Ann Vertovec, MD
Northwestern University

Ann Vertovec headshot

Ann Vertovec, MD, is a semi-retired emergency physician at Northwestern University who was in the first cohort of the Osher Collaborative Faculty Fellowship. She recently passed the Integrative Medicine Board Certification in May 2022.  

As an emergency physician, Dr. Vertovec has limited time with patients and has to act quickly. When talking to patients about preventative care to keep them out of the ER, she emphasizes four key concepts in integrative medicine: nutrition, exercise, nature, and relaxation techniques. Now, she wants to help educate young physicians about integrative health interventions to help them avoid burnout in their careers. “I see the stress that these young physicians have with the current state of COVID, politics, and the environment—it’s so tough and I really feel that integrative health interventions are necessary for our young physicians,” said Dr. Vertovec, “This is where I want to focus.” 

In addition to lecturing about integrative health in medical settings, Dr. Vertovec is passionate about planetary health and strengthening the focus of environment and health at Northwestern. “I’m an environmentalist. I love the term ‘planetary health’ because it includes us in it,” said Dr. Vertovec. “It’s not Man vs. Nature—we are part of Nature and we need to figure out how we can work in tandem with Nature so we can all thrive.” Dr. Vertovec said that she was inspired by the work of Dr. David Victorson of Harvard and Dr. David Rakel of University of Wisconsin–Madison, who were early contributors to the field of planetary health. She hopes to further integrate with the Osher Collaborative and work together on future planetary health projects.  

Dr. Vertovec credits the Osher Collaborative Faculty Fellowship for preparing her for this transition in her career and preparing her for the Integrative Medicine Boards. “The Fellowship focused on practical applications of integrative medicine, which was so helpful for passing the board exam and also applying these concepts in my own work.” Dr. Vertovec will be a guest lecturer in future sessions of the Fellowship. Applications are open for the 2022-23 cohort.