Polly Watson MD FACOG NCMP
My path in practicing medicine has led me to a place I didn’t know existed when I started this journey over 20 years ago. A career in women’s medicine seemed inevitable early on. At Paideia school in Atlanta, I was already interested in women’s issues and women’s health and loved biology. In college, I majored in molecular biology and biochemistry but also took many women’s studies classes. OBGYN was my favorite rotation in medical school. After OBGYN residency, and three short years in practice, I was fortunate to become a parent. I began to seek new directions in medicine.
When my son was one I decided to focus on office gynecology and menopausal medicine. OBGYN is so focused on birth and surgery that I really felt menopausal patients weren’t getting the time and attention they deserved. I started studying menopausal medicine through the North American Menopause Society and sexual medicine through the International Society for the Study of Women’s sexual health.
Despite all of this additional education, my patients were still coming into the office with questions I couldn’t answer. They were trying supplements that I wasn’t taught about in medical school. They had questions about adrenal health and toxins that simply were not addressed by my training. My patients had really good questions. I wanted to know the answers too.
I started by learning about supplements and attended my first integrative medicine conference. I was blown away. Here as a community where there was a robust conversation about chronic health issues that Western medicine wasn’t healing. We tried some nutrition changes at home and my son started performing 2 grades ahead of grade level after 2 months of the new diet. The teacher was astonished, and I had a powerful lesson that FOOD IS MEDICINE.
Insurance-driven medicine made me feel like I was clicking boxes for bean counters. I no longer felt like a healer. When I discovered functional medicine, my desire for learning was rekindled. This group of doctors weren’t grouchy and burnt out. They were hopeful and they were transforming the lives of their patients. Their energy was infectious. After a few years of trying different integrated and holistic medical organizations, I found the Institute for Functional Medicine. For two years I studied with IFM and became Certified in 2019. I am one of about 1000 providers in the US who has obtained this certification.
In 2019 I left my job as an employed physician with a large organization and started Hormone Wellness MD. I started with no staff working out of a single room. Now we own our space and look forward to hosting group events after the pandemic has resolved.
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