1. What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine?
As a child, I suffered from Asthma. An asthma attack can give the scary sensation of catching your last breath. During those moments, a visit to the emergency department or pediatrician's office always seemed to make things better. Those early experiences caused me to associate a doctor with making people's lives better, and that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
When I first arrived in this country from Jamaica, my mom and I experienced many challenges, including not having a home in which to live. This experience along with many other obstacles made it feel as though medicine was not feasible. I still loved the idea of being a part of a person's health and helping to improve their life, but I wanted to do it without the time and money it would cost to pursue medicine. I decided to become a nurse instead. Although nursing provided great experiences, I found myself still thinking about going on to pursue medicine. After many years as a nurse and accepting that life should not be lived with regrets, I returned to school and studied medicine.
2. Why do you choose to address more than just physical health?
Simply because human beings are complex and health is not simply about being physically healthy. I have often said if a person is physically healthy yet his or her relationships are in dis-array, he or she will be unhappy, stressed, and in my opinion, not truly healthy. When I look at the person in his or her healthiest state, I take a holistic view in order to see how everything impacts on his or her health.
3. How did you first get involved in hosting a radio show, and what do you most enjoy about doing your show?
I became aware that some of my patients who struggled with their health and wellness either didn't have adequate information, had information that was incorrect, or had the correct information but were not motivated to take action. I started a program of community health talks called "Health Talk with Dr. Diane MD," as a way of sharing information with people with the hope that I could help to prevent many of them from becoming patients. This allowed me go out to the communities and reach many more people all at once. Hosting a radio show simply provided another vehicle to share information to a larger audience with goal of improving health and changing lives. The radio show, Health Talk with Dr. Diane MD was born, and is now aired on FMG Radio Network, "Atlanta's Incredible Radio" 1570 AM WIGO, and Blog Talk Radio. The interviews are also available on iTunes and are uploaded to my YouTube channel, DrDianeMD, so people may listen at their leisure. We are also in the process of moving to other markets.
4. Would you give us some examples of things people can learn from listening to your show?
I think the great thing about the show is that it shares health information with an inspirational twist. It is not punitive, and it meets people wherever they are. As a health professional and radio host, I am able to have conversations with health experts and thought leaders in order to get the answers to questions most people want to know. I interview guests who are experts in their fields, and we cover information on many diseases, stress, diet and weight management, fitness, skincare, hair care, relationships, spirituality, money management, and purpose and passion. We also cover the latest health news and research findings that impact your health and life. After listening to the show, you will learn new health information and you will become inspired to take action and improve your life.
5. If you could give people just three pieces of advice to improve their health, what would you say?
First, I would say it starts with a decision. We know that we can preach health until we are blue in the face, but nothing will happen until the person decides. It is important that listeners understand that health is wealth, and making healthy changes is an important investment that is not always easy. I would also recommend for people to take small but consistent steps. If a person has never worked out, deciding to go to the gym every day for two hours daily is a big goal that he or she is unlikely to keep, and this may lead to frustration. When baby steps are taken with consistency, that person stands a better chance of succeeding. Finally, get an accountability partner. If you are not accustomed to eating healthily or exercising, it is easy to fall off the wagon and not get back on. Having an accountability partner provides someone who can help keep you honest and provide encouragement, which will increase you chance of succeeding.
Thanks, Dr. Diane!