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Sheila Kilbane, MD is a board-certified pediatrician, who trained in integrative medicine with Andrew Weil, MD, and is a best-selling author. She uses the best of conventional and integrative medicine to identify and treat the root cause of children’s illnesses. Her goal is to help children reach optimal health so they can thrive.
Today’s Episode is brought to you by Doc2Doc Lending. Doc2Doc provides Match Day loans of up to $25,000 to fourth-year medical students and current residents. These loans are designed to help students cover personal expenses, such as moving costs, housing down payments, and living expenses before and during residency. With fixed interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and no prepayment penalties, Doc2Doc Match Day loans provide financial flexibility and allow students to focus on their exciting journey towards becoming a physician.
Doc2Doc was founded for doctors, by doctors. They understand the challenges and hard work involved in becoming a doctor, and they support doctors throughout their careers. Using their in-house lending platform, Doc2Doc considers the unique financial considerations of doctors that are not typically considered by traditional financial institutions. So, Don’t let financial stress hold you back from achieving your goals – Doc2Doc lending has you covered. Visit www.doc2doclending.com/mdcoaches to Learn more.
MD Coaches, LLC provides leadership and executive coaching for physicians by physicians to overcome burnout, transition throughout your career, develop as a leader or meet your individual goals. Remember, you are not in this alone. Reach out to us today!
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Using her seven-step process, along with natural and nutritional therapies, Dr. Kilbane helps significantly improve or resolve altogether, childhood illnesses such as colic, reflux, eczema, recurrent ear and sinus infections, asthma, allergies, constipation or loose stools, and other GI issues such as abdominal pain.
In addition to seeing individual patients at her private practice in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Kilbane gives educational lectures to parents and healthcare professionals around the globe and offers online education courses.
Best-selling Author: Healthy Kids Happy Moms – 7-Steps to Heal and Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses may be Purchase here: www.sheilakilbane.com/book and anywhere books are sold.
Dr. Kilbane’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: Follow your gut as much as you can.
Number 2: Get quiet. Yoga or meditation is great examples.
Number 3: Cultivate your relationships.
Number 4: Have a mentor.
Connect with Dr. Kilbane:
Notable quotes from Dr. Kilbane’s interview:
You can do this. Yes, you can do this.
I’m not somone who’s going to keep doing the same thing over and over if it’s not working.
So much of our education is coming from pharmaceutical reps.
We got to follow the money. And if you look at where the studies are coming from – that’s a large factor.
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Access the Show Transcript Here
Transcript[0:00] One of the things is I always did what my gut told me to do.
I was raised in a way that my parents really, they encouraged that by example.
It was not something we really talked about, but I had to practice with integrity.
And once I learned about gut health, I could not prescribe an antibiotic and not say anything, and not start to educate families.
Welcome to the Prescription for Success Podcast with your host, Dr. Randy Cook. [0:36] Music. [0:59] Hello, everyone, and welcome to Prescription for Success. I’m Dr. Randy Cook, your host for the podcast, which is a production of MD Coaches, providing leadership and executive coaching for physicians by physicians.
To overcome burnout, transition your career, develop as a leader, or whatever your goal might be, visit MDCoaches on the web at MyMDCoaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
And don’t forget that CME credit is available when you listen with us.
Just look for CMFI in the show notes to learn how.
My guest today is a pediatrician who did special training at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona because she recognized that the more traditional allopathy, practices were failing too many patients in the pediatric population.
She’s published a very successful book on that subject and I’m delighted that she could spend some time with me, So let’s hear my conversation with. Dr. Sheila Kilbane. [2:10] Dr. Sheila Kilbane what a what an honor it is to be able to speak to you today We don’t have a lot of pediatricians on the show And i’m delighted to have you so welcome to prescription for success, Well, I am super excited. Thank you so much for having me Well, I’m super excited to hear about your story, and we might get into why my interest was piqued when I knew we were going to be talking about integrative medicine.
But to get us started, as we usually do, I want to get you back into your formative years and tell us about your early interest in medicine and how you decided to get yourself into medical school.
Yeah, so it’s funny as I was, you know, the way that I was introduced to this podcast was through my friend Dale Waxman, and who you know quite well.
And he and I, he was asking me a bunch of questions about, you know, that path, and I hadn’t thought about it in a while.
And I, it was really fun thinking through it and talking about it again.
So I was, I’m originally from Ohio, and I am the youngest of five. [3:20] And as a kid, I was a tomboy. I was fishing and running around and playing football, and I was cutting open anything I could get my hands on.
And we would go fishing, I would catch frogs. And I knew, I always was telling my parents that I wanted to be a physician. And I would always say I wanted to be a brain surgeon.
