My Journey to becoming a Wellness & Aesthetics Physician
I am fortunate to be in Laguna Beach. It happened on a whim. My husband and I had been living in China for the past 3 years while I was working with Doctors without Borders. When we returned we were exploring options of where to settle. One day we stopped at an open house in Laguna Beach on our way to hiking. That was twelve years ago, we ended up putting roots down here in Laguna. Six years ago I started my private practice.
I never imagined after 30 years as an emergency medicine physician I would be excited to announce that I was working with chronic disease! My practice is on the opposite continuum of the medical care delivery system, for which I was initially trained. Ironically, it is my emergency medicine experience that has lead me down this road. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill and exhilaration of a good trauma case, I have since retired from the level 1 trauma and now enjoy the sensation of the thrill and exhilaration as I recline and watch a good action adventure movie. Who knew you could get the same thrill without all the stress!
The emergency department was not all trauma and critical care. I would spend a good amount of time reassuring the person coming in with crushing chest pain that he/she was not having a heart attack. I would go over the risk factors and life style choices that would either increase or decrease the likelihood of them having a heart attack. Many times my patients said that they wished their doctor had the time to have gone over the choices they made in life that could have prevented them from having chronic disease. They would ask me to be their primary care physician, because they appreciated the extra time I would take to explain things to them. I immediately would throw garlic at them as if they were a vampire! Over the years witnessing the miracles and devastation of conventional medicine, while I worked to save lives, many at the end of a tortured life, with chronic disease on multiple medications. I would work feverishly to save their lives, only to feel their frustration because of their lack of good quality of life.
I now prefer to save lives by preventing illnesses, rather than trying to save lives at the end life. I now practice the philosophy of medicine I have held for myself, which is a combination of eastern medicine, that is good for prevention and chronic disease, and western medicine, for acute care advance life saving technology. There is a growing trend of integrative medicine specialists that are trained in functional medicine, anti-aging, regenerative medicine, and holistic medicine, etc. This is the type of practice I have opened, and look forward to helping patients with conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and more. Interestingly, I am better known for the aesthetic portion of the practice, which was a quiet practice motivated by my mother’s nudging for services for years,which I resisted, until I realized I needed the services she was demanding from me! It has been a surprisingly good fit for my emergency medicine personality, to continue performing procedures and attain instant gratification for my patients.
My wish for all is a wonderful healthy long life full of vitality and beauty!