Ever since I was five years old, I wanted to become a physician because of my grandmother. She was diagnosed with diabetes and deemed a “non-compliant patient” as she did not always follow the strict orders from her doctor. She seemed to be at odds with her doctor, and that was when I decided that I wanted to be a different kind of doctor.
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in the 1993, I worked in an AIDS service and advocacy organization. It was mainly through the relationships I developed with colleagues and volunteers that I began to learn to engage in a deeper, more meaningful connection. I am grateful for those compassionate individuals who were open to working through challenges and provided a community of support that has been and continue to be instrumental in my growth and development as an out gender queer individual.
At the time when persons living with HIV/AIDS had very limited options for treatment; many took medications that were not only toxic to the virus but also to their bodies. It was then when I realized osteopathic medicine would provide a different perspective on health and healing. After completing medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a dual-accredited Family Medicine residency at Crozer Keystone in Pennsylvania, I worked as an osteopathic family physician at various federally qualified health centers and the DC Jail, working with under-served urban communities in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. While osteopathy was part of my practice, there was a significant emphasis on pharmaceuticals and standardized procedures in Family Medicine. The system of primary care with a focus on productivity and numbers that emphasized seeing more patients in less time created an environment in which I felt I was becoming a pharmaceutical dispensary with a license. I began to lose sight of why I became a physician in the first place.
After a decade as a family physician, I decided to focus on Osteopathy with further training through the Osteopathic Cranial Academy and rediscovered the art of medicine and healing. My practice involves a deep respect for the body’s inherent ability to heal; and I utilize my training in Osteopathy, Family Medicine, Reiki and other healing modalities to support individuals living with trauma, who seek to improve the understanding of the interconnections of the mind, physical body, and spirit with health and emotional well being.
What is health but harmony with NATURE. — John Lewis, author of A.T. Still: From the Dry Bone to the Living Man
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