Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast! On this episode, James interviews Olivia Joseph, DC, a chiropractor, Chinese medicine practitioner and clinical nutritionist from the St. Louis, MO area. Their conversation spanned the growth of her practice, how she markets her practice and attracts new patients, and how she has pivoted her practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Joseph shared some great insight on how we can take a community-led practice model to the next level. Highlights include:

  • Baseline principles for filling your practice
  • How to get prospective patients to attend workshops (whether in-person or virtually) and ultimately book an appointment with you
  • How marketing strategy has evolved over the years, and how even someone with no marketing or technology savvy can build a successful campaign
  • Identifying a key staff member who can support the clinician in organizing and executing marketing strategy
  • The major opportunity that exists for practitioners transitioning to functional medicine right now
  • And so much more!

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Practice Marketing Series, Episode 5: Local Education Events

James Maskell: Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week, we feature Dr. Olivia Joseph. She is a chiropractor and a Chinese medicine practitioner and a clinical nutritionist. She’s from the St. Louis area. We had an incredible conversation just about the growth of her practice, what she’s learned from filling her practice. This is another part of our [Practice] Marketing Series. So there’s a lot of great information there on how to market a practice. She’s been doing this for 17 years. We also learned about how she’s pivoted in the COVID era, and how she’s working her practice online. And then wait until you get to the end, because I think that her learnings from being part of SLIIM, which is the St. Louis Institute of Integrative Medicine, this network of practitioners that we’re going to be talking a lot more about. I think we have some serious insight on how we take this community-led model to the next level, super excited to get your feedback, enjoy!

So a warm welcome to the podcast, Dr. Olivia Joseph. Welcome, Doc.

Olivia Joseph: Thank you for having me. Thanks for the invite.

James Maskell: Yeah. Really excited to have you here on the podcast, throughout this series on this marketing series that we’re doing this year, we’re looking to speak and connect with physicians and practitioners who are doing it right. And to learn lessons that they’ve learned along the way. And so I’m excited to just dive in a little bit because I know that maybe your story of how you got to functional medicine is slightly different from many of the other doctors that we’ve met. So why don’t we just start there?

Olivia Joseph: Yeah, absolutely. So I knew at a really early age, I wanted to go into healthcare and a big reason for that was I had my own health issues, which were chronic digestive issues, which blows my mind that conventionally we’re still struggling to alleviate when the functional model works so well for those things. Which is how I ended up seeing a functional medicine practitioner, and I changed course of my career. Originally, I wanted to an oncologist. My mom had cancer for the first time when I was only 10 years old. And I didn’t grow up with your conventional American upbringing. My parents were from Poland. So our values at home, the food we ate, were very different than the typical American. And I was just amazed at how nobody really focused on nutrition and I was attracted to, and I knew I wanted to find a career in it. I just didn’t know what careers existed.

So long story short, I graduated high school when I was 17. When I was 19, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in biology. And then I moved on to get my doctorate in chiropractic. The school I chose was Logan University cause they had the largest nutrition program in the country. And while I was there, I studied Chinese medicine. I’m board certified in acupuncture. And I also earned a diplomate in clinical nutrition from the American Institute of Integrative Medicine. And not all of that was my conventional schooling, it was that I knew I wanted to go into food as medicine. I knew I wanted to go into what we call then maybe holistic medicine. So I graduated at 23 years old and I quickly built a big practice. And I think that’s one thing that I’ve been very blessed with in 17 years in practice is attracting people that believe in natural healthcare and in this philosophy, and in this model.

I have a lot of experience and wisdom because I have a lot of repetition. I didn’t get into this career because I was burnt out. I got into this career because I was passionate about this one topic, which 17 years ago was quackery. It was totally poo-pooed upon, but yet there were people out there who were suffering and wanted a model that was not failing, or a model that made sense in getting to the root cause. And my career took off.

