A New Vision for Healthcare

Our current healthcare system focuses on the disease, rather than the person. A patient spends a few minutes with a doctor, and then they’re handed a stack of prescriptions that address their symptoms. What if we stopped to ask what was causing the problem in the first place? What if we took the time to look at the whole person and create a customized plan to help them live their happiest, healthiest life?

From Doctor to CEO

Dr. Robin Berzin recognizes that our current system is broken, and she is on a mission to design a new way of doing healthcare in our country. She made the transition from doctor to CEO to found Parsley Health, a revolutionary kind of service that integrates technology, nutrition, wellness, and prevention into innovative primary care.

Today, Robin joins me to share her shift from medicine to entrepreneurship, explaining the series of events that inspired her to create this new system of primary care. She describes her experience running a company as a new mom, navigating the challenges of launching new offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco during her pregnancy and pausing the second round of funding to deliver her son. I ask Robin about the principles of functional medicine, and she discusses Parsley Health’s commitment to the happiness and health of each patient as a whole person. Listen in for Robin’s insight on fertility and IVF—and learn how she is revolutionizing healthcare in the US.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #091

Some quotes from the episode 

  • “I had [my son] on a Tuesday, and I was on calls on a Friday—but I was home, and I was not in fundraising mode, and I was not out doing meetings, and I was not going into the office. I was both focused on enjoying these first couple incredible weeks of his life and also healing. At the same time, had this pressure breathing down my neck of completing the raise.”
  • “I can’t be me and do this without help.”
  • “I felt like I was losing my grip. I lost my confidence, and I lost my confidence in my ability to do it all in the face of these compounding new challenges.”
  • “So much of medicine today is very un-patient focused. We are focused on the disease in healthcare … much more than the person.”
  • “I was in LA, and I got a meeting with the head of healthcare for Disney … and I made my Uber stop off at an Auto Zone to pick up a power adaptor, so I could pump in the Uber on my way to this meeting.”
  • “In a world where 70% of disease today is chronic and lifestyle-driven, the truth is we’re living ourselves sick.”
  • “After every visit I was printing out three, four, five of these sheets with four prescriptions on it and frantically signing them all and handing these people a stack of prescriptions for drugs and referrals to specialists, yet their conditions were all driven by what they were eating, their lack of understanding of how to deal with mental health in a constructive way. I was like, ‘This is just criminal. I don’t want to do this. This is not what medicine should be.’”
  • “Our mission is to revolutionize primary care and to create a primary care system that helps people live their happiest, healthiest life.”
  • “Women drive 80% of healthcare spending in this country … [yet] fewer than 4% of CEOs in healthcare are women.”
  • “A lot of women are being sent down the IVF chute by well-meaning doctors who aren’t looking under the hood and asking the question, ‘Why can’t you get pregnant.’”
  • “In many situations, I don’t know what I’m doing. There’s no precedent for this, and yet I have to make a decision and press forward. I think some people have an appetite for that and the risk that it involves … and other people don’t. There’s no good or bad to that. More power to you if you’re like, ‘No thanks,’ because [entrepreneurship] is a 24/7 job.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROBIN BERZIN

Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health, the only primary medical care practice with a whole-body approach to long-term health. She completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and went on to a residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Robin is trained in functional medicine, and she serves as an advisor for digital technology with the Institute for Functional Medicine. She is also a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher, and Robin speaks regularly on the topic of reinventing healthcare at venues including Stanford Medicine X, Health 2.0, and Rock Health, among many others.


RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

EPISODE SPONSOR & SPECIAL OFFER

Thank you to the sponsor of this episode: Aeroflow Breastpumps. They are dedicated to making the hassle of getting your breast pump a little bit easier—actually, a lot easier! Head to www.aeroflowbreastpumps.com/startup to have them help you qualify for a free breast pump through insurance.

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