And it was really lovely because my dad, like he would be the one to take us fishing.
And we would scale these little perch, right? We’d go catch a hundred perch in Lake Erie, and he would give us the fork, we would scale them, then he would fillet them, and then he would hand them back to me so that I could poke out their eyeballs, and do whatever I wanted to do.
So it was, I always think about that.
I’ve told him many times. [4:12] Right? It’s a little weird as a little kid, but he never made me feel odd or they always fostered what I was doing. I think I was super lucky in that regard.
Dr. Darrell Bock Yeah, I’ll say. Were there any medical types in your family? [4:29] Dr. Mildred Nelson No, nobody. It was even from an early age, I have a couple of funny stories.
People would come to me to take out, like my dad, if he had a sliver, I would take it out.
Really? Whatever, yeah, even as a little kid. I was probably in about ninth grade.
We had moved out, I was born outside of Cleveland and then we moved out to this tiny, tiny town in Ohio and my mother taught, she’s taught special needs and one of her students had the back of her earring got stuck in her ear lobe.
So she brought her home for me to do it And I didn’t think anything of it.
I just got ice cubes, numbed her ear up, threaded a needle, sterilized the needle, put it into the back of her hole, right, and pulled out the back of her earring.
And then put some polysporin on it. And we didn’t call her mother.
We just did it, and that was it. And then I can remember the first time I ever did that as a pediatrician, and it’s right, you’ve got to sign the consent form.
And have your sterile procedure. And it took four times longer in a pediatric office as it did in our living room.
And I just, so I always wanted to do that. [5:53] But when I went to college, I had a lot of fun in college. And as I like to say, I really lived in my 20s.
And I kind of started second guessing if I could do it.
So I took most of what I needed during undergrad. [6:12] And then I moved out to Seattle and I still needed to take physics and a few other things.
And I was living with my brother at the time and then I just got into a…
Anyway, I took physics at the University of Washington and it was where I just sort of said, okay, then I buckled down and started actually doing, you know, working harder.
And then I was out in Seattle for two years. And then when I decided to apply to medical school, I moved back to Ohio because there are seven medical schools in Ohio versus one medical school in Seattle for three states. And I have also a funny story. So much of, for me, it was this process of, you can do this. Yes, you can do this. And I says, at one point I was thinking about going to physical therapy school, which at that time it was harder to get into physical therapy school than it was the medical school.
And you remember that time, and I don’t know, maybe it still is, I don’t know.
I had met a group of students who had finished studying. [7:28] And we were all in this physics class together, and one of my good friends, Clary, we were driving down the highway, and I was still having a lot of fun.
I was working and I was taking some classes.
And she, I said to her, it was a Friday afternoon, and I said, oh, I’m going down to Portland tomorrow.
I’m going to talk to somebody in the physical therapy department.
And she looked at me, said, she, if you want to go to medical school, why are you going to talk to people in the physical therapy department?
It was one of those moments, I was like, she wanted me to go to a party that night with her.
So that was part of the reason, but it was also one of those things that I said, yo, you know, it made me just sit up and go, Yeah, you’re right. I need to just go for what I wanted to do. So there’s so many things in my journey that have been very non-traditional. And like I have so many of those along the way of getting into medical school. Well, that story, in fact, sort of, reminds me of a thought that I’ve had many, many times. And that is a great number of the, by far the finest physicians that I have ever known were people that kind of took a circuitous route to get where they are. [8:50] And in fact, I’ve often thought if I could go back and start all over again, I wouldn’t be in so much of a hurry.
But it sounds like it really paid off for you. I mean, you took your time, you knew ultimately exactly where you wanted to be.
You got yourself into medical school at Ohio State and what was that like?
You know now you’re about to fulfill your dreams. Did you feel like, wow I’m in in exactly the right place.
But finally or did you feel like whoa, this isn’t exactly what I had planned. What was the feeling at that point?
Yeah, when I you know, finally did get into medical school. I was over the moon happy I loved every minute of it, you know, the first two years for me were torture, right?
Yes sitting and studying. I loved my classmates, right?
How did the things you laugh about and that’s part of what I loved about medical school, too is it’s a group of really bright people.
They’re also really witty. [9:53] I mean, if you think back to some of the laughs you had over ridiculous things.
It’s a type of humor that just doesn’t exist anyplace else, right?
No, no, exactly. Right, in the cadaver lab at three o’clock in the morning.
So I have four kidneys. I’ve got a duplicate urinary system.
And of course, I remember that to tell everybody when it’s three o’clock in the morning in the anatomy lab and we’re crying, we’re laughing so hard.
