Out of the hamster wheel: an OB-GYN journeys on a path to freedom

Out of the hamster wheel: an OB-GYN journeys on a path to freedom

Dr. Julianne Arena has so much to give. Throughout her almost 20 years of practice as an obstetrician-gynecologist, she has expressed nothing but her strong passion to help women with their health. Being the president of a company where she was employed, she was in a unique position to change lives.

Although she works in a traditional insurance model, she holds her practice close to her heart and always thinks about the vast opportunities and lengths she can take to help her patients.

Innovation gets her excited. Together with her colleagues, she strives to push their work beyond the box.

“I would pour my heart and soul into work: doing visits, testing plans, and doing one-on-one time with patients but insurance would not reimburse us for those,” she shared. “They don’t believe in time and I would try to work within the system and code for time but there’s no value in that.”

She said that her team would always strive to connect with patients but the insurance model makes it difficult for her to do that.

“I know there’s value in making that connection with patients face-to-face and I have so much to share but I don’t feel worthy when that’s happening,” she explained. She feels that way because she is only offered a limited time to engage with her patients.

“You see 30 patients a day double-booked every 15 minutes, and patients are maybe in front of the doctor for seven minutes and then time would be up and they’d be asked to come back another time,” she said.

No matter how enthusiastic she would be, Dr. Julianne would still be limited in a confined space: a routine she describes as a hamster wheel. As an employed physician, she feels that she has no control over her work.

“I couldn’t believe how much more information and tools there were out there to help people,” she said. Unfortunately, Dr. Julianne couldn’t get all of these to work if she were to stay in a very limiting model. She practices with an integrative functional approach but it really wasn’t working for her, especially under insurance. The typical doctor-patient relationship in this model always looks busy but devoid of meaning.

At some point in her practice, Dr. Julianne got emotional when she met a patient who cried after having a meaningful conversation with her.

Dr. Julianne was told that she was the only doctor who ever asked concerning questions to her patients. This meant the world to her. This was a moment of epiphany that led to her handing in her resignation letter. She wanted to step out of the hamster wheel.

For her, doing this in 2020 felt like jumping off into the unknown.

Dr. Julianne was unfazed by the doubts and fears that crawled up on her.

Even if it meant letting go of any kind of security that put her life together and embracing a host of challenges, she remained steadfast in her desire to make more impact in her practice.

She took the journey and stayed strong even with personal challenges on the side: she was dealing with her divorce while adapting to unusual work routines defined by COVID-19.

“It’s really rough to create a path,” she said.

Empowered doctors empower patients

Dr. Julianne says the universe spoke to her through the emails that she received from Freedom Practice Coaching founder Dr. Charles Webb.

She felt these messages were speaking to her personally and this began her journey with FPC.

“I’m nearly a year and a half working with the team at FPC and it has been amazing. It’s a lot of work, but I feel like my life is coming off the hamster wheel and finally, I’m getting it back!” she declared.

Now that Dr. Julianne is out of her insurance model, she is more equipped to change lives and help the most challenging of patients. One of them is Alma, 38, who has tirelessly sought medical advice from over 20 doctors to treat her pain.

With her new revived passion, Dr. Julianne took on Alma’s case with confidence and finally resolved the pain.

Dr. Julianne gave Alma renewed energy by sharing a message of hope in their first conversations: “I can help you.”

“And that motivated her,” Dr. Julianne said. “We began with comprehensive testing which identified underlying gut problems. We then designed a customized lifestyle program and provided a structural curriculum to empower Alma to take back her health.”

Dr. Julianne believed in the science of a functional approach.

“Seeing my patient co-labor in a wellness lifestyle empowers me and encourages me to get up every day to say that this is why I do what I do—to change lives,” she said.

Since joining FPC, Dr. Julianne’s relationship with her patients has never been better.

“In the past, we have been stuck in the ‘quick fix environment’ and that’s how we are trained conventionally. We do the symptoms-diagnosis-pill process,” she described. “But when you are outside that traditional model, your relationship with patients changes…for the better.”

Finally in control

For the first time in her career, Dr. Julianne felt that she was in control of her life and her career.

Dr. Julianne is excited about what’s possible in the days to come.

She describes an incredible feat now that she is deep and committed in her FPC journey:

“I’m really learning that it’s possible to create my own future instead of just plodding along on the path that I thought I was destined to do,” she said. “I’m still working on that and it’s still evolving but it’s so exciting and huge and overwhelming.”

All of the workshops and conversations with her FPC coaches fuel her to continue her journey in experiencing what freedom truly means.

She is awestruck at the path before her—it’s a far cry from the hamster wheel that she used to take. “I actually get to run life on my terms. And that’s really great,” she said.

Are you ready for your own success story?

Start your journey with FPC and schedule a call today.

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