In the time of a typical therapy session, Dr. Lisa Whitty shares her truths and enlightens listeners about what it means to be different, walk with that difference, and thrive both despite and because of that difference. For this Brooklyn-born wife, mother, and plastic and reconstructive surgeon, that difference is living with multiple sclerosis. She discusses how she relentlessly pushes through doubt, fear, and discomfort to pursue her purpose – to educate, empower, and elevate physicians and patients with her think tank, Chicks with MDs. Including the uncomfortable task of reaching out to strangers to get her first speaking engagements and taking risks while remaining true to herself and her service, Dr. Whitty imbeds actionable steps listeners can use today in intimate details about her life and work. Learn about her journey thus far with Chicks with MDs, her publications on both paranormal fiction and non-fiction on medical and social issues, standing firm within yourself even when you’re the only one who knows your true worth…until you enlighten others, and more with Dr. Lisa Whitty and host Kole Hansen.
On her purpose:
I started off my professional path in a multi-specialty group. I did that for 4 ½ years and it just was not feeding my soul. Within about a month of me leaving that practice and starting my own, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
I had to recover physically from the initial diagnosis. But it also forced me to look at my life and to determine whether or not I was really living in purpose and service. And that’s where the whole idea of Chicks with MDs came from…I really feel like I’m serving in the way that I always thought I should be when I started this path to medicine.
On why her service matters:
Chicks with MDs is a professional think tank to improve, educate, and elevate the lives of patients and physicians. And that means for me is that every intention and every action I take with this organization is to help not just the survival of all of us but to make our lives more enjoyable, more livable.
Educate people to make sure they get the best health plan so that not just their life is better but that their kids are better. That they can participate in their kids’ sports or they can spend time with their husband so that we’re not just all in a logjam to get to the next painful moment.
I realize that there’s no gain without risk. There will never be a time in anything that I do where I will not fear.
Everything that I have accomplished or gained is because I didn’t avoid fear or push it to the side. I just walked with it.
There will never come a time in your life when you won’t have fear or reluctance or doubt your own abilities, but just walk with it anyway.
I’m in the process of completing my first work of fiction* and it’s the scariest thing. These are stories that have been with me forever. I know them. I love them. But there’s a fear in revealing them to the public. Will they like it? Won’t they like it? It doesn’t really matter because it’s still my work.
*The book will available to the public later this year.
I did 9 years of surgical training and then I was in practice half of that time. I got sick and had to completely recreate my life. What I could’ve done was just stopped. For me, that would’ve been failure - stopping there and not figuring out how to continue to serve. Even when I was in my hospital bed with that initial diagnosis, the first thought [was] how can I continue to be of service?
Failure is going to be different for every person. For me, that failure is refusing to move past a roadblock, obstruction, pain, fear.
You have to face the weakness in yourself, walking with that fear. It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s that you have to figure [it] out. It’s something new that you have to learn about yourself or learn about the voids that you have in yourself. I think most of the time, the limitations are self-imposed. Once you get past that, then you can move to the next step.
Don’t be afraid to ask and get support. Get a business coach. Take a course. Recognize that there are things that you don’t know but that’s not out of your control. Utilize the tools that are at your disposal.
There’s a woman in New York. Her name is Marie Forleo. She has basically a business school for new entrepreneurs and it’s all online…It really helped me to see things from an executive perspective.
When you’re living your life through somebody else’s eyes, perspective, goals, dreams, it diminishes your energy and your spirit a little bit every day.
Find people who are supportive of your ideas. They can really provide truthful, critical feedback that you need to get to the next level.
And the other thing I would recommend is finding mentors that you can talk to who, once again, are objective and to not to be too afraid to reach out to people that you think are beyond you or too high up.
Listening to the customers that you have will bring you new ideas. There was a virtual society but they didn’t have a virtual link where you could conference. When I asked [for it], they created a link.
How can I stay true to who I am as a person - my personality, my intentions, my energy - and also continue to serve? So I use that platform (Chicks with MDs) not only to serve patients and also physicians, but I also use it to serve myself.
You have to be in control of the energy around you and you have to be in control of your own intentions because that determines how people respond to you.
My intention is to serve, to share, to educate. When I relay this information, it’s not coming across as a commercial. I’m not coming as a salesman, I’m giving you information and allowing you digest it. And then we’re going to discuss it. That goes a long way.
When you come to that table, you have to be well-informed because you are your advocate. Don’t back down simply because somebody says that’s not an option. If it’s not an option, then maybe that deal isn’t for you. Be your own advocate. Be your best representative and don’t waver from that. That means that I’ve done my research, I know my worth.
There is no issue with service and generating revenue. Wealth building and providing service do not have to be mutually exclusive.
When you’re transparent and you reveal your truth, you gain so much power and control over your own life. The analogy I use is when I give my diagnosis to somebody, that they take out a bottle of liquor and pour it out on my grave. It’s like I’ve said, “and my wake will be at 4 o’clock tomorrow.” But you can’t allow somebody else’s perceptions of you or anything determine how you regard those things or how you’re going to live your life.
On friends and business:
You don’t always have to support somebody financially with their endeavors, but you do have to support them in their goals and their aspirations, providing a wall of love and understanding and honor for their journey.
For posts and discussions on health, healthcare and other social issues, to ask a question or suggest a topic, to sign up or book her for speaking engagements, and for life inspiration, connect with Dr. Lisa Whitty at ChickswithMDs.com, and on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn @chickswithmds.
Learn more about Marie Forleo, her online training programs, educational videos, and more at marieforleo.com.
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