“We’re expected to take care of other people. How can we do that if we aren’t even able to take care of ourselves”
Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Jamie Katuna about challenging the healthcare status quo with medical spoken word.
Are you passionate about health? Jamie Katuna is challenging the status quo with her spoken word videos on topics related to medicine and healthcare. She makes complex, exclusive ideas much more accessible and engaging for a mainstream audience.
In this episode, Jamie talks about the difficulty of being a doctor and the benefits to choosing your own clients. Listen to the end to hear a live spoken word performance.
Listen to episode 59 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.
59: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:
03:14 – Balancing basketball and medical school
05:55 – Is being a doctor difficult?
07:01 – Being a pregnant intern
09:12 – Why people are unappreciative of doctors
13:12 – Working with clients you choose
16:07 – Live spoken work
17:14 – Depression in physicians
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit drveronica.com for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.
Dr. Veronica: Thanks so much for joining in on another episode of the Wellness Revolution. I’m Dr. Veronica. We’re going to talk sports, being a doctor, and the spoken word. This is a really interesting episode, not that all the other episodes aren’t interesting, but a little bit interesting because we need to laugh, we need to think more thoughtfully about how we do medicine, how we do our bodies, and we’re going to talk about this.
I have a young lady here, Jamie Katuna. And I just ran across her somehow in the internet. You know how you surf around and you just run across something? I don’t even how I ran across her on the internet. But I said Jamie’s just saying all these cool stuff about… I don’t even remember what I was seeing that she was talking about. I don’t know. Maybe you could tell us something yourself. But [Unintelligible 00:01:20] spoken word about health care and medical topics.
But let me just tell you what I love about her. She is a female athlete and played on the collegiate level, basketball, UC San Francisco I think I see here. She’s been the captain, San Diego, first team all-conference, first team all-west region, just an amazing athlete. I love that just because I feel like in my life that if there’s something that I could’ve done different I had been a more of an elite athlete.
Jamie, thanks for being on. We’re going to just have a little chit chat here so the audience can get to know you. Let me just tell you, in the show notes I’m going to give you the link where you can find her. She’s on Facebook. She has a website but nobody uses websites anymore. We just have a website because you’re supposed to have a website. But we’re all on Facebook, facebook.com/jamiekatunaofficial.
And what’s going to happen, you know in the show notes we will put the link so you can see her spoken word. Because she’s got a lot of cool videos. And over a million people have viewed her videos. Jamie, welcome to the Wellness Revolution.
Jamie: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really happy to be here.
Dr. Veronica: Okay. You’re going from fun basketball to doctorhood.
Dr. Veronica: First of all, tell us about the genesis of the basketball career.
Jamie: I’ve played basketball since I was a kid. And I was sort of an athlete too, like hyper competitive. It’s just a great outlet for it. And then when I had the opportunity from high school to have my college paid for with basketball it was just one of the coolest things ever. So that kind of became my identity for the last decade really.
Dr. Veronica: Now you’re between basketball and medical school. Do you feel like a fish out of water?
Jamie: Yeah, a little bit. When basketball ended I sort of had an identity crisis type thing, like now what do I do? And I had one of the coolest conversations. Someone told me, it’s not that you’re losing your identity and now you have to make another one, but it’s just building on the identity that you already had.
It’s like you’re still going to be an athlete, you still always will have been a basketball player, and now what else can you add on top of that. So it’s not like replacing but rather just in addition to.
Dr. Veronica: I’ve seen your videos with this fabulous spoken word, nice rhythm, with the camera. It’s just like, she is performing. She’s not rapping about whatever people rap about today that’s inconsequential. She’s performing about health care. First, before we talk about the health care piece of it, how did you start doing just this spoken word art form?
Jamie: I would say there’s a couple of things that came together synergistically that made that as the baby. I like to read about health care and medical things, but a lot of times they come in long form, written articles or essays. It seems like it’s an interesting topics but it’s actually boring to read. It’s heartbreaking because they’re not boring topics, it just gets really boring to read those things.
I’m thinking, how can you make something that addresses impactful topics but in a way that people want to listen to it, even a mainstream audience. And then I think that came full form when I saw the musical Hamilton. Have you heard of it? Of course you have.
Dr. Veronica: I’m jealous because everybody else has seen it except me. And every time I look the tickets are like $700.
Jamie: It’s ridiculous. But even listening to it, it’s like educational, historical, you’re learning something songs in spoken word rap form. But you walk away from that and you learned a lot. But it’s been entertaining the whole time. So I was thinking, that is such an impressive medium. I wonder if I could do something like that.
So that was kind of the genesis of having read boring articles on the stuff that I’d like to learn about, then seeing Hamilton and sort of like a light bulb went off.
