Dedicated and compassionate, Millennium Physician Group Family Medicine Physician Karen de Souza Ferreira Hunt, M.D., helps her patients live their best lives by always bringing her best to the (exam) table.
“I want to be the best doctor I can be for my patients,” says Dr. Karen (as her patients call her). “I have a responsibility to my patients to make them the best version of themselves, and that means giving them the best version of me.”
That best version of Dr. Karen means listening to what her patients have to say, interpreting their concerns, and coming up with plans and approaches that are within their reach. She says this means not just changing their diet and exercise but changing their mindsets.
“Only after that fails do I prescribe the appropriate medications for them to reach their goals,” she explains. “I try to veer away from prescribing medications as a first approach.”
She also believes that when your mind is at ease, so is your body, and if it isn’t, that can sometimes slow the process. Explaining that music helps her deal with her own stressors, Dr. Karen recently swapped her stethoscope for a microphone and wrote, recorded, and released an original song called ‘Let Life In’. She says she wasn’t looking to change the world, just to fill some of her free time during quarantine and relieve some stress. Dr. Karen’s not planning to ditch medicine for music, but says she realizes how important the connection between creative expression and wellness is.
“If there’s something that’s a stress reliever for you, makes you release endorphins because it makes you happy, the happier you are, the better you feel, the less pain you feel.”
Several scientific studies have found that happier people tend to be healthier. In fact, researchers have found that higher well-being (happiness) is specifically connected to better general health, less pain, and fewer chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
In addition to recognizing the power of the mind-body connection, Dr. Karen says educating her patients is an important factor in achieving success. She says she’s here to guide them and teach them how to change certain bad habits they may have fallen into and help make them the healthiest they can be.
“I like to educate my patients and explain conditions to them, so they understand where their lab values come from or where their problems are arising from,” she says. “If we identify what is in the way of your health journey’s success, we can fix the problem. Whether it’s mental health, cardiovascular health, or other physical ailments, if you talk, I’ll listen, and we will figure things out together.”