcome our obstacles. 

Favorite Quote…  We currently live in a toxic world.  Because of this we each play a role in making our world a better place.  For this reason, I love Gandhi’s quote: Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Biggest Dream… I would love to have a retreat center where all my patients can come for comprehensive care, including fresh organic food and educational classes.  After all, optimal health is both a mindset and lifestyle choice.

My Pet Peeve(s)… One thing I cannot stand is the arrogance of colleagues predicting the number of days someone has left to live.  No one can truly know one’s life expectancy.  Yes, you can use statistics to predict timing.  But, does it help anyone to place a ticking, time clock-like-bomb, on a mantel, hovering over their life?  From my experience in the field of oncology, this time clock only creates anxiety, hopelessness, and fear.  Believing in this date and embracing it as truth often makes it a reality.  Hippocrates proclaimed, “First, do no harm (primum non nocere).”  Judging by today’s medical practices, this part of his oath has been grossly ignored. We must restore honest medical practices that truly promote healing; not symptom suppression that leads to more serious dis-ease processes.

Bio-on yourself/company: As a child, I was diagnosed with a form of Dysautonomia known as Mitochondrial Disease and spent most of my childhood in hospitals, visiting physicians at the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic and many other well-known medical institutions.  By the age of fifteen, I was on an arsenal of prescription medications, much like an eighty-year-old, regularly visiting the ER for IV therapy, with a poor quality of life.  I was not out in the world partying and playing sports because I was simply surviving on a day-to-day basis. My physicians offered little hope for improvement. But for me, their premature death sentence that I would not survive beyond 30-years, was not an option because I knew our bodies are complex and capable of regeneration, even in the face of so-called insurmountable obstacles/circumstances.  Henceforth, my mind focused on the idea that I could discover a way to regenerate and repair my body, despite the misguided outcome predicted by these doctors.

Frustrated, upset, and aggravated by their lack of hope and insight, I became determined to research the functionality of the mitochondria and understand how our bodies utilize them and maintain/repair them.  I knew that understanding these microscopic powerhouses was vital to my health and ultimately my recovery. Consequently, I radically changed my diet and lifestyle, added exercise, employed oxygenating therapies and various other treatments to restore my cellular health. By age 18, I had eliminated one-half of my medications, stopped visiting emergency rooms regularly, and started to feel my age. My health improved, which allowed me to travel to Kenya for three months where I interviewed women from four different tribes and published a book on FGM. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I reversed my medical condition and obliterated the close-minded perspectives of my prior medical team. Today, I have been free of all prescription medications for over 20 years.  

My experience has forged me into a fierce advocate for my patients, making sure each one feels listened to and cared for. I treat patients as I want to be treated and should have been treated as a child.  Aspiring to provide the best possible care, I listen to all my patients and provide each of them with unique, personalized care plans. I offer hope in the face of darkness and I never proclaim death sentences to my patients.

To optimally care for those around me, advanced training has been an essential, life-long educational/experiential process.

I completed my undergraduate training at Harvard University in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and History of Science as well as a Master’s degree in Bioethics, focusing on Medical Ethics and Mediation at the University of Pennsylvania. I pursued my Naturopathic Medical degree at Bastyr University in Seattle.  Because food is central to optimal wellness, I also completed a Master’s in nutrition at National University of Natural Medicine.

My training in Swiss Biological Medicine under the Tutelage of Dr. Thomas Rau at his clinic in Switzerland has notably impacted my perspective on medical practice.  Swiss Biological Medicine focuses on understanding a person’s biological terrain or environment, restoring this terrain and rebuilding one’s immunity, detoxifying the body, and promoting cellular regeneration.  I employ this same model with my patients.

In addition, I became certified as a Wahls Protocol Health Professional (only certified physician in AZ); I studied with Dr. Michael Weber on the Weberneedle Laser in Germany; PRGF therapy at BTI Endoret in Spain; I also completed the Integrative Cancer Therapy Fellowship, the Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome certification, peptide certification, and Stem Cell Therapy Fellowship from the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine (A4M); and I completed ozone therapy training under the tutelage of Dr Frank Shallenberger. These trainings as well as many others have greatly shaped my practice.  However, because I am always learning and growing, I will continue to improve how I approach cellular regeneration.

At Mitogenesis Regenerative Medicine, I embrace a medical paradigm which resists the need for superficial medical diagnoses in favor of understanding and investigating the overarching cause of one’s illness, the underlying disease process, which is the root cause that impacts my patients on the systematic mind-body level.

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