Our life story is fundamental to our health. Where we come from, our ancestry, birth, childhood, positive and negative experiences, environmental exposures and beliefs all shape our current state of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. It shapes our personality and our purpose too. I look forward to learning your story as we work together. I would like to start by sharing a bit of my own story with you.
Areas of interest
So here are my beginnings:
I was born in Berkeley, CA and spent most of my childhood on a ranch in Southern California. Four generations lived on the same property surrounded by the beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains. Our doctor was a family physician who made house-calls, delivered babies, and cared for all the generations of my family. He was the model for my definition of a doctor and my first inspiration as to what I was going to be when I grew up. He, and the rest of my family, laid the foundation for the type of doctor I strive to be with Rasnow Integrative Wellness. My Grandfather was among the early proponents of what was then called Alternative Medicine. He referred to doctors like Andrew Weil and John McDougall as his “Gurus.” In his quest longevity, he shared his acquired knowledge of health and nutrition with the whole family. My grandmother is a retired kindergarten teacher and taught me kindergarten as a toddler as a way of play. She not only jump started me academically but instilled a lifelong love of learning. At 91 years old she continues to do Jazzercise daily and is an inspiration to many on the joys and benefits of active living. My mother is a lawyer with an unwavering sense of social justice. She fostered a responsibility to serve others that feels as fundamental as breathing. She also indulged my propensity to bring home a menagerie of homeless critters, and allowed me to grow up with animals as important family members. My father lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for most of his life and was a great example of how to problem solve. He lived by the motto “ where there is a will, there is a way” and even if it was by unconventional means, he managed to make things work. I have adopted this attitude in seeking health and combating disease, since individuals may not follow the “norm.” These are the influencers that shaped how I see my role as a doctor, and informed my approach to healing.
My Education- why my resume looks the way it does:
Thanks to my Grandmother’s influence, I started first grade at the age of four and remained two years ahead thereafter. I finished high school at the age of 16 , earning an International Baccalaureate Diploma with a Spanish language focus and a host of junior college credits already completed. This paved the way for me to attend Xavier University of Louisiana on an academic scholarship. It was one of the best decisions of my life. The supportive and encouraging environment of this Historically Black University, and their structured pre-medical program, was exactly what I needed to prepare me for the next phase of my journey. I am grateful for the mentors who taught me about research and academic balance, as well as for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. that was a venue for comradery, community service and leadership.
I interviewed for medical school still with the vision of my childhood family doctor in mind. I envisioned serving whole families and reducing international health disparities by providing broad-spectrum service to people in need. The student-run free clinics at the University of California, Davis appealed to me as an opportunity to start on that mission right away. Sacramento became my home and I was fortunate to be able to stay for residency at a community-based program that shared my values of full spectrum family medicine and caring for the underserved. I always considered providing maternity care and delivering babies an integral part of caring for a whole family, so after residency, I completed an Obstetrics Fellowship in Seattle, WA. This gave me specialized training to more safely manage complications should they arise during delivery and to perform a cesarean section if necessary. These added skills allowed me to return to my former residency program as faculty and assist with their Obstetrics curriculum. As the first few years of my career progressed I became increasingly frustrated with the shortcomings of Western Medicine- the patients who did not get better and the pharmaceuticals that caused more harm than good. I started expanding my knowledge of alternatives with acupuncture, and struggled to find creative ways to integrate its use within the confines of a corporate healthcare system. A co-worker then introduced me to Functional Medicine and modeled how he incorporated it into ~an insurance based practice. Fast forward several years of clinical experience and the foundation was finally set for Rasnow Integrative Wellness, Inc. to take shape.