My story was unconventional 30 years ago, but, like immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, zig-zag careers like mine have become increasingly common. If you can believe it, I’ve had nearly a dozen career direction changes throughout my life. And though it was difficult, I discovered resilience and my authentic self.
It began when I was no longer physically able to do the job I loved. I was a practicing dentist and found so much enjoyment in caring for my patients. But, as fate would have it, I injured my arm and with four kids to raise, I needed a new career path.
This led me to a series of unanticipated career moves that got me where I am today.
My first few jobs as a consultant and researcher left me dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Unsure what to do, a career counselor convinced me to pursue a finance degree. With a new MBA, I landed a series of analyst, consultant, communications, and investor relations positions, but all left me feeling marginalized and belittled. Missing direct patient involvement and determined to return to health care, I discovered digital health.
Every time I changed paths, I had to start over at the bottom and was repeatedly forced out of my comfort zone. But as I adapted and learned to excel in each job, I maintained a fresh perspective. Coincidentally… or not, this was exactly what the now rapidly changing healthcare ecosystem needed.
The resilience I had built up over the years taught me the flexibility to change, adapt, and apply my skills and perspectives.
Content with where I was at, I didn’t find a true passion until after serious chronic health conditions emerged in my family – including myself – and I discovered the unmet patient needs that would fuel my present mission. I found these “forever” conditions – inflammatory and autoimmune diseases – were vastly ignored. Too few in the healthcare system knew how to diagnose or treat, much less cure, these diseases. Research was inadequate; the promises of ’90s R&D for a “magical, fix-all cure” hardly worked and came with discouraging side effects.
As research expanded with the Human Genome Project, big data, and microbiomics, chronic disease was increasingly recognized as the most serious healthcare problem facing us today. Yet, while new products and services developed, they remained stuck in separate silos. Each player only attacking one portion of the overall need.
Struck by how hard it was to bring together all these disparate viewpoints to work for my health benefit, I realized this is what inflammatory diseases needed. I had found my calling: a bridge across the silos, connecting all that affect inflammatory diseases.
A blessing in disguise, my zig-zag journey lent me a unique full-circle approach. I offer you my perspectives as a practitioner, an analyst, a market researcher, and a patient.
From generalists to specialists, across conventional and alternative approaches, between patients and practitioners, from research to practice, faster diagnoses to more effective disease management and prevention, I am working to bridge the gaps across the autoimmune abyss.
Patients and Self-Hackers: help me identify and bring problems to the attention of people and companies seeking solutions for chronic and autoimmune disease.
Entrepreneurs: let me help guide, fund, and bring your ideas to sustainable fruition.
I believe there is no one lens to view the world and that applies to health as well.