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a healthier weiJulie L. Wei, MD Reclaims Health for Misdiagnosed & Overmedicated Children in “A Healthier Wei” (Pronounced “Way”)

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”  When the great comedienne Lucille Ball made this statement, she must have been thinking about Dr. Julie Wei.   In her just self-published book, Julie uses the relationships in her life to make her case with a certainty that only those of us who believe in wisdom gained from experience can do.  And in doing so, she teaches not only about how patients can live in a healthier way, but also how women physicians can have their voices heard using non-traditional models of communication.  Heart-based and health-based.

One of the highlights comes at the very beginning of this book and is the one page “Acknowledgements.” In it are the keys to getting the maximum benefit from this ambitious project.  In this one page, we experience how Dr. Weiwas able to create this work and share it with us.

She did it by caring about other people.  Listening to them.  Giving them the best that she has.  She gave to her family, her patients and her colleagues.  Photographs of important people, from the kids in her clinic to her own child, reversing roles on a most beautiful cover photograph, chronicle her journey of discovery with the people who gave her the strength, the courage and the opportunities to make these discoveries.  As a woman physician, I learned as much about the importance of relationships as I did about her core message of how to reclaim health for our children who are misdiagnosed and overmedicated.

After reading the personalized inscription Julie had for me, and then lingering over her very personal introduction, filled with emotion and gratitude–elements not usually found in our medical scientific endeavors–I wanted to jump to the last section of delicious sounding Chinese recipes.  But I held back and took each page, each chapter in sequence so as to hear her voice the way she wanted it to be heard.  And there were no regrets.

Chapter 1 lays the foundation for observational medicine and how, without scientific controlled studies, we can have a profound effect on our patients if we listen and we think and use what we have internalized to make new discoveries.  And while I have connected the same dots as has Julie for several decades now, she had the vision, the courage and the energy to share it with us.

Chapter2 tells us about “Milk and Cookie Disease”–a very apt name for eating habits that lead to sleeping disorders, croup, chronic “rhinosinusitis”  and much ore.  The problem is caused by refluxing of gastric contents and the late night snacks back up into the airway in the middle of the night.    In chapter 3, she takes head on the potential resistance to an “unscientific” way of sharing “medical” observation.  From there, in chapters 4 and 5 she gets into what this problem looks like and how parents can decide if their child might have this disease.

Chapters 6 and 7 are filled with treatment pearls.  Beginning with a crash course in nutrition, Dr. Wei uses fabulous photos to make it look fun and convince us that it tastes good, too.  Taking a very down to earth approach, her advice  is based on a dash of creative thinking and a pinch of tough love.  The use of patients we have seen in our offices as people we care about, not just case studies, completes the journey before the philosophical wrap up about how we need to heal ourselves and our families.

Dr. Wei is not just a successful author with this book. She is a successful advocate for women in medicine, winning the Mitochondrian Award from the Office of  Professional Development for her work in preventing burnout for women physicians.  Her energy and her insights abound.  Julie’s book can be purchased on line.  Enjoy!

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