So anyway, I loved it and then once we finally got into rotations, that I was just in my heaven.
And it’s interesting because I was sharing with you before we started that I listened to Dr. Greenwald’s episode that you did with him and he talks about how he wished he had taken a little bit of time.
He had wanted to take a trip, but his father really discouraged him.
I think he said he wanted to walk the Appalachian Trail. Right, yeah.
I’ve always looked back on that time, because what I always say is that I lived my 20s.
I didn’t go into this serious profession until I was 28 is when I started.
Sometimes I look back and I think, should I have done it sooner?
So I think in some extent we’re always, our human nature is the grass is always greener. [11:19] It took me, and I don’t talk about this often because it embarrasses me, but it took me three times applying to get in.
So there was, you know how they talk about the imposter syndrome in medicine?
I think that is something that I had for a while because I just thought everybody else is smarter than I am.
But I also had a professor at one point in time who had said, this was before medical school, and he said, Sheila, I took a class with him at Ashland University in Ohio, and he said, I just finished teaching at Duke Medical School for the past 10 years.
You’ve come to the right person.
Everybody thinks they have to study harder. Everybody thinks they can’t do it.
He’s like, you just decide how many, he said, you’re probably not gonna get in the first year you apply, but you just decide how many times you’re gonna apply, and just do it.
And that was what I did. And it was, so, so anyway, there’s that, right, that mixed bag, and I’ve always.
Done things a little bit in the not normal, you know, quote unquote normal way. [12:23] But I’m going to say, and I wonder if you have an opinion on this, by virtue of the fact that you were older when you got to medical school, I’m going to bet that you were probably a better student than many of your classmates by being emotionally more mature and had taken more time to think about what you wanted to do and all those kind of things that people don’t usually do when they’re that young. Did you have that feeling at all or did you even, did it even enter your head?
Especially when we were doing clinical rotations and I actually did because I thought I was going to do either surgery or gynecology. I did my peds rotation, it was my very first rotation in medical school. And I did it at the Cleveland Clinic. And it just happened to be where there was a spot and I was from there so I could visit my family. And it was my very first night on call and we were admitting a little boy. I think he was originally from Croatia and he cough, fever.
And we go and do the exam, we hadn’t seen any of it.
I think he’d had a chest x-ray already and things, but we hadn’t seen anything.
And we do the physical exam, right? I do it and then my upper level does it.
We go out and we’re in the nurse’s station, right? [13:46] It’s this dark, dim, it’s very quiet. And I look up and I said, how do I write, I felt a mass in his abdomen without saying that?
And he just looked at me and he said, you felt a mass in his belly? [13:58] I said, I was like, well, I think I did. I don’t know.
And he went back in and he said, you’re absolutely right. And this kid’s chest X-ray was a total whiteout. He had Wilms tumor.
And it was in that moment that I was like, I think this is what I should be doing because I’m good with, I’m super, you know how different people have like sensory, Like tags bother me.
My nervous system is very aware of everything around me and I’m a really good observer.
And I knew that I would be able to see things in kids that they weren’t able to tell me.
So anyway, that was my. Wow. That’s very perceptive.
It’s, and it’s part. Yeah. And very important.
It’s all, I think it’s part of how we all decide where we’re gonna go.
So you made the decision for pediatrics and you got that training at the Carolinas Medical Center.
And just a little bit about that experience before we move along.
Did you, once you got there and you were living the life of a pediatrician, did you feel like you had landed in the right spot. [15:14] Yeah, it was it was another I mean, I just I really get a permagrin when I talk about medical school and residency. I, Loved residency and it’s Carolina’s Medical Center at the time. It was very small program There were only seven of us. We were all women. We all got along, beautifully and There were no fellows or anything. So we did everything and, When you were in the PICU at night, you were on your own and you you know You could call the attendings for backup, but that’s a different level.
Been there, done that, you bet. Right, then if, right, yeah, yeah.
So I felt like we got really good training even for being this small program.
And I’m still great friends with all the women who I trained with.
And I’ve stayed, if you had told me I would be living in a small town in the South, I joke, it’s the big, small town, I would have never believed it, but I love it here.
The people are amazing, the weather is beautiful, and because I also, you know, I practice integrative medicine, which is, right, a little bit off the beaten track, it really helps that we’re a tight-knit pediatric community.
So the pediatricians know me, you know, at least many of them are very open to it. [16:33] Today’s episode is brought to you by Doc-to-Doc Lending. Doc-to-Doc provides match day loans of up to 25,000 to fourth-year medical students and current residents.
