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Where Is the Wellness in Healthcare?

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: "If you're living in the past, you're depressed. If you're living way in the future, you're anxious. If you're living in the present, you're at peace." -Dr. Patricia Sulak
Air Date: 7/15/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Patricia Sulak, MD
Patricia-Sulak1Patricia Sulak, M.D., is a nationally recognized practicing physician, researcher, speaker, and medical school professor. She graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine and was named the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus. In addition to her busy clinical practice, teaching, and research, she presents throughout the country to businesses, organizations, schools, and healthcare institutions on numerous health issues with a focus on disease prevention.

She continues to be included in “Best Doctors in America” and “Texas Super Docs” and has been selected Outstanding Clinical Instructor by the Texas A&M College of Medicine medical students. Dr. Sulak was given a “Heroes for Children” award by the Texas State Board of Education and received the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Community Service Award for her work in adolescent health. Her adolescent wellness and sexual health curriculum is utilized by school districts throughout the state of Texas and beyond.

Dr. Sulak is actively involved in clinical research, conducting numerous studies on women’s health issues. She has published and lectured extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally on her research to manage common menstrual disorders including pelvic pain, abnormal uterine bleeding, menstrual migraine headaches, and premenstrual syndrome. She was awarded a 2008 Perimenopause Award by the North American Menopause Society. She now focuses her clinical practice on menstrual disorders, perimenopause and menopause issues, and wellness.
  • Book Title: Should I Fire My Doctor: Eleven Essential Elements to Living Well Aware
  • Guest Twitter Account: @LivingWELLAware
Where Is the Wellness in Healthcare?
Patricia Sulak, MD, remembers her time at medical school in two lights: the wealth of information on how to treat disease and the lack of information on wellness.

That's unfortunate, because wellness can be such a huge part of overall health and healing... not just from diseases of the body, but diseases of the mind and soul as well.

Dr. Sulak's book is titled Should I Fire My Doctor? But, the contents of the book focus more on you hiring yourself to be your own health advocate.

Or, even a step further, becoming your own healthcare provider.

Why is this essential in our day and age?

Doctors are so limited for time. They can fit in the basics; the necessary tests and questions. But, there is little room to give advice on exercise recommendations or nutrition/dietary recommendations, let alone touch on the health benefits of things like mindful meditation. 

Dr. Sulak says that's exactly why you cannot rely on your doctor, alone, to give you all the answers.

In her presentations across the nation, Dr. Sulak talks about her 11 essential elements to living well, including asking some hard questions. What does lead to health and happiness? What are the vices in your life? How can you manage both time and money effectively?

One of the biggest hurdles, she says, is to forgive. In order to be fully and completely well, you need to learn to forgive family, friends, and foes... and, perhaps the hardest, forgive yourself. 

That can be extremely difficult, of course. But, as Dr. Sulak says, "If you're living in the past, you're depressed. If you're living way in the future, you're anxious. If you're living in the present, you're at peace." Reliving and rehashing things from the past brings the same amount of stress and depression as when the event happened.

Two more pieces of advice include:
  • Make your goal to dump all grievances. This doesn't mean you can't be upset if something negative happens or if someone wrongs you, but let the grievances go, and quickly. 
  • Passionately pursue purpose and priorities. Why are you here? What are you called to do? What are your talents? There are a lot of people who are in jobs where the work isn't their passion. 

Tune in as Dr. Saluk shares more about her book, as well as why wellness is such an integral part of overall health.