While the prospective graduates of my medical school class were in the midst of selecting a specialty to pursue, a professor gave us a piece of advice. She said, “Select the area of medicine where you see the greatest injustice, and focus your efforts there.” For some members of my class this was pediatrics because of the number of children without access to healthcare and to give a voice to those who can’t yet speak. Others selected psychiatry because of the often forgotten plight of the mentally ill. Still others chose plastic surgery because of the unfair disparity in breast size in America and because they yearned to own a yacht that is much larger than their father’s very large yacht. I have my own ideas about what the greatest injustice in health care is. Mine is rooted in the belief that the most important factor in your overall health is what you choose to eat. Most people don’t know that food is this important, but it truly is. Also, most people (and this probably includes you) do not know which foods are good and which foods are bad. This speaks to the injustice we see. Americans are fat, chronically ill, and dying because of wrong information and lies. Who is putting out this wrong information, and what are the right and wrong foods to eat? I think you will be surprised by the answers. We will get there, just keep reading.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m Jimmy Westbrook, a board certified family medicine physician. I attended medical school at Florida State University College of Medicine, but originally I am from Seattle. Before getting my M.D., I spent 9 years as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. I have been writing recreationally all of my life to include serving as a film critic to a small newspaper in Key West, researching and writing an article on the Mediterranean Diet published in a semi-prestigious medical journal, and the primary author of my family’s R rated Christmas letter. Most notably, I am in the throws of writing a book on my style of healthy eating. It is co-authored by my good friend Dr. Jason Valadao. Jason also has a new book out and you can read up about him at his website, https://jasonvaladao.com/. I give medical talks in the arena of health, nutrition, longevity, diabetes, physician leadership, and various other medical subjects. I have a comedic, down to earth, and snarky tone to my writing that is not often found in the world of medicine, nutrition, and health. I have a dirty sailor’s mouth and sometimes this spills into my writing on this webpage. If you are offended by this, I apologize…for nothing.
Because I wasn’t always in medicine (did I mention that I spent the first 9 years of my post-college life as a Navy Pilot, see the above picture), I am able to better gauge what an intelligent but non-medical audience needs or wants to know about these subjects. I try to explain things in a way that makes people laugh, is easily understandable, and believable. On a personal level, I enjoy red wine, scotch, golf, watching football, cooking, and gambling. I love pop music, fantasy football, and am terrified of rats and clowns, also I overshare. Because I came to medicine later in life, I have the perspective of being able to speak in a relatable way without being condescending to the reader and without using a bunch of words that require a textbook to decipher. In medical school, I was frustrated by unnecessary medical terminology. For instance, why do doctors have to use the word “epistaxis” for nosebleed or “hematochezia” for bleeding from your butt? Why can’t we just call it a nosebleed or rectal bleeding? Then patients and doctors could be on the same page about what substance is coming out of which of the patient’s holes. I think doctors use this terminology to help us sound smarter than non-doctors. I will try to avoid using these types of words and explain things as if we are talking to very smart people who did not attend medical school, that’s you. This site does not have a political or ideological slant. And I promise that I won’t try to get you to go vegan, get a food scale, or buy any meal replacement shakes. I will try and get you to purchase my upcoming book for all of your friends, family, work related acquaintances, and Tinder hookups. Thanks again for visiting my site.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, nor the U.S. Government.