James Maskell: Can you believe in 2020 that someone would go and see a gastroenterologist who doesn’t know anything about food?

Olivia Joseph: Yeah, I still do. I’m sorry to say that, but I think that there are some demographics that really still hold conventional healthcare practitioners on a pedestal. And I still see people every day that say to me, “My doctor doesn’t believe in this,” or, “I can’t get my doctor to do this testing.” And I looked him in the eye and I’m like, “Then get another doctor. Your doctor works for you. They’re getting paid by you or by your insurance company.” So many doctors still make their patients feel stupid in understanding how the body works, how the body functions, you don’t need to be a doctor. I do still think there’s a lot of old school doctors out there, and I’ve met so many new school doctors. Like I have a huge network of functional medicine practitioners I work with more now than ever before. But sadly I do still think that there are doctors like that out there.

James Maskell: So take us back to 17 years ago because ultimately what we’re really trying to get into now is, what are things that your average doctor who may be coming in new to functional medicine, or maybe just starting that career, moving towards functional medicine. First compare and contrast the landscape of what it means to start a practice today versus 17 years ago. And let’s just talk into some of the principles for filling your practice. And we’re going to get into some of the specifics later, but let’s just start with the baseline.

Olivia Joseph: So there’s no doubt. Now things can accelerate at a faster rate than 17 years ago because of what you can do with social media and what you can do with the internet. So we didn’t have that rate of speed 17 years ago, but what worked then still works now, which is educating people. I’ve always done it in live workshops. And obviously COVID changed that. And even before COVID, I started reaching out in a digital world, the social media world to reach more people and to share my message and to share the truth. Because when you have a relationship with your healthcare practitioner, there’s a greater trust factor. And it makes your office visits when you’re working with people more effective and more efficient. You’re not spending all this time, educating, educating, you pre-educate. You get to know your patients through platforms like Facebook or YouTube.

So when I literally meet with a patient that I have never worked with, I can’t tell you how many times a week I hear this, literally my last week at the office. I can’t tell you how many people said, “Dr. Olivia, I feel like I already know you. Oh my gosh, I’ve been following your content for two years. I knew you were going to say that. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. That’s exactly the test I wanted, which is why I sought you out and found you.” I have a relationship with these people before I ever get to the first consultation or visit with them.

James Maskell: Absolutely.

Olivia Joseph: And I think that’s something that you couldn’t have 17 years ago. Seventeen years ago it was still grassroots. It was still one-to-one. And I would teach group workshops on specific niches, but that’s mainly how I did it.

James Maskell: That’s such a good point. I think one of the things that we’ve seen, if you look back, even at this series that we’ve done. Look at like someone like Tara Scott, who we featured back at the beginning of this series, said the same thing. Is there’s so many ways to have touchpoints, to get your face in front of people so that when they have an issue, they’re ready to come in. And they may have spent two or three hours listening to you talk, understanding your position and moving through this education process. So let’s just start with there’s some of those workshops that you mentioned because ultimately pre-internet that was a strategy that most people are using. And there are still lots of people doing it today. Obviously with COVID, there’s been some having to be some pivoting. But tell us what you learned about doing workshops and how to fill them, and how to position them. And how to get people to come to those workshops and then become patients?

Olivia Joseph: Sure. So I think it’s very important that you keep your workshops more niche specific. And because if your consumer is confused, they’re not going to…you have to hit their pain points, no matter what your workshop, whatever what your specialty is. It could be primary care. You have to have a niche and you have to hit somebody’s pain point. Otherwise there’s no reason for them to take action, to attend a workshop. And there’s no reason for them to actually show up for whether it’s a live workshop or an online workshop. It doesn’t matter. I do think too, you want to nurture that relationship a little bit and let them know…yeah, you can do a Facebook ad. People are very good at Facebook ads and they’re not expensive. Compared to getting on the news, compared to getting in the newspaper.

