I loved being a primary care doctor. Hands down, one of the toughest but also one of the most rewarding jobs of my life.
I almost never had enough time in my visits to do everything I wanted to — in addition to addressing my patients’ acute issues, to also address their wellness more globally as it related to their nutrition, movement, stress, sleep, toxic substances, relationships and overall happiness. I always felt my encounters were incomplete because I could have or should have been doing more. My ultimate wish was for each of my patients to embrace healthy lifestyle changes to positively impact their overall health and happiness. And when I went over the extra 10 minutes to discuss my patient’s diet to help reverse their prediabetes or hypertension, when the reason that brought them in that day was elbow pain and sore throat, as I often did, I found peace, professionally…that I was making a difference in that human’s long-term lifestyle and health. But personally, I suffered.
An extra ten minutes here and an extra ten there translated into getting home an hour and a half to two hours later with more work to do at home, an overflowing inbox, charts up to my neck and worse...missed dinners and conversations with my family, missed newborn and toddler milestones for this new mom, missed selfcare in the form of exercise or meditation, missed everyday moments that are seemingly mundane but so beautiful and special. I was missing these...on the regular. And it was making me sad and frustrated. Fulfilled maybe as a doctor but completely unfulfilled…oftentimes a failure, as a mom.
I miss my patients. They taught me so much about the practice of medicine, about patience, about empathy, about life and about myself.
It is said that the best things in life are often the most difficult. The decision to leave my primary care practice was one of the most difficult things I have ever done but it paved the road for my launching Enso Lifestyle Health, one of the best things I’ve ever done. Through my practice, I have made the service of optimizing whole health and wellbeing available and accessible to more individuals. And finally, I am able to give people the time that they deserve and need in order to heal. As a physician, this has been so rewarding and fulfilling. And while the path has been far from easy, as a mom, wife, daughter and human, it has given me more flexibility and time with my loved ones and self — more dinners, more conversations, more movement, more pause, more gratitude, more moments, more joy.
And I still approach my practice in the same way I did as a primary care physician — the difference now is that I am able to focus fully on my passion and expertise as a Lifestyle Medicine physician and coach, empowering individuals with the tools, mindset and plan to heal and achieve their ultimate health, weight and wellness goals. And I am finally able to do the same for myself as well.