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Doc2Doc was founded for doctors by doctors. They understand the challenges and hard work involved in becoming a doctor, and they support doctors throughout their careers.
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So don’t let financial stress hold you back from achieving your goals.
Doc-to-Doc Lending has you covered. Visit www.doctodoclending.com to learn more. [17:51] Hi, I’m Rhonda Crowe, founder and CEO for MD Coaches. Here on Rx for Success, we interview a lot of great medical professionals on how they grew their careers, how they overcame challenges, and how they handle day-to-day work. I really hope you’re getting a lot of great information.
But if you’re looking for an answer to a specific problem, management or administration challenge, or if you’re feeling just a bit burnt out, like maybe you chose the wrong career, Well, then there’s a faster way to get the help you need.
No, it’s not counseling. It’s coaching.
Rx for Success is produced by MD Coaches, a team of physicians who have been where you are.
I know you’re used to going it alone, but you don’t have to.
Get the support you need today.
Visit us at mymdcoaches.com to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Again, that’s MyMDCoaches.com, because you’re not in this alone. [18:53] Dr. Darrell Bock We’ll get back to our interview in just a moment, but right now I want to tell you a little bit about Physician Outlook.
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And now let’s get back to today’s interview. [20:03] Well, let’s talk a little bit about how you got there. I mean, it sounds like residency was a pretty good experience, but I also get the impression that once you were in private practice, there was a feeling of, this is not exactly what I expected, or we are not doing something right, because you made a significant pivot at that point.
So just take the story from there.
Yeah, so I was shortly out of residency. You know, right, I’m running from room to room prescribing antibiotics, steroids, antacids to two-month-old babies.
Yeah. And I’m like, this isn’t working.
These kids are, it’s the same kids back in the office every month.
I was pretty unhappy, so I made it up to that point.
But I started to get pretty miserable. And it was the unhappiness because of what seemed like the futility of what you were doing or, well, you tell me.
Where did that come from? That’s a good question. [21:01] I think it was partially the futility, but I think it was also my nervous system did not operate well in a, right?
You’ve got three, you’re seeing a patient, you don’t have enough time for that patient.
You’ve got three or four patients in rooms waiting for you. it was just that constant treadmill.
And right then you might have a kid who’s getting a nebulizer treatment and you’ve got to go back in and see them.
It’s the same old story. You can maybe go to the bathroom, probably you won’t have time to eat.
And I was just like, well, this does not, this is not working.
It’s much more reactive in that situation than deliberate, don’t you think?
Absolutely. And so it was during this time that I started to realize that I could order allergy panels, environmental allergy panels or food allergy panels in the office.
And it was also when I would just listen to moms. Like I remember a mom saying, I write about this in the book. [22:06] She said, you know, he had recurrent ear infections and eczema.
She said, you know, I took dairy out of my, she was breastfeeding, I took dairy out of my diet and his eczema improved.
He was still getting the ear infections, but the eczema hadn’t gone away.
So I’m like, well, I don’t know why that is, but keep the dairy out.
And I laugh now because I really had no, none of what I do today was even on my radar.
And then I would call my friends who were naturopathic doctors and they studied nutrition in depth and how it, you know, how our bodies, what food is right for our bodies.
And so when the child turned one, because somehow in medicine we think that magically if a child doesn’t tolerate dairy when they’re young, that they hit a year of age and they’re going to be fine with it.
And that never made sense to me. So then I would start figuring out, okay, how are we going to get fat, calcium and vitamin and D into this child.
So then it just, you know, I kept reading because I am just not somebody who’s gonna keep doing the same thing over and over if it doesn’t seem like it’s working.
So it was that combo of listening and then I really started reading.
And I had had one of my mentors when I was in residency was Dr. Russ Greenfield, who had trained with Andrew Weil through the University of Arizona in the integrative medicine program.
And Russ was saying, telling me for three years, He’s like, she, you need to do the integrative medicine program. [23:34] And I had been reading, and at that point in time, I was recommending kids go off of dairy if they had eczema and recurring ear infections and constipation, and I thought I was doing as much as was known to do.
And then I finally went and did the fellowship, and I was like, oh my gosh, there’s a whole field of research behind this.
Let’s talk a minute about that decision, if you will, and I really want to get into this, your experience at the Weill Institute, but was that not a bit of a big deal for you?
I mean, you were probably financially sound for the first time in your life by virtue the fact that you are actually earning more than a living wage.
And yet, you’re beginning to talk about just stepping away from that to go do more training.
Was that, or did that even enter your head? [24:31] Oh, yes. You’re right. I mean, I’ll never forget my first paycheck out of residency.