Those are more expensive mediums. Do some of them work, some of them do still work, but there’s cheaper ways to get eyeballs to your workshops. And then I think you just nurture the relationship a little bit, maybe send an email prior to your workshop that’s a live video of you. So that they know when they walk in the door, they’re already familiar with who they’re going to be hearing, what your speaking style is. Let them know what you’re going to be covering in the workshop, their pain points. Let them know what gifts or bonuses they might receive as a result of attending your workshop. Maybe it’s a free e-book. Maybe it’s a guide that you created, your top three recipes, whatever it is, reward the behavior that you want.

James Maskell: Yeah. That’s such an important point. So one of the things we’ve talked about all the way through this series is creating these touchpoints. So finding a way to find people locally who are interested in what you’ve got to say, then finding ways to communicate with them ongoing. So like you said there through email, then getting them into a place where you could convert them into being a patient. Tell us a little bit about the specifics of how you ran your workshops in the early days.

Olivia Joseph: Oh my gosh. In the early days, make flyers. Put press releases in the newspaper, put those flyers out in the general public and also even through referrals. So if I was doing hormones specific workshops, I would build relationships with whether it’s OB-GYNs that had a similar philosophy to me, or pharmacies that did compounding of hormones and also had supplements. So it’s having these relationships that could also help drive people to my workshops. That was the good old days. You could run a newspaper ad, but newspaper was very expensive 17 years ago. And that’s not how I did it. Marketing it to my existing patients. And they would bring guests. That was a huge part in the beginning. And now I still get a lot of referrals that way, but we definitely do more marketing now than we did originally grassroots.

James Maskell: So now the internet comes along and you can get eyeballs with things like Facebook, and YouTube, and Google, and Instagram for way cheaper per eyeball then you ever way able to in the old days. And also you could tell whether things were working a lot earlier than just putting up a billboard and hoping for the best. So how did your strategy evolve in this more recent era.

Olivia Joseph: Even previously, when you say just putting up a billboard and hoping for the best. I would have signup sheets to workshops and we would do reminder calls. I would never ever waste my time or energy teaching a workshop if I didn’t know how many people were going to be there…at least get an idea and convert. Some people just show up to teach a workshop and, “Oh, nobody’s showed up.” Well, you’ve got to do a little bit more work to get people there. One thing previously, even just a phone book listing gave you credibility. If you were in the newspaper that gave you credibility.

So in the online world, you can get a cheap lead, but you still have to have some type of online presence or credibility. Because if somebody sees your ad, your Facebook ad, and your name is on that ad, they’re going to Google you. So you want to have some type of presence on the internet. So when they try to search for you and get a little bit more information on you prior to attending that workshop or signing up for that workshop, you want to have a presence.

James Maskell: Yeah. That’s a big deal. I know one of the things that you shared with me before was one of your superpowers was that you had a supportive husband who knew what he was doing when it came to running that. And I’ve always said, I think the most successful practices that I’ve seen throughout my 15 years, have someone whose role is in the clinic to run the clinic that’s not the clinician. Because obviously being the clinician is a lot of work by itself. That’s a full-time job, caring for people and so forth. Tell us a little bit about things that you learned in the early years for your husband, and what role he’s played at the beginning, in the middle, and now here as it’s more of a mature business.

Olivia Joseph: So in the beginning, I think it was just organizing me better because I’m such an artist, which many healthcare practitioners are. Where nobody’s the same everybody’s individual. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. And there isn’t, but you still have to have systems and procedures. You need organization, not my strength, definitely my husband’s. So how he corralled me in the beginning is you have to have structured programs. You have to, and you have to lead people down…you have to nurture your relationship with people to get them into this program. Because if you don’t, then they’re not going to have the same experience or outcome working with you. So it was funneling people into treatment plans or programs, and the nurture sequence of how to get them there. Maybe it went from a workshop, to a private conversation, to more testing, to reviewing the testing and then outlining a journey.

