I first met my wife, Jenn, in 2005 while we were applying for residency/internship following our medical school/psychology programs. I was matched to a position at the Cleveland clinic, and Jenn to an internship in New York. We maintained and nurtured our courtship for a year, with Jenn (most often, due to my 100 hour work weeks) making the 6 hour trek out to spend weekends together. During this time, we began to see an emerging theme in the healthcare paradigm. Patient care was thwarted by the demands of a saturated system and insurance companies. Even through our exhausting and demanding schedules, idealism pushed us forward into the path of creating our own system. I was often looked upon as the “maverick- hippy” in stark contrast to the streamlined and linear approach dictated by mainstream medical culture.
My desire for more personalized and holistic care came into conflict with the high volume of patients and institutional restrictions that negatively influenced the quality of my work. We used to say: “We should really open a practice together!” in 2006, Jenn and I married, moved back home to the San Fernando Valley (where we grew up) and started professional jobs out of training. 4 1/2 years into my last position, the burnout of caring for 3,000 patients (seeing 20 + per day) and institutional limitations pushed me to look seriously at the possibility of a new career. In 2013, the idea of going out on my own was inspired by a patient who jokingly said, “When are you opening your concierge practice?” Until then, I had resigned myself to the way things were, not realizing that I could create a new path towards a more fulfilling experience for myself and my patients. I immediately phoned Jenn telling her that I knew what I wanted to do with the next chapter of my career. After watching my steady decline into frustration and disenchantment over the years, she was thrilled with the idea, and has stood by me as we moved towards bringing this dream of ours to fruition. Jenn will be seeing her own clients as part of Willow Healing Center – Our dream is here.
Our goal remains steadfast: to build strong and meaningful relationships with our patients while providing them with integrated and personalized health and mental-health care.