Creating a Healthier Tomorrow

A Personal Take on Starting My Virtual Endocrinology Clinic in Texas

Deciding to launch my virtual endocrinology clinic in Texas wasn’t just a professional choice – it was a heartfelt response to the shortcomings I witnessed in our current healthcare system. I have taken this step to be part of the change that leads to better health outcomes for our communities. In my new clinic, we’ll utilize telehealth technology to benefit patients and doctors alike. 

I am grateful to have started my career in my home institution alongside some of the best endocrinologists and medical mentors. I trained in the best and largest evidence-based obesity clinics in the country. The state-of-the-art facilities and the chance to learn from an extraordinary doctor who was a fountain of knowledge in obesity medicine set the stage for my journey.

Learning from a highly driven personality sharpened my clinical acumen, but I also started to witness holes in our healthcare system. That, compounded by the fact that I was a minority woman in a predominantly male environment, left me feeling out of place. Reflecting on those early years, I consider the challenges I faced as opportunities for growth. While the institution had its achievements, I realized that the healthcare system wasn’t always inclusive and accommodating.  The institution’s prestige, having won seven Nobel Prizes, also fueled imposter syndrome.

Looking back, I wonder if my discomfort stemmed from my insecurities or if it was a systemic issue. Were these institutions created with someone like me in mind? Regardless, I felt restricted in expressing anything but positive feedback about the system, and I witnessed the disparities in how female physicians were treated compared to their male counterparts.

Ultimately I felt disillusioned by the attitudes towards patient care. I expected academic medical systems to prioritize health, truth, and science, but constructive criticism seemed unwelcome. As medical providers, we should be able to challenge the status quo and have uncomfortable conversations; if that is not happening, then something needs to change. 

I left my safe, stable job in pursuit of autonomy, agency, and the ability to make changes. Large systems have their purpose, but I found them stifling for someone with a forward-thinking mindset. The red tape, delays, and inefficiencies became overwhelming; I felt like my hands were tied. 

Practicing medicine in Mexico taught me the importance of exceptional bedside manners in the face of scarce resources. Amid lower insurance payments and increasing documentation requirements, listening to patients with patience has become a lost art in the US. Overworked doctors, a result of a broken system, often seemed uncaring. I believe they, too, are victims of a flawed healthcare structure. I can guarantee very few humans would go through grueling medical training and invest years of their lives in learning if they were not compelled to serve the world. 

A New Way Forward

My clinic is a new way forward, aiming to bridge the gap between medical providers and patients. I want to undo the damage caused by biased and paternalistic practices, co-creating a space of safety, trust, and honest communication where we can heal together. 

I’m grateful to be a part of a community of women in medicine who have a different perspective on what people need to improve their health and well-being. I believe women have exceptional gifts that make them exceptional physicians, and I’m grateful systems are being challenged to adapt to what we now know. 

While I might not be able to change the entire world, I’m determined to change my world. Through my virtual endocrinology clinic, I hope to contribute to a healthier future where genuine care takes precedence over bureaucracy and healing is a collaborative journey.