Twenty years ago, I began my course work as a pre-medical student at Seattle University in Washington. During my time in college, I worked as a research technician at the University of Washington-Dept of Neurology studying neurosyphilis. To elucidate more about the bacteria, Treponema pallidum, I would perform a variety of procedures on laboratory animals. By happenstance, the medication that I used regularly to reduce their pain was ketamine! I didn’t think much of it at the time, but a seed had been planted.
I would go on to attend the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, where the biopsychosocial model of medicine was created. This model emphasizes the psychological and social factors that play a role in disease and healing, in addition to the biochemical/physical structures. There in upstate New York, I met my mentor, Dr. Brian Dailey. Dr. Dailey was an Emergency Physician at Rochester General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine. Additionally, he is a Reiki Master and has a special interest in complementary medicine, as well as mind-body medicine. I did an elective rotation with Dr. Dailey and earned the Reiki Master Certification.
I transplanted to the West Coast to begin my emergency medicine residency program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center serving the largest county in the United States. There I learned critical resuscitation skills & knowledge and the importance of spirituality in healing. For example, I saw one of my attending physicians offer prayer to all their patients during the recuperation period after surgery.
Coincidentally, Loma Linda University Medical Center is also where a landmark study on the safety and efficacy of ketamine in the pediatric emergency department was performed. Dr. Steve Green and colleagues helped to expand the use of ketamine outside of the anesthesiology department and O.R. As a result, I was utilizing IV ketamine extensively throughout my training for procedural sedation to repair large wounds, re-align broken bones/joints, and for pain control in the emergency department.
Two years after I had completed all of the formal medical training, I was a full-time attending physician at Eisenhower Medical Center Emergency Department in Rancho Mirage, CA. Unfortunately, I was finding less fulfillment from clinical practice. It seemed that the priority of the healthcare system was increasing reimbursements and moving patients through the system, rather than health. The World Health Organization defines health as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Furthermore, I was not taking care of myself as best as I could. I felt a part of my spirit dying and knew that something needed to change.
There is a saying, "Physician, heal thyself.” I learned that you can only give what you have, so I spent time getting healthy. I travelled globally, met shamans in the Amazon Jungle, walked on fire, took advanced leadership trainings, practiced yoga & meditation, learned Neuro-Linguisting Programming, Time Line Therapy, Co-Active Coaching, and deepened my connection to God/Universe/Source. I had became rejuvenated!
In April 2018, I opened Reset Ketamine, in Palm Springs, California. My intention for this clinic is to go beyond the simple delivery of ketamine. I believe there is more to just infusing ketamine through a pump into the vein that plays a role in healing. I believe in looking at the holistic picture of patients, utilizing the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of medicine. At Reset Ketamine, we offer a unique combination of preparation, intention, set & setting, and integration to support our patients.
Mark Twain once wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” I now realize my “why” in life is to be a transformational healer. My mission is to use ketamine as a catalyst to transform lives so others can find their “why.”