Why I left conventional medicine
When I tell people I’m a physician working in holistic medicine, they look at me with disbelief and ask, “Why? What are you doing? You could earn so much money as a cranio-facial surgeon.”
My response to them is, “Yes and no.”
Let me explain: I’ve always, always wanted to be a doctor. I somehow knew it was my destiny, even as early as age 12.
I started out focusing on neurosurgery. Most people don’t realize that physicians tend to choose a specialty that is in alignment with their personalities. I believed neurosurgery would be interesting, fun, and demanding. And I found all that. In spite of all that, something was missing.
After a while, my work felt flat and lifeless. That’s when I decided to go into Neuropathology. Two weeks later, a crystal clear light shined down on me. I NEED PATIENTS. I really, really missed them.
So, I returned to surgery. Actually, I took another detour first. In Germany, to become a cranio-facial surgeon, you are required to become a dentist and a physician. During dentistry school, I earned money as an anesthesiologist.
During my transition time in anesthesia, I got a glimpse of how it could be. My boss was trained in Chinese medicine, and used his Western and Eastern medical knowledge on a regular basis.
Learning about Chinese medicine inspired me to dive into alternative medicine. Parallel to dentistry school and anesthesia, I studied the Chinese. What a revelation. Finally, medicine made sense to me.
The most important take away for me? Yes, your feelings affect your body. Your body has its own language in the form of symptoms. Every organ is connected to a specific feeling, sensory organs, color, taste and so on. Understanding this helped me tremendously to diagnose and treat patients. And it became so, so easy in terms of connections. Who would have thought that asthma is related to grieving?
Back to my journey: I finally finished dentistry school and a residency in cranio-facial surgery. But, in the end, I couldn’t go on. Our medical system separates and divides patients’ body symptoms and emotions.
Ignoring the obvious connections between body and emotion is not right for me anymore.