This is what you need. So I think that had on a structure for fees, having a structure for programs was very important. I think that that was so important and it’s still important today. How it evolved was in my workshops in the beginning, they were clinical, clinical, sign up. Clinical, clinical, sign up. I started about halfway through, I would say about nine, 10 years ago, I was teaching so many workshops and I was getting a lot of people in the audience. And I was just getting burnt out on talking to people that were not prequalified. So I knew what things I needed to say in a live workshop to prequalify that person. So if somebody took an appointment that they were somebody who really seriously was interested in functional medicine, or that was interested in working with me or somebody on my team. How that’s evolved now is we use technology.

He runs my Facebook ads. We have nurture sequences prior to the workshop. If they show up, a follow-up sequence, if they don’t show up, a follow-up sequence. It’s not hard. You don’t have to be great at technology. I am not great at technology. My husband had to figure out a lot of this on his own, but really it does just take sitting down, having a process, knowing what your end in mind is, and just writing that out. And if you don’t know how to use technology or run a Facebook ad, I don’t. But you have to find somebody that does, and it’s not a huge cost.

James Maskell: Yeah. One of the things that I’m super proud of in our last six years here is first of all, starting that kind of conversation because obviously, that’s the way that marketing’s moved. But in our Practice Accelerator, creating a safe space for clinicians to come and ask those kinds of questions. Because the beauty of what you just shared is for most of those systems, you can have really a said it and forget it structure. You know, every week or every month you’re doing this workshop, this is how people come into the workshop. This is what you do for the people that showed up. This is what you do for the people that didn’t show up. And as you start it takes maybe a few months, we did a webinar with another doctor last year where she said it took her two years to hone the process.

But at the end of that process, she knew that she could put $200 of ads in and have six patients at $2,000 each off the other end. And that was a system that worked for her and she wasn’t burned out and she was happy. And ultimately, that process that you’re describing and that we’ve described many, many times here at the Evolution of Medicine that is available to everyone, there is no barrier to entry for you to build that kind of practice. And ultimately off the back end of that, once you have those systems place, all you’re doing every day is getting to get to the root cause of people’s health concerns. And facilitate people to transform and then connecting with other people who do the same.

And when I think of the level of moral injury that physicians are experiencing in this day and age, by having to be an insurance, only using drugs, being held accountable by middle managers who don’t understand how, are really just there for the numbers. The kind of life and quality of life that you’re experiencing is something that is available to every clinician if they put the most important things first.

Olivia Joseph: I completely agree and two things regarding what you just said. One, you said with the Practice Accelerator and people asking questions, the crazy thing is so many people are deer in headlights and they don’t even know what questions to ask. That’s why it’s so important to be a part of a group or a network where you hear other people’s questions. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has said to me, “Olivia, I don’t know how to help you with this issue you’re having, if you don’t ask for help.” And I would say, “I don’t even know what to ask.” Because I didn’t understand something. You know what I mean? So hearing other people’s questions is a great way to learn and it’ll help you understand what type of questions you should be asking because we come back with hundreds of thousands of dollars, and hours, and years spent on our education.

But very little of it has to do with business, or sales, or marketing, or anything of that nature. So sometimes we don’t even know what questions to ask we’re paralyzed. So I think that that’s one important point to make, is sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s okay, but you have to start spending time with people that are closer to where you want to be. So you can start picking up a little bit on that wisdom. And the other thing is you have to know your numbers, that doctor you just mentioned, who knew I could spend this much money to get six new patients, and each of my patients was worth $2,000. You have to know your numbers otherwise you’re just a hamster, on a hamster wheel. We know how much money we’re willing to put behind ad spend because the outcome is predictable.

We know how many people will sign up. How many people will show, how many people I will close and how many people will start care after all of those steps. When you don’t know, you don’t know how much money to spend. You don’t know if you want to spend 200 or $500 running a Facebook ad, or “Hey, you know what? These numbers are so tight, we’re going to put 15 to $2,500 into this because we know the return is very, very valuable.”