You know, my girlfriends and I were all calling each other, like, oh my God, I went on the shopping spree and I spent a bunch of money, took everything all back a week later. [24:48] I could, I was like, I’m going to do this because I can. I also remember when I made the decision to quit my job because, and I didn’t tell many people because I knew what I was going to do and I didn’t want to hear anybody’s input except for the people I knew would be supportive.
Sure. And I can remember calling my brother. Good strategy.
Right. I called my brother Tom and I said, you know, if I stayed for another two months, I could get my bonus check.
And he’s like, Sheila, there is gonna be a bonus check around the corner always.
You’re gonna do it, you know, just do it.
And I still didn’t know when I’d get the guts up. And I just, it was a rainy day at the clinic and I called the practice manager who’s at a different location.
I said, can you meet me at Caribou Coffee?
And I told her and my goal was to leave with them telling me I could come back if I wanted to.
Yeah. And they did, and it was, we parted in good stead. But I had also been working with my financial planner.
This has been in my mind for a while. So I had been putting away all of my bonus checks.
And so I was prepared in that way. And then what I did is I took a locum attendance position. [26:10] And I was, which I loved because that allowed me, right? I could work for a month.
I could, I went to India that at that time I went to Russia.
I did all kinds of fun stuff during that time is when I started the fellowship and most, it’s a little bit, it’s less traditional than, you know, say a pulmonology fellowship.
So it was, it was two years. It was all online except for two weeks we would go there in person so you can continue to work while you’re doing it.
And then you just study. Hey, that’s pretty cool.
Yeah, it was. So you didn’t have to pick up and move to Arizona.
No, but Dr. Greenfield did. Like the first, I don’t know how many years of classes, they physically went there, but they changed it, I think, because it was so hard for people. [26:56] But it was also, it was $30,000 at the time, which coming out of medical school and residency to add that onto things. that’s another factor, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
And I had been eating as healthy as I could, and I’ve always been physically active, and it got to the point where I had to treat my patients in a way that I knew, that felt, I had integrity, and I was reading about gut health.
And so I, like, even in the, when I was doing locum tenens, I literally would carry a little bag on my arm with handouts in it.
So if I had to put a child on an antibiotic, I was giving them a handout on how to take a probiotic with it.
And it was, and we’d laugh. One of the, I played. You were ahead of your time.
You know that, I guess.
Well, I don’t know about that. I just was doing what, you know, how you, it was just stumbling into all of this. [27:59] I ended up doing locums at the same practice for two years. they were wonderful.
And one of the families who I’d seen had a question, I call in and the nurse said.
Which doctor did you see? And they said, the lady with the bag.
And so then, of course they got me. The bag lady. [28:20] They got me like a little, you know, like a little lunch bag that said the bag lady.
I was like, so it was me.
And that’s one of the things, you know, you said we’ll talk about sort of my prescription for success at the end.
And one of the things is I always did what my gut told me to do.
Well, not always, I’m sure there were times I didn’t, but I was raised in a way that my parents really, they encouraged that by example.
It was not something we really talked about, but I had to practice with integrity.
And once I learned about gut health, I could not prescribe an antibiotic and not say anything and not start to educate families.
Well, I’m gonna give you an opportunity Because whether we like to admit it or not, there are a great many practitioners among us that don’t really understand what it actually means to practice integrative medicine.
And does it mean that you’re way over here doing something that nobody else on the planet is doing?
Or how does it fit into the general scheme of things in ordinary and unexpected practices and procedures.
So give us, if you can, your elevator talk on just exactly what it means to be a practitioner of integrative medicine. [29:47] Yes, I love this question. The first way I always describe it is it’s the best of conventional medicine and then more natural and nutritional therapies.
So there’s a field of integrative medicine and functional medicine and they have a lot of overlaps, a little bit, you know, slightly different training.
But the bottom line is we’re looking at what is the most natural way for the body to heal. [30:12] And how do we help the patient with the least invasive method, right? And if our oath is to do no harm, if I’m talking to a family and, you know, constipation is a good example. If I can help your constipation with magnesium or with taking dairy out of your diet, because the studies show upwards of 65% of kids who are constipated, if you pull dairy from their diet, the constipation’s going to resolve.
By pulling dairy for three to four weeks to see if that helps, versus adding in MiraLAX or a laxative, that’s just one of the really simple examples.
And what happened is I started to realize, right, so much of our education is coming from pharmaceutical reps.
Once we’re out of residency and once we’re in resident, I mean during our training, right?
