A Mindful Medical Practice; Ambassadors of Change
For the past several years I have been watching, and following the infamous ZDOGGMD aka Dr. Damania of Turntable Health. This past month at the AMSA event (American Medical Students Association) I had the pleasure of meeting him in person. I was an exhibitor at this epic event in Washington DC, launching my micro-study app Scrub Ninjas®; for the MCAT, NCLEX and High School AP.
I was anxious moments before the Keynote, the room filled with pre-med and med students, physicians and educators. A giddy crowd wall to wall with eager eyes and ears for the Med-Rock Jedi known as ZDOGGMD. The room was shifting with coffee jittered students and giggles from the past nights adventures in the city. I was uncertain of what I was about to experience. I thought I would just leave with a belly ache, new tag words and med hashtags for that evenings twitter posts. But I was wrong. My experience of Dr. Damania, and the infamous ZDOGGMD went from a raging fan, to a colleague within the world of mindful medicine and business strategies. I was in shock. And also experienced a deep feeling of gratitude and humility.
He opens the sacred talk with a story of his struggles, walking the path of a doctor, but living a life full of emptiness and lack of a true body-mind-healing practice with his patients. He spoke of the intuitive healing his father gave his patients as he was a young man working along-side him. How his father used his hands and intuition to listen to the patients body, mind and soul. A common Eastern practice that I was used to. I am not going to deny that I was fighting the tears and the sting in the back of my throat, because I myself have been witness to the challenge of bridging the East and the West with an immigrant father. It was an awesome moment, and I felt the transformation.
ZDOGGMD spoke to all of us, I glanced across the crowd and saw a sea of enlightened faces. Although he uses humor as a hook, the anchor was compassion. I have been blessed to work with and be of service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to work with Dr. Arun Gandhi and many more mindful practitioners in medicine and wellness. I had struggled with my own thoughts of branding and awareness in this industry, and was kindly reminded of the ways of the world and the need for change. And that living a life of compassion and service should be, and can be automatic if you choose it. After the public talk by Dr. Damania, Dr. Isaac Yang, a neurosurgeon from UCLA Medical Center, came by my booth and told me that being different in my ways of education is powerful and spiritually led. He spoke of compassion, empathy and mindfulness in educating the youth, as well as being a lasting change for the future of medicine. Dr. Yang opened for Dr. Damania, and that is where the stillness and spirit reckoning began; for me that is. Dr. Yang warmed my heart and spirit in that moment. His deep kindness, and love for humanity was shining brightly within. His smile is infectious. The stereotype that sometimes is associated with surgeons melted. Dr. Yang spoke of his love of God and his belief in humanity. He spoke his truth, without fear, with conviction. I felt blessed to be witness, and grateful that he practices mindfulness in medicine and life. His mantra; ‘Be Different’ meaning, go against the stream for the greater good.
“Thank you Dr. Yang, for who and what you are to all of us”
The event was a spiritual and emotional roller coaster of joy, regret and inspiration. Feelings that many may not experience in one hour, let alone a life time. As ZDOGGMD wooed the crowd with his Med-Rock Hip-Hop, the students burst out with laughter, the talk ended with his call to action, a call to support a membership-based primary care and wellness ecosystem focused on everything that keeps you healthy. The mission for his clinic TURNTABLE HEALTH a local, and hopefully global initiative for mindful primary care. Dr. Damania extended a personal invitation to join his crusade and study this model at TURNTABLE HEALTH.
I wrap this up with a gratitude and knowingness that moving forward with compassionate minded strategies for business, education and community is becoming viral. Although I live between the East and the West, and these two incredible men happen to be men of color, I feel that the West is being led more so by the heart and mind. I see America as a sacred mix of culture, religion and purpose. We all have greatness, and I feel grateful to be part of this change. As a midwife, as an instructional designer, wife and most importantly as a mother. My desire to teach through gamification was born out of my son’s struggle to succeed in our society living within the Autism spectrum. He shines, as we all do when education is served to us in new vibrant ways.
As Gandhi said;
You Must Be The Change You Want To See In The World.
In conclusion, be that change. Make a lasting difference in a life of another, be of service to others without resistance. Being of service can be as simple as a thought of kindness to another who suffers. Being of service to others and living a path of mindfulness creates a sense of success and well-being in our own hearts…
Thank you Dr. Damania and Dr. Yang for the light you shine unto others, within the community and the world.