James Maskell: Yeah, absolutely. You have to know the return on investment numbers. This is just a level of sophistication, again, that’s not that difficult. It just needs to be executed consistently. So look, obviously, one of the themes that we’ve had for this year is his resilience. And we actually came up with that theme before we knew about COVID. Because we realized that this conversation about resilience, about health, out of the context of disease. We’ve always had our understanding of health being relation to disease. But once we take it out of that context, we can have a different conversation about what it really means to be healthy. And obviously we’ve all had as health professionals to be resilient in the year 2020 because of COVID, and all the things that have come this way in our practice.

So I’d love to just take a minute to just find out a little bit of what it’s meant for you this year, with good systems in your practice, with good patient acquisition. With good use of media and technology. What does your practice look like? How resilient has it been, have there been elements of antifragility? Are there things that have spawned as a result of COVID that you wouldn’t have expected? I’d love to get your insight.

Olivia Joseph: Yeah. Great question. So prior to COVID happening, I had already started expanding my digital technology type stuff. So I was already doing a lot of Zoom consultations for people out of the state or out of the country. Who were referred to me, or found me, came across me with or without marketing. And so I had already been prepared. I already had the systems in place on how to do a virtual consultation, and then to be able to provide a great office visit and make sure that that person got the tools they needed. Which was my notes, recommendations, access to testing, supplement protocols, things of that nature. So when COVID happened, everything had to go virtual.

Now, personally, it didn’t change much for me, like 95% of my people kept their office visits because we knew how to handle it. We already had Zoom in place, procedures and system in place. A software that I could access to share stuff with them digitally. So for those that didn’t, I feel for you because there are a lot of people who never used Zoom until COVID. Who never knew…whose medical software, isn’t very tech-friendly. So I also feel for people where your practice is service-dependent. Whether you’re a chiropractor and asked to deliver an adjustment. If you’re an acupuncturist and you have to deliver an acupuncture treatment, that model changes when everything is virtual because you’re providing a service. Now, I still provide a service that service is a functional medicine consultation, which I was able to do over Zoom, over the phone, or in person. So things had to evolve.

Here’s the good thing. If you as a practitioner have to evolve. So did your patients, so did your clients because they got thrown into this world of Zoom, everything online. So if they weren’t savvy before, and they were afraid of using platforms like that, there’s no choice. So now you as a practitioner got thrown into it, but so did your patients or clients. So it accelerated things profoundly. So what’s happened with COVID and a lot of medicine, even conventional getting pushed into telemedicine is a lot of people are just having more faith in it, believing in it. Okay with telemedicine visits. More direct-to-consumer labs exist now than ever before. More at home functional test kits exist now than ever before.

The other thing is for supplements, the supplement market in and of itself, a lot more people are utilizing nutritional supplements. A lot more practices are selling nutritional supplements online because people are scared. They want to find ways to stay healthy and keep their immune systems healthy, and be preventive. And they don’t want to just be reactive because that really doesn’t work with this type of virus.

James Maskell: Absolutely. I just want you to go a bit further into that as to what is the opportunity in functional medicine today for a doctor?

Olivia Joseph: I think there’s more opportunity now than there ever has been. I think 17 years ago, you’re trying to turn atheists into believers. You’re trying to convince people and that is very frustrating. Now there are people who are like, “Look, what we’re doing, isn’t working.” Healthcare costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy. We know that the biggest pandemic is the preexisting conditions that make you vulnerable to COVID. So we know what we’re doing is not working. We see it with diabetes, we see it with obesity, we see it with cancer, we see with autoimmune disease, neurologic disease. Nope. Everybody understands we have a major healthcare crisis even before COVID. So I think the opportunity to not just be open to something different, but the opportunity to learn, study, understand and believe in this type of healthcare is better now than ever before.