Medical school is learning about medications and we get almost no nutrition training in medical school. [31:21] And it’s starting to change a little bit. So I had no idea, right, all the stuff that I’ve read about dairy now, and I have a whole chapter in my book on dairy, and I had written way more than just a chapter, but I had to cut it back. We want to look at, and again, there’s no one perfect nutrition for everyone, but it’s recognizing how profoundly nutrition impacts our bodies, how profoundly stress impacts our bodies, and being able to talk with a family about the things.
With integrative medicine, it takes longer, right, because you’ve got to do the education.
And that was … So necessity is the mother of invention.
I had all of these handouts that I had created, which ultimately I used a lot of those when when I was compiling my book, because you have a lot of these things over the years, and then putting it together in a more organized fashion. [32:25] Because we just don’t get that training, and families are really looking for this now, and I think so many physicians are eating this way and treating themselves and their families this way now, and it’s just how do you translate that into patient care?
And that’s what you start to learn when you do the integrative or functional medicine training.
And do you not think that there is some substantial economic pressure to not do that? [32:53] You know, if you’re gonna charge for a level five visit, you gotta come up with something more than constipation, right? [33:00] And yet the time it takes to help the patient or the mom or whatever understand how you approach this is very time consuming.
Yes, and that was why I ultimately had to get out of the conventional model because I was there until six, seven, eight o’clock at night because I would have to go, you know, and I was learning this as I was going along.
I mean, I remember learning how to interpret food allergy testing and environmental allergy testing and what to do if I was going to keep the child off of dairy, what were they going to eat? [33:38] It was just a huge learning curve. And I remember my partners at the time were, they would say, you know, what’s that voodoo medicine you’re practicing, Sheila?
And you know, many years later, it was, Sheila, what’s the dose of those probiotics?
You know, the practice I have now, I’m outside of the insurance model because I could never do it otherwise. Dr. John Anderson Of course.
Dr. Sheila Kilbane And in the same breath, it’s very awkward because we don’t talk about money in medicine, right?
You see a patient, you treat them. Of course, if you are able to help somebody, you do it.
I still struggle with that.
I try to think of it, right? I pay my mechanic out of my pocket, right?
There’s so much that we expect to pay for. It’s just because we have health insurance.
We don’t ever expect to pay for healthcare. [34:37] Right, yeah, that’s a show that’s like a five-parter. If we’re gonna talk about medical economics in the United States, and probably no point and trying to solve that while we’re here. [34:51] No, but I could go on a soapbox on that. But I do wanna tell your listeners, for those of you who are interested, there is a great documentary called Escape Fires.
I believe it was two people who graduated from the Arizona, my same integrative medicine fellowship who created the film.
So the VA, ironically, has been at the forefront of integrative medicine.
Wow. And they go through case studies, like they have one soldier who’s in a wheelchair and he has a huge bag of medications and they show him going through acupuncture and doing meditation and deep breathing and he’s off of most of his meds and he walks out of the rehab facility.
It’s really powerful. I bet it is. And there’s a lot. I also would love people to go look up the Cleveland Clinic has a functional medicine department. And Mark Hyman has led the charge in that. And Jeffrey Bland, Mark Hyman, they started the field of what’s called functional medicine. And what they’re doing at the Cleveland clinic is they’re taking patients, and I believe they have like a four-year wait, if that tells you something. [36:09] Wow. That, you know, say you’re somebody who’s got inflammatory bowel disease, you can go and get, you write all the conventional care and all of the functional and integrative medicine care.
So they can talk to you about what the research shows about probiotics and inflammatory bowel disease? Is turmeric an option? Do we need to take fish oil? What do we need to take?
The research is exploding in the area of the gut microbiome, and it’s fascinating.
Dr. Darrell Bock That’s a good thing. I’m interested if you can tell me if there is a – well, I was about to say, is there a substantial difference between integrative medicine for adults versus pediatrics? Of course, there’s a difference, But I’m wondering if you can enlighten us a little bit about the special challenges with the pediatric patients. [37:09] Yes, that is a very astute question. So in the pediatric world, we spend a lot of our time talking about how are we going to get these supplements in this child.
What I always tell people from the get-go is the goal is not to put your child on a ton of supplements and leave them on them forever.
The goal is we’re going to do some testing.
We’re going to correct the imbalances using supplements, nutrition, and medications if needed, and then we’re going to retest and we’re going to pull those things.
As long as I’ve done my job and my team and I have done our job correctly, we’re going to be able to pull the topical steroids for the eczema and it’s not going to flare up again. [37:59] We’re going to be able to wean down the asthma medications. We’re going to be able to come off of the MiraLAX without the constipation coming back.
We’ve got to do things slowly, one, because I always say I treat supplements just like I treat medications. You can have reactions, good or bad.
