My mission is to empower my clients to achieve a higher level of health and life performance by redefining their vision of health and the doctor-patient relationship. My aim is to act as a trusted advisor to my clients and provide insights, analysis, support, and motivation to aid them in confronting the vast array of health challenges. My philosophy is based on simplifying health information and strategies, and deepening my clients' understanding of their body.
In the spring of my freshman year of high school, I joined the crew team and quickly became consumed with the sport. The rhythm of the boat sparked a visceral response in me and the rowing gave my competitive nature a physical expression. The combination of my intense will and lean-body type led me to overtraining and exhaustion. I confronted this obstacle by seeking more knowledge and understanding of my body and its performance. I filled my bookshelves with physiology and nutrition books and used a heart rate monitor to make my training more efficient. I practiced yoga and meditation, and visualized the rowing stroke every morning and night. I knew that I had to challenge my mental and physical limits to reach a higher level of success. I also learned to recover and heal faster in order to push myself further.
Through rowing, I discovered the inter-relatedness of numerous issues that contributed to my performance: exercise, recovery, nutrition, meditation, environment, will, discipline, genetics, etc. I also learnedand re-learned many timesthat by attending to the challenge in the present moment, and doing that day after day, I transform and maximize my performance.
The insight, "To see a world in a single stroke," led me to extend what I had learned in rowing to the rest of life. I moved to a new arena to engage larger life issueshealth and illness. My attention and energy focused on similar elements that had dominated my rowing life: working with the body, collaborating with others, solving problems in the pursuit of seeing what is possible with the performance of the body.
In medical school, the curriculum focused on diseases and treatments with little attention given to preventative care, health, and nutrition. I pursued the combined training of adult medicine and pediatrics to learn how disease affected the body at all ages, believing that the patterns would reveal a deeper understanding. I then chose the sub-specialty of rheumatology because it addressed diseases that affected multiple organ systems within the body, and because it required an understanding of the whole body in order to treat the conditions effectively.
I confronted illnesses and took care of patients through various stages: infancy, adolescence, adulthood, and elder years. I spent time on the hospital wards, in the ICUs, and in outpatient offices. My opponent was disease itself and my patients became my guide. By looking into their eyes, I realized that my patients were showing me how to care for them and their bodies were revealing their needs.
My time working in the medical system has revealed to me that the current system is not about a person's health. Rather, it focuses on reacting to illnesses and rationing resources to manage the population. The physician's role as patient advocate and advisor has been compromised and forever changed. As a physician and elite athlete, I believe that healthcare should focus on treating each individual. I have grown increasingly frustrated because this is not possible within the present system. I believe it is time for a major shift in paradigm.
A few insightful people sought me out to help them manage their health as they confronted illness and the obstacles of the medical system. The results were powerful for all involved and served as a catalyst for the creation of DrPadula.com. It is a place to care for the individual as a whole entity, to help him or her confront health challenges, take preventive measures, and achieve a higher level of performance in their daily life.
Along my path I have had many wonderful teachers, and I am thankful for them all. In the end, it was the water that taught me how to row; I just listened to what it had to say. Now it is the body that reveals its needs, and it is my patients who teach me how to care for them. They are both my partners and my guides in the journey toward health and performance. As DrPadula.com continues to grow, I hope that it will also evolve to become a resource for all individuals who seek to engage their health more proactively and achieve a higher level of life performance. It's not easy, but it's simple.