My name is Andrea Espinoza, MD, FCCP, and I am a lifestyle medicine physician at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine, located in Metairie, Louisiana, and I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself back "home."
After completing my medical school training and internal medicine residency and pulmonary & critical care fellowship at LSU here in New Orleans, I have spent the past 12 ½ years "down the bayou" in Houma, Louisiana. I enjoyed providing care to an amazing community of people that became my extended family. My dedication to patient care as an intensivist and pulmonologist was rigorous yet so fulfilling spiritually.
As the script of life's pages turned, my husband (Dr. Luis M. Espinoza-Orthopedic Surgery, specializing in Sports Medicine) and I now find ourselves partnering together to begin a journey of true healing.
The past year has revealed an opportunity for me to begin a clinic focused on Pulmonary Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. As Luis and I focus on the mission of this clinic, we are rapidly realizing that every patient has an opportunity for lifestyle interventions through knowledge and personalized patient care.
My frustrations in seeing the suffering of too many patients on the brink of death-struggling through preventable diagnoses in the ICU was met with the realization that there has to be a better way. My journey over the past few years resulted in a shift in my practice to a more open and mindful format. I have always embraced and thrived in engaging patients to realize their own power to transform their lives. This has accelerated my own study in eastern medicine practices, meditation, yoga, nutrition, and has enabled me to be my own case study in a way. The passion I feel for healing has blossomed into every aspect of my life.
In October of 2018, I was amongst 219 physicians and 93 PhD/Masters-level health clinicians and bachelor-level registered nurses who, as part of only the second cohort of medical professionals in the U.S. and the 5th cohort globally, became certified as Diplomates of the ABLM/American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine.
Lifestyle Medicine, defined by the ACLM, is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substance abuse and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse chronic disease.
The American Association of Colleges of Medicine has recognized the Lifestyle Medicine physician as one of the top five emerging careers in medicine today.
"Gone are the days of diagnosing the ill, prescribing the pill and sending the bill, which has worked so well in combating communicable disease, but is hopelessly inadequate in the fight against chronic disease," said ABLM Executive Director Stephan Herzog. "Nourishment, movement, resilience and social connectedness are becoming the focal point of physicians and health professionals in addressing the underlying causes of chronic disease, with increasing numbers of medical schools starting to train their students in the principles of lifestyle medicine."
I look forward to the opportunity of continued service in Southeast Louisiana and am confident that we will all realize our unique role as we work together as ONE to bring forth a healthier community.