So we start one supplement at a time, you know, for three to five days before starting the next one.
And then as we’re making nutrition changes, right, we can’t, if a child is a really picky eater and they’re not gaining weight appropriately, we cannot go pull a whole food group like dairy because probably half of what they eat is dairy and wheat. [38:37] So we have to, we have a health coach in our practice and she works with the families to figure out what is the child gonna eat if we’re gonna pull cheese and yogurt and all the yummy gooey stuff.
And so it’s, we’ve gotta do it slowly, but that’s also why I wrote my book.
My book goes through that process of how we do it because we have very few pediatricians trained in this field.
I wanted people to have, especially if other pediatricians are interested but maybe they haven’t studied it that much, they can say, hey, here is a board-certified pediatrician.
You can get her book and you can follow her recommendations and go that way.
Because in the adult world, like if they’re going to make nutrition changes, they may pull an adult off of the top three or four allergenic foods to really do a quick decrease of inflammation and then put the adult on all of these supplements all at once because the adult is going to know, they can feel and they can articulate what’s happening.
So it’s just a slower process in kids. [39:50] But kids respond beautifully. Yeah, I bet they do. Yeah, they just bounce back so quickly.
I’m wondering, when I think about all the things that you’re talking about and how the clues have been there for such a long time, you have to wonder why there hasn’t been more conversation about this subject already.
And I’d like to get your opinion on that. My inclination is to think that in many ways it’s entirely economic for reasons that you’ve talked about before.
Does that make sense to you? Oh yeah, so who’s going to, right, who’s gonna pay for the studies to show that pulling dairy relieves constipation, right?
There’s no pharmaceutical company lining up.
The dairy industry is definitely not gonna support that. who’s going to pay for the studies, right, to show that green leafy vegetables are going to increase your magnesium stores, right, is gonna, they’re gonna help your muscles and it’s gonna help your heart rate.
And we’ve gotta, right, follow the money.
And if you look at where the studies are coming from, that’s a huge factor. [41:09] I pretty quickly out of residency, I was asked to do some talks.
And when you go through, because I started doing this stuff before I saw the studies, and realizing, oh wow, we took dairy out of this child’s diet, or the mom did it.
And their constipation improved, their eczema improved, the ear infections lessened. [41:32] They were less irritable, they slept better, attention was better, they had transitions better. These are many patients over not always a single patient. Then I started realizing, oh wow, the study that I’m referring to for ear infections in dairy, that was from 1995.
Hmm, that was even before I trained. Why didn’t I ever hear of this study?
The, you know, the constipation study, I can’t remember off the top of my head, what year, you know, the one in particular that I often refer to, but these are just studies that were not talked about in journal club residency, you know, I’m, I’m going to have to think that if, if, if it’s true that you should always follow the money, as Mark felt, the deep throat guy said to, I can’t remember the reporter’s name back in the Watergate era, but, uh, you follow the money.
And I have to think if I owned an insurance company, I’d be funding some of this research. [42:32] Well, this is true. And that’s what, when you look at out West in this escape fires, you would love this documentary escape fires and they show Safeway is one of the grocery stores out West.
And they talk about how the health insurance for the employees of Safeway, they’re exercising.
You know, they get incentives to do all these different things.
And companies are starting to do this stuff.
And that’s what I’ve always thought is that if a company or health insurance would say, okay, come and teach our parents how to do this, that keeps the parents in work because their kids aren’t gonna be in the doctor’s offices.
But it’s also, I just have to go, like the part of what I wrote in the book too is Rethinking Dairy, Science versus Marketing. [43:30] The reason we think dairy is so important is from marketing.
It’s really when you comb through the scientific research, it is not supported in the science.
Dr. Darrell Bock Absolutely. Dr. Mildred Johnson Milk, nature’s most perfect food, right?
Dr. Mildred Johnson Right, exactly.
Well and that’s when you go on the American Academy of Pediatrics website and they have this, like their area where they talk about nutrition and how much milk it should get.
I mean, it says right on there that it’s paid by the Dairy Council, you know, the Dairy Council. Dr. Darrell Bock Surprise, surprise.
Yeah. Well, before we close out of here, I want to give you an opportunity, and I’m anxious for you to talk about some of the ways that you’re going about promoting your practice.
And one of them is what appears to me to be a superb book. I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy myself, but I’ve been able to see some excerpts.
But tell us a little bit about Healthy Kids, Happy Moms. [44:31] Yeah, so it’s Healthy Kids, Happy Moms, Seven Steps to Heal and Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses.
