• Dr. Mark Gomez

There is a saying that goes, “It’s never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest you.” I would alter this phrase to actually state “it’s never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest AND HAPPIEST you.” As my family and I embark on a much-needed vacation (don’t worry, there will still be a Dr. G blog next week), I’m reminded that we tend to forget about the HAPPY part in our collective health journeys. The word “Health” is thrown in our face on a daily basis - in pop culture, at the local gym, watching your favorite team, or at your physician’s office. In pop culture, we equate “Health” with how an A-list celebrity looks. In fitness, we equate “Health” with a certain physique. In sports, we equate “Health” the ability to perform a particular skill better than most others. We live in a society that is deep-rooted in image. Expectations of health reflect our own preconceived views of it.

In my specialty of internal medicine, we evaluate “Health” by asking our patients to do screening tests, physical examinations, labs, and various diagnostics studies. All of these are performed to either prove someone is healthy or not. Don’t get me wrong: routine, periodic medical examinations performed by a primary care physician are paramount to any formal wellness strategy. So what is the impact of “Health” imagery and its inherent expectations? I have encountered patients who are demoralized, frustrated, and burdened who still feel powerless or fail to celebrate the small, yet monumental steps they are taking to care for themselves. I ask again, what about “Happy?”

As medical doctors, we must always consider the emotional health of our patients. Not only am I talking about the 20-something year-olds who take no medications and only see their doctor once per year, but I’m also referring to the individuals with multiple medical conditions that see their doctor numerous times per year. FACT: The number of medical conditions an individual must face is directly related to either their vulnerability or resilience to the mental health effects of these same medical conditions.

Is it just me or does it seem like “Happy” has just been pushed aside? “You mean I have to work out all the time?” “I have to eat right?” “I have to sacrifice relationships and recreation to achieve ‘Health’?” “Then I have to do it all again tomorrow?” I’ve been there. I hear you.

On my 4/18/18 show, I’ll be exploring mindfulness with leading experts in the field. They will show you a framework for integrating “Happy” back into your life, even when you’re faced with insurmountable challenges. They will teach you how to clear your mind of distracting thoughts and mental clutter that accumulate day-to-day. Finally, they will show you how to live in the present moment in an enjoyable and harmonious way. So as I stated in the beginning, “it’s never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest AND HAPPIEST you.”

To Your Health (AND HAPPINESS)!

Dr. G

#health #happiness #mindfulness

  • Dr. Mark Gomez

Husband. Father. Physician. World Citizen. Advocate for social responsibility. Believer that access to high-quality healthcare is a right for all. These characteristics are what define me. But how did I get here? It certainly didn’t happen overnight. The seed of the dream I’m living now was planted a long time ago. I was just your typical kid who grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago while enjoying life, school, friends, and family. My parents kept us (I have an older sister and an identical twin brother) pretty busy but never overburdened us with activities. I enjoyed school, Saturday morning cartoons, and my toys (shout out to Matchbox cars and G.I. Joe action figures). I was fascinated with life and like most of my friends, I wanted to someday become either a superhero, a pilot, an astronaut, or a professional athlete. That is, until a family emergency led me to change course.

My calling to medicine came at an early age. I was 9 years old. It was an ordinary Sunday morning and, as usual, my family and I were at church. But what I thought was just an ordinary Sunday morning turned out to be so far from that truth. To this day, the imagery remains emblazoned into my memory. As I looked over in fright to see my brother suffering from a severe asthma attack, I realized just how precious, yet unpredictable life can be. As one of my old professors once said, “There are 2 kingdoms in health. The kingdom of the Well and that of the Sick. We may cross between the two at various points in our lives, but we all someday, inevitably end up booking a one-way ticket.” The deacon and others rushed over to help. The subsequent events seemed like a blur, but the sound of my father screaming “No, God, no!” will never, ever escape my mind. Luckily, in the end, faith and some modern medicine saved my brother’s life. In the aftermath I knew that medicine was my life’s destiny.

Fast-forward 30 years and now I’m ready to share my passion, experiences, and expertise with the community at-large. Thankfully I have friends and colleagues, who also heed the call to serve, to stand with me along the way. TO YOUR HEALTH WITH DR. G TM is all about giving listeners a forum to gain further insight into their own health. Each week I will discuss current, relevant and relatable topics with my panelists. This show will not come off as pretentious (even though by me just using the word pretentious sounds very pretentious) in any way. In all seriousness, health and medical concepts should never be understood only by a select few. Both knowledge and access barriers must be broken down prior to implementing any wellness strategy. All listeners, regardless of their background or stage in life, can take away key points that they can further consider and discuss with their own healthcare providers. But most importantly, I want listeners to never again take their health for granted. This is what I call true engagement and ownership of one’s health. I look forward to you joining me as we explore the next frontier.

TO YOUR HEALTH!

Dr. G

#drmarkgomez #physicianchicago #radiohostchicago

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