You’re going to do less convincing. And if you’re worried that people in your field are going to think less of you, then look, I’m going to tell you to gain an education in functional medicine, it’s not for the faint at heart. It’s not like it’s part of a conventional schooling model. Yes, it takes extra time. Yes, it might require extra dollars to educate yourself, but everybody’s educating themselves now. That’s what YouTube is, that’s why a lot of people use Facebook. And you can use not just Facebook for video or YouTube. You can actually create communities, closed Facebook groups, where you create a tribe of like-minded individuals that believe in you and trust you and want what you have. So you’re attracting instead of begging.

James Maskell: Absolutely. And if you look at the famous functional medicine doctors out there, all they’ve really done is get an education in functional medicine. Take that information, translate it for the patient and put it out through video, and through books, and through audio, and podcasts. In the old days blogs and before that books, essentially there was such an appetite for all this information. And it’s all the various micro niches of what people have. And ultimately, there’s still an opportunity for you to build that. And the best way to build your career is to solve the problems of the people in your community. Get good at that. See what’s resonating with people and chances are that your story is resonant for a group of people that it hasn’t been resonant otherwise.

And the opportunity is limitless. The last thing I want to ask you about Olivia is that, you and I met through Kristen Brokaw, who I’ve be spending a lot more time with. Now that her and I are working on this project to really take this infrastructure of meetups that we built through the Functional Forum in these few years. And she’s run the St. Louis Institute for Integrative Medicine for 12 years, the longest-running functional medicine meets up that that still meets regularly and has such a good energy about it. And her and I have been doing these monthly calls in the Functional Forum meetup host Facebook group, and just really encouraging practitioners. I just want to get your final thought on, what practitioner community has meant for you? You mentioned earlier that you built these relationships with all kinds of other like-minded people in your area.

And in this moment what kind of value proposition does it have for you, the practitioner to get to know the like-minded people in your community and build relationship with other people on the same team?

Olivia Joseph: It’s incredibly valuable and I can tell you it accelerated my growth and where I am today. With my confidence, with my clinical skills. Because when you have a team of practitioners working for you, instead of against you, or against each other, your patients are going to love their experience. So as you had said with Kristen, what had happened is I started my own meetup. I moved to St. Louis, I moved my practice from South of Chicago in Peoria, Illinois, to O’Fallon, Missouri here, a St. Louis suburb. And I immediately started talking to people and patients in my community and finding out who the like-minded people were. And there was a list of maybe nine people, nine in the entire St. Louis area. So I started putting together this little lunch and I had met Kristen. She was my Ortho rep. And I told her about my little gig and she invited me to SLIIM.

And I went to a SLIIM meeting and I was like…she was just starting it. And I’m like, “Why are we trying to accomplish the same thing? Let’s combine and conquer.” And so every time I would meet a functional medicine practitioner, I would invite them to the SLIM group, which is how we got many people in our group. Many of the people were doctors that I found on my own and started building relationships with. And the reason I built that relationship was because if I need a second opinion from a gastroenterologist, cardiologist, what have you, I’m not sending you to somebody that doesn’t have the same philosophy as me. Because what they’re going to do is you’re going to go in their office. They’re going to poo-poo what you’re doing or saying, yes, I’ve sent many people back to their gastroenterologist who said diet had nothing to do with their digestive issues.

I heard that for 20 years suffering with digestive issues, it doesn’t even make sense. It’s totally asinine. So literally you have to have those relationships. And the amazing thing is your patients get better results. But it gives you more confidence and certainty in what you do. And it gives you confidence and certainty to referring people for a second opinion, which inevitably if you’re in healthcare, you’re going to need that relationship. And then that patient has such a cohesive experience. They thanked me for that referral. They thank me for, “I am so thankful that you’re working with Dr. XYZ.” Or that you brought this to their attention. And I have an endocrinologist I work with because my specialty is thyroid Hashimoto’s hormone-type stuff. I have an endocrinologist who I work with. He’s not functional medicine, but he’s so open-minded. And he’s been in practice for 27 years.

