Born in Houston, Texas, Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross spent her childhood in San Antonio where as the oldest of five children, she comes from a long line of physicians and healers. Her mother’s father was a well-known physician in Bryan, Texas, who opened his own hospital and nursing school. His mother, Betty Love, was a Cherokee medicine woman.
Dr. Ross wanted to be a doctor from the age of nine and worked many summers and vacations in her grandfather’s office, going with him on house calls, helping him deliver babies and learning how to dispense medications in his office pharmacy.
Dr. Ross’s Medical Background
Dr. Ross completed her undergraduate degree in Modern Foreign Languages at Purdue University and then was a full-time mother of her two older sons before returning to school to complete her Pre-Med requirements. She then went to the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Ross’s practice experience after medical school helped fuel her interest in understanding what makes people heal as she saw that most of her patients’ medical problems were related to lifestyle habits and the stresses of modern living.
In searching for a better way to address these issues, Dr. Ross began to explore complementary and alternative therapies and the use of herbs and supplements for her patients. She then completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University and set up practice in San Diego, California, where she eventually opened three women’s centers where she practiced primary care and office gynecology. Her women’s centers integrated the best of western medicine with complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, and nutrition counseling. She developed and ran The Anchor Program that offered a holistic approach for individuals with food and body image issues, eventually taking the program online. The current Anchor Program is an online non-diet program for people with binge eating disorder, food addiction and emotional eating with a philosophy that health and well-being are everyone’s right no matter their size.
Dr. Ross’s Focus on Integrative Medicine
Dr. Ross completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine, studying with Dr. Andrew Weil. Her path then led her to work as the head of the Eating Disorders Program and the Integrative Medicine Department at world-renowned inpatient hospital, Sierra Tucson where she pioneered the Integrative Medicine approach to eating disorder treatment.
She currently works in private practice in San Diego, California, working with people with eating disorders, trauma and substance use disorders, including being a Suboxone prescribing physician. She has consulted with treatment centers across the US on treating eating disorders and addictions.
Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross is a mother of three sons and has one granddaughter. She is also an internationally known author, speaker and expert the Impact of Trauma on the Development of Eating Disorders and Substance Use Disorders, Eating Disorders and Substance Use Disorders and Workplace Productivity, Transforming Trauma to Resilience and The Trauma Informed Workplace.. Dr. Ross presented a TEDxPleasantGrove talk on “Historical and Intergenerational Trauma in January 2020.
Her books include: The Overcoming Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Overeating Workbook, The Emotional Eating Workbook and The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook. She is a contributing author to the recently released book: “Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide.”
Dr. Ross’s Focus on Anti-racism, Diversity and Healthcare Equity
For the past 4 years, Dr. Ross has been an international speaker and consultant on issues of cultural competence, antiracism and diversity in mental health with a particular emphasis on the treatment of eating disorders in women of color. She was the co-chair of the AAEDP-BIPOC (African American Eating Disorder Professionals – Black Indigenous People of Color) subcommittee of International Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp.com) from 2020-2022.
She is co-founder of the Institute for Antiracism and Equity (antiracismandequity.com)– a consulting group that works with University counseling centers, treatment centers and other facilities offering mental health care – training staff and health care professionals – to make culturally competent mental health care more available and accessible to Black, indigenous and people of color.
To make an appointment with Dr. Ross, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Ross offers free consults for individuals with binge eating, food addiction or emotional eating. Schedule a consult here.