Guilt.  This word can sum up a lot of the frustrations I was feeling in primary care.  I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to help my patients as much as I wanted and guilty that my passion for caring for others was taking a toll on my health and my family.  I don’t necessarily think someone should make life changing decisions based on one feeling.  However, when that feeling prompts you to reflect on your life, how you feel, and how your decisions to continue to do what you do are affecting those around you…some changes may be necessary.  This was the case for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE health care and taking care of others.  However, healthcare and what we know about disease management has changed over the years, and in my opinion, conventional medicine has not changed with it.  Healthcare providers are increasingly restricted on the amount of time they can spend with patients.  Appointments are limited to 10-15 minutes.  Y’all, I am from the south…we like to talk!  Part of family medicine is asking how someone’s parents or kids are.  With 10-15 minute appointments, you are barely able to ask how the patient is!  This time constraint forces managing symptoms with drugs rather than uncovering underlying issues.

I found myself feeling overwhelmed and as if I was losing purpose and passion for my work.  This took a toll on me and my family.  I felt there had to be another way.  I prayed hard.  I waited for a sign.  I don’t know about you, but I need an obvious sign…like ones on cartoons that suddenly pop up in the road telling me which way to go.  However, signs do not pop up out of nowhere.  I think this is when our faith is tested.  Desperation is a set up for revelation and I have found that faith grows when we are in unfamiliar places.  Opportunities for learning more about studying root cause of disease seemed to fall into my lap as if to push my down a different path.  I let faith guide me and pursued a different way to provide primary care.

As I learned more about root cause medicine, or functional medicine, I couldn’t help but spend more time teaching and helping patients.  I had uncovered concepts about disease states that I found to be fascinating and so helpful.  My guilt lied in the fact that I knew so many of my patients could take less medications, feel better, and in many cases completely resolve some of their health issues if only I had the time to work with them.  How could I not share this information with them?  We now know that much of our overall health and disease states are affected by lifestyle and environmental factors.

So what is disease?

In old times people used to think that a disease was some actual entity or thing which had got into the body in some way, and was there lying hidden and secreted, and was to be cast out. This idea, which we now know to be true only in a few specific instances, was at one time general. … The conclusion is that all disease is disordered function.

That statement was published in 1871!!  This is not a new concept!  Chronic disease results from an emergence of a disturbed metabolism.  Lifestyle and environment are the major factors altering gene expression that results in disturbed metabolism.  Examples of these influences on our health include sleep and relaxation, exercise and movement, nutrition and hydration, stress, relationships, trauma, and micro-organisms to name a few.

So, there I was…talking the talk, but not walking the walk.  More work was left to do after hours and at home due to my choice to share more information with patients.  My husband and my children started to feel this.  I started to feel this.  I wasn’t sleeping well, eating well, and my stress was the highest it had ever been.

I had to make a change-for me, my family, and my patients.  Thus, Elevation Health was born.  I reached out to a friend and colleague who I knew had a passion for treating the root cause of illness.  Maggi was happy to join me.  I am grateful I have a wonderful business partner who shares my vision.  We have a team that works great together and have already helped so many uncover the root of their health conditions.  I am now able to spend as much time with patients as needed as often as needed without taking away from my family.  I feel like my purpose and passion for caring for others is being restored.  I try to be completely transparent with them and they appreciate that.  I can ask how their family is and they ask about mine.  It has been so refreshing and patients seem to be equally as happy.

So, if you are looking for a different path for your healthcare, come sit and chat with us.  Are you trying to address a chronic disease or health problem but do not feel well-served by the care you getting?  Do you have family or friends who could benefit from this approach to care?  Come by and visit.  We would love to show you around and introduce you to a view of healthcare you’ve never seen.

In health,



Willoughby F. Wade, BA, MD, Physician to the General Hospital, Birmingham, England.  Delivered as a clinical lecture on Functional Medicine, March 5, 1870.  Published in the July 1, 1871 issue of The Lance

Kresser, Chris.  (2017).  Unconventional Medicine: Join the Revolution to Reinvent Healthcare, Reverse Chronic Disease, and Create a Practice You Love.