So he’s just phenomenal to work with, if I have a concern, I get on the phone with him, he calls me within minutes, or he says, “I’ll be calling Olivia right at 12:07.” So we connect. I’ll let them know what my concern is and I can’t tell you how many times he said to me, “Olivia, that’s not my job. That’s your job. As an endocrinologist this is my job. You as a functional medicine practitioner, that’s your job.” And it’s so humbling in the sense where I’m like, “Thank you. You gave me peace of mind because I was worried about X, Y, Z. But now that I have your blessing, I know I can do what I need to do functionally to get this person well.” And we’re working together, not against each other. And the patients love that. And the outcome is phenomenal and I’m not operating from a place of fear thinking, “What if it’s this?”

James Maskell: You know, just listening to your answer that reinvigorates me for stage two of this meetup infrastructure. Because for me really the first go around was having doctors like yourself who are passionate about getting doctors together, just because we were such a small community, we needed each other, we needed those positive externalities and positive feedback loops to have enough confidence to keep going. But what I see, what you just shared there is now that we have this core group of functional medicine doctors who are practicing in a certain area, this next phase is really about infecting everyone else. And finding those key members of the community that are specialists in those areas that are open minded. And what you’ll see is as functional medicine really starts to grow, we can bring those first doctors along. And very soon there’ll be an economic incentive for all doctors, and all specialists to get it because they’ll be getting these cash referrals from the community or even other kinds of referrals.

And so, I really appreciate everything that you shared there. And I just want to acknowledge you for first of all, knowing where you are going right from the beginning and going there. And over these last 17 years, really, putting the pedal to the metal and showcasing what’s possible. And not in the sexiest part of the country, either. Definitely like, way out there.

Olivia Joseph: Definitely not. No, I’m from the East coast. It’s not like being in Illinois or in Missouri. Like we were the tipping point for functional medicine. It wasn’t that. And the thing I do think is as the community grows, as people’s education grows, you become more confident, you become more certain, you become more attractive, you get more experience. And speaking of economically, you can have a very nice lifestyle being not just in healthcare or medicine, but being in functional medicine, but you have an amazing quality of life. When you talk to medical practitioners, so many of them went this direction cause they were burnt out. They were exhausted. They were ready to quit practice. It does not have to be that way. But when you’re serving two masters, it’s really tough.

It’s like when you try to start eating healthy, and you’re the only one in your house that eats healthy. And you grocery shop and you’re shopping for an unhealthy lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle. And you’re like, “Oh my God, my groceries are so expensive.” No, they’re not. They’re only expensive because you’re shopping for two lifestyles, commit to one and go for it. You’ve got to do that in this transition and it doesn’t have to be like burn the bridges, but you have to keep taking the next step, the next step. And next thing you know, you can be in a career where you love. Where people are thanking you, appreciating you, and where you’re actually seeing people get well.

James Maskell: Yeah, such a great point. And there are so many lessons on that peer to peer dynamics that happen in becoming a functional medicine doctor. Getting people better inside their families and also creating structures, like group visits, where people are able to meet other people just like them who have gone through the journey. And to me, that’s really the missing link. Ultimately, you’re a great example of that because you had your own issues. And I know that for most practitioners, they have some kind of story like that. But for patients to be able to connect with other patients who are going through the journey and having success is a key piece, thank you for agreeing to be part of the Evolution of Medicine podcast. I think there’s so much that every practitioner can learn from your journey.

And I’m super, super excited to be actually coming to St. Louis for a live Functional Forum the night before the election, November the 2nd I think is going to be the live Functional Forum from St. Louis. And I’m super excited to connect with you and to just hear another voice of passion, of excitement. Of I’ve gone through the journey, and I know that the lessons that you’ve learned were valuable to the rest of our community. So thank you for being here.

Olivia Joseph: Thanks for having me. It was fun.

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