Eating Humble Pie: My Journey to Discovering Obesity Medicine
Like many other eager students, when I first entered medical school, I had many preconceived notions of how I was going to save people’s lives. I thought perhaps I would be that Surgeon with superiorly gifted hands, or successfully resuscitate the guy who’s heart stopped beating or maybe even perform an emergency roadside delivery of twins. The possibilities were endless and I was excited! However, like many medical students, you soon realize how humbling the practice of medicine truly is. Today I can reflect upon my most memorable experiences in medicine and realize that those that left me with a sense of awe were due to the humility associated with them. They are the experiences where you realize as a Physician you do not have to have all the answers and what you learned in medical school and during your residency may be just scratching the surface.
That is why my first formal educational experience in Obesity Medicine was a very humbling one. In Spring of 2012, I attended the ABSP Obesity Medicine Conference in Denver, Colorado. I left the conference with mixed emotions. My thoughts fluctuated between frustration, being overwhelmed and then enlightened. Initially, I was frustrated that after 4-years of residency training, I wasn’t well equipped at helping my patients with weight loss. Secondly I was overwhelmed that there was much to be learned in the field of Obesity Medicine and lastly enlightened that with understanding the Physiology/Pharmacology and treatment options I can be more effective with my patients. Since, the conference I have been dedicating a portion of my time to learning more about medical weight loss and implementing things I learned. Those things include exploring a more in-depth history as it relates to sleep, diet, and exercise. Additionally discussing and monitoring diet changes, exercise and good sleep hygiene. I truly feel that in this short time I am seeing more positive results with my patients (young and old) that I would not have seen if I did not refocus my approach. This is why I am passionate about Obesity Medicine. It’s not what I imagined saving lives would be like, but its pretty awesome and very rewarding and for that reason…I am grateful!
Dr. Ayesha Peets Talbot, BSc., MD, FAAP, DABIM, DABOM