Dr. Veronica: I’m trying to remember what I saw, because I remember you making some commentary about being, almost you were making a commentary about the difficulty of being a doctor in the current health care system. Tell us a little bit about that.
Jamie: One of my mentors is Dr. Pamela Wible. She lives in Oregon and she’s the founder of the ideal clinic movement. She talks a lot about dehumanization and training, and sort of how we treat trainees and how they come up, and then the depth that they go into, and the bullying and hazing and all that type of stuff, and the prejudice around it all.
Having her as one of my leading mentors, I feel like I’ve learned that side of medicine at a relatively early stage in my medical career. And so I think addressing those types of things, those are really emotion generating topics. And so it’s good to get into that early. People are more interested in that. And even people who are not within the health care system, reaching out to me saying like I’ve never known all that bad stuff that’s going on or whatever.
Dr. Veronica: It’s funny because you talk about all that bad stuff going on. And it’s like brings back those memories where I remember being a pregnant intern, and then having to go on to my residency, calling up the residency director because I was due in July. I called the residency director who was a female. And what she said to me is it’s not a good time to have a baby.
And so therefore instead of taking off a decent amount of time after I had my child, 13 days postpartum I was on the ward. I think about how I would never want one of my patients to be doing anything 13 days postpartum. The pressure from another woman physician to go to work…
Jamie: And that’s it. That’s the hypocrisy around it. It’s like you weren’t put in a position to take care of yourself to be healthy. And then we’re expected to take care of other people and make sure that they’re healthy. And how can we do that if we aren’t even able to take care of ourselves. We should be leaders and do yoga and do retreats and exercise, but also work 28-hour shifts and listen to all your authorities. How can both be true? It’s a ridiculous hypocrisy I think.
Dr. Veronica: It’s interesting because I thought also, I went through all this. I went through that with the preterm labor. Instead of delivering in July I delivered in June a baby early, with the preterm labor because I was on call one night working 100-hour weeks, pregnant.
Dr. Veronica: So then post everything I’m in practice. And what I think now is people are arguing with my office staff over co-pays, $10 co-pays. And I didn’t get the time to spend my children. And they’re arguing with me over $10 co-pays. I spend all this money, worked 100-hour weeks, so that I could be the best doctor I could to give them the best care that I could. And now a $10 co-pay is what they’re arguing over. How can this be?
People think that I’m their slave. This happened. You have people so unappreciative of what doctors do. Where do you think that came from? You’re not there yet but you decided you want to go into it. In your background where do you think that came from?
Jamie: That’s a really good question. And thank you for expecting that I would have an intelligible response around that. It could just come from how medicine has become this patriarchal assembly line model where doctors just become robots. Just deliver the kid. Don’t take care of yourself, like ultimate self-sacrifice.
And where money rules everything. Efficiency rules everything. And the holistic side of it, the person-to-person interaction just gets completely erased from the equation. That would be my guess. Of course I think it’s way more complex than I would even really be able to fathom probably.
Dr. Veronica: I’m asking rhetorically [Unintelligible 00:10:25] what you’re seeing. But you can [Unintelligible 00:10:28] seeing how medicine is, and it’s like what I’m saying. It’s not like [Unintelligible 00:10:34] but you decided to go into medicine. But also I noticed that you seem to be collecting around the group of doctors that tend to be more holistic.
Jamie: And that leave the traditional… So Pamela Wible left traditional medicine, you left traditional medicine. There’s another awesome surgeon named Dr. Sam in Florida left traditional medicine. That does seemed to be… it’s like the physicians who can be entrepreneurs and learn that, “No, I do not have to take this anymore. I’m a business in myself. I’ve gone through so much school. I know how to do this on my own.” You’re the happiest. And you guys are thriving. And I think that’s the type of model, the type of mentors that I’d want to look up to.
I guess what good would it do for me to get advice than surround myself with physicians who are really unhappy and stressed out. I feel like there’s nothing really to learn from that type of physician. Although I don’t blame them. I don’t think it’s their fault. I think they’ve entered into a predatory system. But as far as my role models, I definitely have surrounded myself by people who want to pave their own way in a sense.
Dr. Veronica: I think that the public needs to understand that they’re not going to be well and happy unless their doctors are well and happy. So when you’re in a traditional practice, all-comers are your clients. Whereas in the holistic practice we talk very much about screening who we work with, and it has to do with making sure that this person’s going to be good for me.
Because bottom line, I cannot do a good job for them if I don’t like them. So I remember practicing the old way, whoever wanted to come in came in, because the only thing they did is they called and said, “Do you take my insurance.” And that was the bar. So first I felt like you don’t really care about me. If I don’t take your insurance you’re off someplace else.
