Dr. Michelle Choi, MD
Writer and Host
I started to think about my podcast, when my life was falling apart.
I was frustrated as a primary care doctor, and I began to wonder if I could really leave everything, my career and what I thought was my lifeline, for a podcast. Most people didn’t understand. Many thought I was crazy. I didn’t even entirely understand. I just knew I was hella angry. And well, that feeling didn’t go away. I had a clause in my contract where I did not have the freedom to talk about anything medically related in the media. Give up my lucrative salary for a podcast that makes no money and will start off with one listener (me)?!?
I was unhappy and angry enough to consider it.
I knew that my everyday was hurting me.
My career sucked. On the outside – perhaps a doctor’s career looks as if I had my stuff together. Well, I didn’t. I was falling apart. I wasn’t even sure if I was helping anyone. Forget altruism. My career was just about trying to survive.
While for most of my career, I spent inside the hospital, the last few years of my medical career, I worked in the outpatient setting. Seeing people come into the doctor’s office with a multitude of problems, not having the time to really address any of them, nor ever get to the real gist of the problems – it got to me. I didn’t like who I was becoming working for corporate medicine. I had no idea that this was the practice of medicine. And I started to notice a pattern seeing patients. We are all bound by our suffering. Many of us look okay on the outside, and yet many of us suffer on the inside. Why were we not talking about this? Why is the doctor’s office the last place where this can happen? How is it that we think what pains us, is separate from how we live, our fears, and what medically ails us? I believe the medical field in the U.S. is a huge problem, because we are not appropriately addressing the underlying issues or any issue really. It’s become a field where we manage symptoms, while not looking for the actual cause.
And so I got mad. I got really mad. And then I quit my career. But before I left, I started to write monologues for my supposed-podcast-that-was-
My monologues for me were like Jerry Maguire’s moral epiphany, for which he was fired when he expressed it. They were my moral epiphany. Conversations that perhaps should have happened in the medical office setting about the importance of life – the truth that each of us can advocate for our health and well-being, and that those things that you thought didn’t matter, actually matter.
We all have so much power than we think we have.
My podcast is a way in which I can freely talk about issues or aspects that contribute to our health and well-being. It’s a venue where we can speak truthfully.
We can learn so much from a good and heartfelt conversation. There’s a power when we talk about things that we are afraid of, or listen to others speak their truth and share their experiences.
What more can we do in our lives, if we are unafraid?