Whatsup with LA? A lot. I saw my first patients at The Turek Clinic Los Angeles this past week. I used to have mixed feelings about LA, but not any more.
La La Land
It all started back in college when a friend invited me to LA for Christmas break. As a kid growing up in rural New England, where snow-covered pine trees and horse-drawn sleighs are common in December, I went into culture shock just after arriving. Palm trees draped with holiday lights? Backyard pools filled with warm, blue water and not gray ice? Skateboarding and not ice skating? It was oh so different than where I grew up.
Fast-forward a couple of years to medical school. I took another trip to LA to see friends over another holiday break. After being asked whether I liked LA or not, and sending back a neutral signal, my friend suggested that maybe I am missing the point.
“What point?” I said.
He replied: “LA is not about the past 300 years like Connecticut is; it’s also not about the future. It’s about the present. LA is now.”
From that point on, I got it. That’s why hamburger stands are shaped like hamburgers and why stardom is here today and gone tomorrow.
I’m pretty “now” too. Fancy myself as a modern thinker. I believe that medicine should constantly progress and not stand still. Here’s an example: I believe that young men are medically underserved. I also believe that the care that they received is disjointed and fragmented and that this is because many different kinds of doctors take care of men, yet no single medical discipline “owns” them. Simply stated, men do not have the equivalent of woman’s gynecologist. It’s time to offer men a medical home.
So, my mantra in LA is simple.
- Take care of men holistically. Call it “functional medicine” or whatever, but it is long overdue.
- Take time and listen to men. Twelve minutes simply won’t do. Each patient is a story and these stories are good ones. Who knows, you may even find yourself loving what you do at the end of the day.
- Walk the walk with the patient and be their partner in care. It’s not about you, doc, it’s about the guy with the story.
- Combine your endless training with wisdom and add magic to turn complex information into essential knowledge for patients.
LA and I are good buddies. Together we will push men’s health forward from the past, into the present…and then, who knows from there! Inspired by the movie LA Story, I have chosen whether LA is a place where “if you turned off the sprinklers, it would turn into a desert,“ or an oasis where “they’ve taken a desert and turned it into their dreams.”