You know, being morbidly obese is bad for your health.
Your problem would be better if you just lost weight.
Have you ever tried losing weight?
Have you considered eating less and exercising more?
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve heard at least one of these lines before if you’ve ever experienced fluctuations in your weight. These are real (!) quotations from conversations I’ve had with my physicians, including a time that I was seen for a sinus infection. As someone who has been in a larger body since I was a kid (as I’ve spoken about at length), I’ve been on more diets than I have had positive experiences with doctors about my weight. I’m sure they meant well at the time, but what those healthcare providers really communicated to me over the last few decades was their lack of education in metabolic health and their unfamiliarity with the everyday realities faced by most of their patients.
The last time I went to establish primary care, I found myself wondering whether anyone else met with the same challenges I encountered in my search for a doctor. I wanted a great physician who would care for me comprehensively, take my concerns seriously, and treat me as a person instead of a number on the scale. So I started looking into the patient experience, and my research brought me to a stark conclusion: most Americans have experienced stigmatizing care at the doctor’s office. And this fact has profound consequences for patient health and well-being. The moment I figured that out, I knew I had found my life’s purpose–bringing expert-led, comprehensive, and compassionate care to patients like me who haven’t always been heard.
I knew I had found my life’s purpose–bringing expert-led, comprehensive, and compassionate care to patients like me who haven’t always been heard.
As I embarked on this work, I was very fortunate to meet Dr. Angela Fitch, a pioneer in weight-inclusive, patient-centered treatment. She, too, feels it is her mission to bring best-in-class primary care to patients who feel dread in the waiting room, knowing they will leave the doctor feeling worse about themselves than they did when they came in. It made perfect sense that Angela and I would team up.
We are proud to be part of an organization that is filled with empathetic, highly trained physicians, providers, and staff, who know the patient experience and are excited to partner with patients on their wellness journey. Our commitment to you: here you will be known well. Your goals will be supported, whether they include changing your body size or not. And every day we will work tirelessly to ensure you are heard, encouraged, and understood.
Brooke Boyarsky Pratt is the founder and CEO of knownwell, Inc. Prior to knownwell, she was the Chief Operating Officer of Production at Berkadia, a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Jefferies Financial Group, after leaving McKinsey & Company as an Associate Partner. Brooke graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania and as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School. She has spoken extensively about her weight and gender issues throughout her career (NY Times, Ted Talk, HBS graduation as the Class Day speaker).
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