About Us

Our Practitioners
Oriol Zemko, MSN, FNP-BC
Internal Medicine
Special Interests

As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in food and nutrition. Part of this stemmed from a struggle with body image at a young age, which is such a ubiquitous issue in our society. Another part of my fascination with nutrition is simply that I love nature, especially plants with their ability to nourish and heal. I find it incredible that modern science sometimes “proves” things that traditional healers have known for centuries.

I wrote my first undergraduate thesis on ecopsychology and nature-based therapies (wilderness therapy for at-risk adolescents, horticultural therapy in nursing homes, and other ways that humans have applied the power of nature for healing). I continued to read everything I could get my hands on about nutrition. Soon I learned that there is a whole world of misinformation out there, that even good science often appears to have contradictory findings, and that to get to the truth, we must also learn to evaluate the quality of the evidence. This is perhaps more true about nutrition than about any other field.

Because I am a blend of left-brained and right-brained, enjoying sciences and humanities, I became a nurse. At two different times in my life, I almost enrolled in naturopathic medical school. However, I eventually decided to apply ten years of RN experience toward becoming a Nurse Practitioner. This advanced practice role allows me to blend the best of all worlds; I can incorporate complementary and alternative therapies when there is adequate evidence for doing so, but I also have access to all the tools of Western medicine. And I can still spend time talking to patients about nutrition! Family Nurse Practitioners are trained to care for the whole person, family, and community; we are accustomed to treating the person rather than the disease.

I am thrilled to be working in primary care. It is a privilege and joy to serve as a person’s main point of contact for their healthcare, and to be with them through some of life’s big challenges. We all know that the U.S. healthcare system is far from perfect, but there is still so much good that we can accomplish together! I strive to be an ally to each and every patient, to understand where you’re coming from and where you want to go. I ask you to engage in a two way conversation with me about how we can optimize your life in this body: hear my contributions with an open mind and I promise to do the same.

If there is one thing I want my patients to know, it is that now is always the right time to take action for your well being. I have seen that it is never too early or too late to benefit from taking better care of yourself. Whether you are a teenager or well into your senior years, you have power. I can help you identify actions within your abilities that can make a meaningful improvement in your quality of life.

*Lifestyle Medicine is the use of lifestyle adjustments to help address the root causes of illness. LM can be used alone or with other treatments. It incorporates health-promoting eating, body movement, emotional care, and reduction of harmful actions. It is a thoughtful and evidence-based way of supporting the whole person, and is a specialty of medicine with a board certification.

As for other professional interests, I love learning about culturally competent, body positive, and trauma informed care, so I can better assist folks who have particular challenges around healthcare. I am a proud and humble member of the queer and gender diverse communities, and I want to help make healthcare experiences more positive for everyone.
Personal Interests
  • I’ve lived in Portland since 2006, and never get tired of exploring the area’s hiking trails. I can also be found tromping around city streets or parks while listening to podcasts.
  • I work with several non-profit organizations including a transgender community choir and an animal sanctuary.
  • I sing with a large choir, an a cappella group, and a rock band.
  • I teach nutrition and cooking classes, and enjoy creating new whole-food, plant-based recipes or trying new veg restaurants.
  • I’m still striving to develop a more regular practice of yoga and mindfulness. Also on the bucket list: scuba diving, becoming more fluent in Spanish, and learning to play a string instrument.
  • I love to travel, and would go just about anywhere. I think solo travel is one of the most life-affirming experiences a person can have; it’s a great way to gain perspective and re-set. But I also love taking trips with my partner, family, or friends. Our fat cat, Zen Master Java, prefers to stay at home.
  • You can find this practitioner at the following clinics:

    Dwyer Clinic
    Medical Degree
    Kent State University, BSN, 2005
    Simmons University, Boston, MS Nursing, FNP, 2019