The jig is up—I’m not Asian.
I was indoctrinated into this tradition of medicine by an amazing mentor, who thankfully never once said to me, “I better see some cherry blossoms and koi fish in your office someday.”
To model my studio after a faux-Asian “zen spa” would be a tad inauthentic; to cram it with Buddhist statues and bamboo could seem as patronizing and bizarre as my wearing a kimono to Genghis Cohen (a favorite local Chinese restaurant). I think my patients are more sophisticated than to expect that. It is much easier to fill my space with the things I love than to appropriate iconography as a way to establish professional legitimacy. I’m also not an M.D. and have no interest in pretending to be.
I find that patients—especially those who suffer from chronic conditions who have been to more than their share of serious and/or beige medical offices—need color, art and playfulness as part of a healing process. I set out to create a space for patients to relax, to let go, and to feel alive, a space that electrifies the pursuit of living, which I believe to be the true intention of medicine.