How did I get here?
My journey is long with a few curves in the road, but it has always been following the path helping others in the field of medicine.
My mother died when I was 12 years old from cancer. As I cared for her, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I loved nursing and worked part time when my three sons were growing up.
Later I decided to become a doctor. Married with three children and a husband who traveled the world, I started back to college. When I was accepted into medical school, I knew I wanted to be an OB/ GYN. As a senior in medical school I was told I could not be an OB/GYN. When I asked why, I was told by my advisor, “Honey, OB/GYN is a surgical sub-specialty, and you need to be able to stand on your feet and make a decision. Women don’t qualify.”
I became an OB/GYN. I started my practice in Westlake Village, CA, outside of Los Angeles, as the first woman OB/GYN and first woman surgeon on the staff of both of the area’s hospitals.
I offered not only the best in conventional medicine but also added more natural approaches in the comprehensive women’s medical center I had established.
After 12 years with a very successful practice my life was about to change forever. In Minnesota, my father and my sister-in-law were both sick with cancer. I am the only daughter and only one in medicine. I was trying to help them while living in California. But soon I knew I had to go “home”. Without regret, I closed my practice. It is interesting how the universe works. At the same time, I was recruited to teach at the University of Minnesota Medical School. I had never applied. I accepted the offer and moved back to Minnesota, continuing to care for my family and be their advocate. My sister-in-law was very interested in natural approaches to healing. She asked her many doctors what else she could do for her health in addition to her surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. They didn’t know. They didn’t even respect the question. When Pat died I vowed to do everything I could to change that.
So my journey continued with unstoppable passion. I was on a steep learning curve myself while I was teaching integrative medicine courses to the medical students and residents and leading the development of the medical school’s integrative medicine clinic. I testified before the White House Commission on Complementary Alternative medicine Policy and co-authored a textbook on Integrative Medicine. I passed my boards in Integrative Medicine and six months later having been trained at UCLA I passed my national boards in Medical Acupuncture.
Later when I returned to Westlake Village, CA. I established the Mind Body Spirit Center. I have continued postgraduate work that gives me the education and tools to provide excellent care and the best options to my patients.
I have seen and experienced health and illness from the perspective of a patient, a nurse, a physician, a hospital administrator and an advocate. My passion remains steadfast. My journey continues. I have the best job! I see my patients get healthier and happier.