After a consult, when I’m the first one to figure out what the root cause of my patient’s health problem is, give them a treatment plan, and more so, give them hope that they can achieve optimal health, they often ask me:
“Why aren’t you a doctor?”
Well, early on as a premed college student, I volunteered in our local hospital. The nurses seemed to be running the show. And more so, they knew how to talk to patients so they could understand what was happening. Plus, all the female doctors I came in contact with were old by the time they got married and started to have kids (granted, I was only eighteen at the time).
The dean was not happy with my decision. “You’re at the top of your class. Exceptional in math and hard sciences. You could have your choice of medical schools.”
But I wanted it all. Marriage, a family, and a career in health care. So I became a Nurse Practitioner.
It was in nursing school that I really got to appreciate the difference between nursing and medicine. At UCLA, we were taught the bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment of our patients. We learned that health is a continuum. On one end is optimal wellness, on the opposite end, death.
As a Nurse Practitioner, I look at patients through the lens of wellness, not disease. Physicians study pathophysiology, looking at patients through a disease lens. Conventional medicine tends to focus more attention on treating disease than preventing it and very little attention goes towards trying to optimize health.
Now that’s not the fault of physicians. The blame for this Band-Aid level of health care should be placed on the system. Allowing insurance companies to be third party payers gets between the patient and their health care provider. Plus, insurance companies like to dictate treatment protocol and that handcuffs providers. Then you’ve got the pharmaceutical companies whose bottom line is profit and there’s more incentive to keep you sick than heal you.
Spending two weeks of my life in intensive care as a patient changed me as a health care provider. Experience is a great teacher. I was discharged from UCLA Medical Center with greater empathy for my patients. I realized at a very personal level how important communication is between health care providers and patients and their families. And I was bound and determined to go to grad school and become a Family Nurse Practitioner, as soon as possible.
My focus is on optimal health. By the time most patients seek health care, they are already past the midline and heading towards the death side of the health continuum. The first step in helping patients move towards the wellness part of the health continuum is to educate them. And nurses are really good at health education.
Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses, meaning they have higher education and training than the average registered nurse. Nurse Practitioners are licensed to diagnose disease, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications and medical therapies. Different states have different scopes of practice for nurse practitioners but right now in the current health care system, with doctors leaving primary care for specialties, Nurse Practitioners are very much in demand.
I educate rather than medicate.
My goal is to uncover the root of my patients’ health issues, provide education regarding their disease and how to reverse it, and then to help them achieve their highest state of wellness – optimal health – body, mind, and soul.
Yes, it’s a tall order. But I’ve doing it for three decades. And I do it well. People come from around the world to consult with me.
Yet I can’t help all of them – there’s just too many – which is why I wrote Hormones in Harmony®. Educate the masses and help them realize their potential. That’s what I hope for: That by reading Hormones in Harmony®, you will discover the root of your health issues and how to heal yourself.
Oh, you’ll still need health care providers, both conventional and alternative. But with the help of Hormones in Harmony®, you will be better informed and more likely to partner with your health care provider to achieve your health goals.