So now because I don’t participate in insurance, but that doesn’t mean that people can’t afford me. They can. It’s affordable. They figure out. But they have chosen that they want a relationship with me that they’re going to compensate me for my knowledge. But now I spend much more time with my clients than I did when I was traditionally practicing. And we have a relationship.
I have ones that I miss. And when something happens to them they reach out to me. And I help them through the rough parts of their life so that they don’t derail themselves and get [Unintelligible 00:13:08]. It’s much more satisfying. And I feel that my clients get great results. They get great results because first of all I make sure energetically and personality wise they fit with me.
Versus when I see them on the schedule I’m like, “Oh my god, that person’s coming in and it’s going to be a horrible day.” And there were days like it. “Mr. so and so is coming. Crap.” When Mr. so and so is coming the whole office would feel bad, because Mr. so and so was a jerk. Mr. so and so, I find out he’s a jerk. I say, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”
Jamie: Right. Other businesses, other parts of society, the people who provide the service in a way get to have the say of who they work with. For some reason physicians just don’t give any say in who the work with, but then are completely responsible for the health outcomes. It does seem completely unfair.
I love that you are responsible for your own happiness. And the physician that every pre-med envisions like I want to be this and I want my patients to love me. And I want to love them. You and Pamela Wible and a handful of others are actually living that, living that example. It’s just so unfortunate that that’s not the norm, that you have to escape from the medical system in order to become the most ideal physician possible.
Dr. Veronica: Here’s the bottom line. Every client deserves somebody to work with them. Everybody deserves to be someone’s A-list client. And so that means that if I’m not the right person for you there’s somebody else who is the right person for you. And it’s unfair for me to work with you if I’m not going to get along with you for whatever reason.
I’m going to look at my schedule and say, “Wow, I get to talk to Mrs. M today. Or I get to talk to Mr. O today.” I want to look forward to either talking to them or seeing them. If I know that I’m going to be playing full out for them because you should love the people that you’re interacting with. When I’m in love with them, and we’re not talking like a love affair [Unintelligible 00:15:27]. That doesn’t mean I love that grouchy person. It just means that I’ve chosen that I can’t work with that grouchy person. They’re not going to be perfect for me, but they are for somebody else. And they deserve to be with somebody who’s going to love them and play full out for them. So if I can’t play full out for you I’m going to say, “Sorry, I can’t help you.”
Jamie: I think that’s so fair. It’s like if you can’t be your best, and thrive, and be the most you can for somebody it isn’t even worth either of your time to be working together in a way.
Dr. Veronica: Can I put you on the spot? Can we get an example? Can you give us a little verse right here?
Jamie: Oh really? Do you have any piece that you would want the verse from?
Dr. Veronica: You just energetically figure out what you think would be the right thing to say to the audience. And it will be the right thing. It will be something that people want to hear.
Jamie: That is so funny. Give me a second to think of a piece that I would like to… The state of medicine now does not appeal to me, lousy, crowded, inhumane, insane how we treat those in pain. They’re confused, they feel abused, used by a system they didn’t choose, coerced, forced to be treated like another digit, a statistic, a misfit. What is this? In the quest for efficiency doctors must work relentlessly, endlessly, until they are spent and see no satisfaction, no chance for compassionate action. They can’t thrive, just survive, do what it takes to get by. Demonize thy eyes. Looking at them like, “Why can’t you take more time to find what I am plagued by?” The only possible reply, I try.
Dr. Veronica: Thank you so much. It’s interesting because one thing is there’s a statistic that’s very sad. 75% of physicians says sometime during their career they become depressed.
Jamie: I know.
Dr. Veronica: And this is why they become depressed. I went through a clinical depression myself when I decided I was… before I switched over really I was out of here. Thank you for realizing, somebody speaking in a way. Hopefully more people will understand that, you know what, doctors are people. They need to be loved and respected on a different way. They’re just not a slave of the system. And they’re not just your slave.
I’m happy now that people say thank you to me, and that people tell me, “You’re the best doctor I’ve ever had.” People tell me those types of things, and that’s better than any amount of money. When I was practicing before people bother to say thank you, that would’ve just been a nice day.
Dr. Veronica: Jamie, we look forward to welcoming more people like you into the medical profession. Maybe we could start a doctor basketball team. I won’t be able to… I’m height challenged.
Jamie: You can coach.
Dr. Veronica: I’ll yell, and scream, and cheer. I love watching sports on TV, because I love watching elite athletes and the competition. And it’s also in order to be a doctor you have to have that level of discipline like these athletes have. You got to stick to it. You have to listen to other people. You’re being coached all the time. Same with clients who get results. “I’m the coach. You listen to what I say. You will get the results.”
Jamie: I like that.
Dr. Veronica: Jamie, we’ll put where we can find you on Facebook so we can see all your wonderful videos. Thank you for being on Wellness Revolution.
Jamie: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate that.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.