Introducing “Healthful Woman” Podcast
Welcome to the official launch of the Healthful Woman podcast. I am your host, Dr. Nathan Fox, and I am very excited about the launch of the healthful woman podcast. I am an OBGYN and maternal fetal medicine specialist practicing in New York City.
So, what is this podcast all about? Or, more importantly, what should you, the listener, expect from Healthful Woman? To answer that, let me start with some background.
About Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates
I am a part of a large medical practice in New York focused on women’s health and pregnancy. Our parent organization is called Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, which was created in 2005, and focuses on high-risk and low-risk pregnancies, including prenatal care and delivery, as well as general women’s health and gynecology. Over the years, the practice has grown. We started a women’s imaging and prenatal diagnosis center called Carnegie Imaging for Women, which now has two locations in New York City and we recently opened a site on 94th street called Carnegie Women’s Health, which is a practice focused on gynecology and women’s health.
At this time, our practice has 18 terrific physicians, a full-time nutritionist, and genetic counselors, in addition to a full team of nurses, sonographers, medical assistants, and helpful staff members. We’re currently a team of about 100 people focused every day on women’s health. We see hundreds of patients every day at four clinical sites and do over 1,000 deliveries a year.
Why would we decide to start a podcast?
First, information. Reliable, accurate, honest, helpful information.
One of the things we’ve all come to realize is that despite the tremendous access to information women have, with the internet, social media, etc., it is really hard to find medical information you can trust. Why is that? We believe there are several reasons.
First, a lot of information out there is simply not true. Totally false. It is either posted by people with no knowledge or expertise, or it is information that was just copied from another unreliable source. Second, and probably more importantly, healthcare is nuanced. There is a ton of information out there that might be true, but it is very difficult to determine if it applies to you or not. For example, if you have a problem or a question, you can Google it, but how do you sift through the hundreds of different results you get?
You might sift through to find a website that seems reliable, like one from a hospital or a good medical website, but the information there is often general or vague, and doesn’t exactly answer your question. Inevitably, you fall down the rabbit hole into the blogs and individual posts, and then it starts getting scary because the range of answers is so wide, the answer can really be anything. This happens all the time, and as doctors we try to help people figure out the answers to their questions using reliable and relevant medical information.
But what if you just have a question and you are just looking for some reliable information, and you don’t really need to see a doctor? Currently, most of the reliable information is housed in medical journals, which are written for doctors and researchers. Over the years, we have spent considerable time doing research and publishing in medical journals, and we do try to share these studies and papers with our patients. But, for most women, they either don’t have access to this information, or it is not written in a way that is helpful to them.
So, the first reason we decided to start a podcast is to try to help women navigate all of the information and misinformation that is out there. We want to present information that is relevant, important, and interesting, and we want to present it in a way that is user-friendly and easily accessible.
More and more people are turning to podcasts for information and we think a podcast is a great way to get this information to you, our listeners. So, in the Healthful Woman podcast, I will be discussing topics related to women’s health, pregnancy, and wellness with doctors in our practice as well as experts from around New York, the U.S., and maybe internationally as well. We will try to help you understand what we are thinking and how we come to certain recommendations regarding women’s health.
In fact, this is pretty similar to what we already do every day. Our goal as physicians is to help women understand their health and make recommendations that are individualized and specific to each woman. This podcast brings you, the listener, an inside look into our thinking and how we go about trying to do this. One important thing to realize is that most doctors really want to share this information. One of the great joys of practicing medicine is the opportunity to help people understand their health and to help them navigate decisions related to their health.
Who is “Healthful Woman” For?
When I started talking to my colleagues about doing this podcast, everyone was super excited about coming on the podcast and discussing whatever topics women wanted to know more about. I hope that enthusiasm comes across in our podcasts.
One of the unique aspects of Healthful Woman is that this podcast is run by physicians, but the target audience is not physicians (although we do think doctors will enjoy the podcast and find it helpful as well). I think this is important because it allows us to frame the topics and conversations in a way that is relevant medically. We are really motivated and excited to do this and we hope that shows in the podcasts we produce.
What Topics Will “Healthful Woman” Cover?
At Healthful Woman, we will focus on topics related to all aspects of women’s health. This includes topics on pregnancy, fertility, gynecology, general health, nutrition, exercise, mental health, and wellness.
It is interesting that the term “wellness” has become a popular topic recently, and I think it is a good thing. “Wellness” can be a little vague, but it really does convey an important idea: that health is not just about preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases. Sometimes, we doctors lose sight of this. Sometimes we focus on health solely as the absence of disease, or the management of disease.
However, being healthful is so much more than just not having high blood pressure, or diabetes, or cancer. It includes our mental health, our mood, our nutrition and exercise, how we interact with others, how we feel, how we cope with stress and loss, and how we interact with others and with the world. All of that together contributes to our wellness. So, at “Healthful Woman,” we are going to talk about all of that. We are going to try to think big.
Aside from providing information to you, another goal of the Healthful Woman podcast is to give you an opportunity to meet the doctors who come on the podcast. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in medicine is the critical importance of the doctor-patient relationship. It is a sacred relationship that is built with trust, care, and time. Sure, for something simple, like a flu shot, it probably doesn’t matter where you go, or who you see. But so much of our health and our healthcare is complex. Having a doctor or a group of doctors that you can trust is so important. It is important to the patient and it is important to the doctor.
For the patient, having a relationship with the doctor allows you to be more open and honest, unashamed to ask difficult questions and advocate for yourself. For the doctor, knowing the patient helps us make personalized recommendations and to know what each individual person values.
If you go to our main practice website, you will find a section titled “Our Purpose & Mission.” This is a statement created by our entire practice: doctors, nurses, sonographers, medical assistants, billing team, and patient services: all 100 of us. We had multiple focus group sessions to include every member of the team to try to figure out why everyone works here. Using a model made popular by the author and speaker, Simon Sinek, we created the “why,” the “how,” and the “what” of our practice. The “why” is our overriding purpose for being here. The “how” is how we achieve our goals, and the “what” is what we actually do. I could speak for hours about this page alone, but getting back to the doctor-patient relationship, if you look at our highest purpose, our “why,” it reads:
We believe that all women deserve excellent, evidence-based, medical care from people who love what they do and cherish the relationship they have with patients and their families.
The relationship we have with our patients is truly one of the reasons we do what we do. So, one of the key features of Healthful Woman is to give you a sense of who we are as people. I will be asking our guests about who they are, what led them to their career path, what they like to do, and try to give you a sense of their personalities. I think you will find that, like all people, these doctors, medical professionals, and other experts in women’s health and wellness are really interesting. They are diverse, thoughtful, caring, and sometimes goofy, people.
I believe that by opening ourselves up to the listeners, it will help people gain more insight as to how we think when we are providing healthcare. It will also expose our listeners to a wide variety of people and maybe give you a better sense of what kind of doctor, or what kind of medical practice, would be a good fit for you. If that is one of us, great. If not, that’s great too. There are so many wonderful doctors out there, and one of them will be a n excellent one for you.
Finally, one more goal of Healthful Woman is simply to be entertaining and interesting. We hope to keep the mood light, maybe say something funny from time to time, and open up our listeners to the fascinating world of healthcare in general, and women’s health in particular.
If you have suggestions for ways we can do this better or topics you would like us to cover, please check out our Healthful Woman website or email us at HW@healthfulwoman.com