In part 3 of our Women’s Health & Wellness Series, I’d like to introduce you to one of the most supportive people in my life. Dr. Shawndra Parise has been my doctor for 5 years, and has been an invaluable resource and support system for me. When creating this series, I wanted to find out how a medical professional practices self care in her own life. And it just so happens I had the perfect person for that interview. Without further ado, I want to introduce you to Dr. Shawndra Parise. 

1) What led you to become a doctor? My sister had her first epileptic attack on her 3rd birthday and she passed out after the attack. My mother thought she had died and screamed “the baby is dead”…. This led to many specialists and medications and a change in our family dynamics. So I was interested in medicine, but did not think I would go into medicine until I met an Astronaut in College (I was majoring in Aero/Astro engineering) and she was an MD in space. Well that changed my course and I was dead set on doing this. Somehow my life led me away from space (but I still love it and learning about space in general) and I became a doctor.
2) What populations do you work with? I work for Kaiser Permanente, so I work with insured patients. I do see all ages from birth and onwards.
3) What are the most important pieces of information you would like to impart to your patients? I like to work with patients to come up with a plan that works for them. Everyone is different and has different needs. There are always options in medicine and I like working with patients to discover what health and medical options will make the most out of their lives.
4) How important is self care, and how do you practice it in your every day life? Self care is very important. I really try to leave my problems outside the patient room and give every patient my best. I do try to take care of myself with exercising at least 3-4 hours per week with the elipitical or walking my dog or going to bar method. I also love to cook and bake.
5) What helps you feel strong and like the best version of your self? Taking time away from stress and exercise. Sometimes (a lot of times) it is hard for me to stop thinking about my patients and it can interrupt my sleep or home life. I feel I am a better doctor and person, when I can take time away and then give myself completely to my work, when I am in the office.
6) Where can people connect with you online? If my patient is a Kaiser Permanente patient they can see my profile on My Doctor Online and email me through this portal.

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