And it was once I realized how. [44:41] That concept of systemic inflammation and the way I always lay it out, you know, it’s my very simplified version is that we’ve got our five main triggers of inflammation.
Right, we’ve got our underlying genetics and it’s the way that these inflammatory triggers interact with our genetics that dictate our illnesses we may have.
So it’s food, environmental allergies, environmental toxins, infectious diseases, and stress.
Stress can be physical, it can be emotional, and stress can impact us as much as any of those other factors. [45:20] And so we are just very pragmatic. We go through and we test where we need to, you know, do good thorough history and decrease as best we can the triggers of inflammation in each of those areas.
So I just, I go like the first 10 chapters are cases and it’s the science.
I mean, almost every sentence in the book is footnoted because I also, I wanted pediatricians to read this and it’s tough because being like one of my, he’s a retired pediatrician and he’s always been, he didn’t get me at first and he thought I was crazy.
And he had started, Doc Smo is his name, Paul Smolin, he had started a podcast and so he would interview me.
We would spend hours on the phone late at night and I’d be telling him about dairy and yada, yada, yada. [46:16] And he listened and he was open, but he, it was probably five or six years later and he read the China study. And then he was like, I get it. You, you, you integrated people are always right, Sheila. And he’s like, you always feel like you have to prove yourselves. I’m like, well, of course, because people are, you know, you talk about pulling dairy and it’s right. The nectar of of the gods, and it goes against everything that we’re taught.
And so I had to be 100% confident that I could talk families through pulling dairy out of the child’s diet, and they were still going to have strong bones. And so that’s yeah. So that’s, that’s where we do it. So I have, I had the book, and the way I always talk about it is I have my book, which is a wonderful way to jump into this. And then I have an online course, which is a companion to the book. [47:14] I originally, the book was 120,000 pages, but Harper said, you can only make it 65,000 words or 120,000 words, excuse me. So I had to cut it down. That’s a library.
I know, right? Right? So that, the online course is just has more info.
And then I have the brick and mortar practice.
So it just depends on what a family needs.
And for 60, 70% of families with kids maybe just getting recurrent illnesses, like they get colds all the time from daycare or they’re getting recurrent ear infections, constipation, all of those you can really do DIY with my book.
And then if they need, if there’s more significant things going on and it’s just not resolving, then come and see me in our practice. Sure, and you really do have a splendid website. Where can we find that? [48:13] Thank you. It’s Sheila Kilbane dot com. She’s S-H-E-I-L-A-K-I-L-B-A-N-E. Pretty easy.
Easy. Dot com. Yeah.
Well, Sheila, I have really enjoyed this conversation. It is really gratifying to an old, worn-out surgeon like me to learn some things new. And this is so exciting. It really is.
At this point, I think what I’m going to do is get out of your way and give our audience an opportunity to experience what they came here for, and that is to hear you on your own.
So audience, this is Dr. Sheila Kilbane with her personal prescriptions for success.
Well, thank you, Dr. Cook. So one of the first things, and this is what I mentioned earlier, is that my prescription for success is follow your gut as much as you can, right?
And sometimes we veer away from it, and what I like to call it, it’s when we lose our shoes. [49:18] But when that happens, just getting back to that place where you’re able to listen to your intuition.
And that always means getting quiet.
And for me, when I started medical, or halfway through medical school, I started practicing yoga.
And that was an absolute game changer because it incorporated kind of that breath and the physical movement.
And it was a pretty, the yoga that I do is a pretty rigorously, it’s a physically rigorous practice. So I hate to say it, but it sort of kills two birds with one stone, is that it would clear my mind and work my body.
And then many years later, I started meditating and I meditate every day now.
And it’s, that is, if I don’t do that, I can feel a difference.
And it’s, the difference is in how I experience the world. And so I would highly encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it who hasn’t tried it to do whatever form of getting quiet.
And it might be walking, it might be running, it might be yoga, whatever it is, so that you have that time to let your brain clear.
And it’s also when we get our epiphanies and our great ideas, because you don’t get them when you’re sitting at a keyboard pounding away.
You get them when you walk away and take a break. [50:42] So that’s one, and always being physically active, getting outside, and cultivating our relationships.
That, to me, is always the most important thing in life, and keeping that our number one priority, and definitely having mentors.
I’ve had so many incredible mentors who have really guided me and stepped in when I needed it, and that has been priceless, and it is, you know, now looking, helping, raising up the next generation is super important.
Then I just have to tell you my other fun things that probably nobody listening would do, but every morning I do a cold plunge.
So there’s this guy Wim Hof who does the, like you do this breathing, and what I do is I do this breathing and then I meditate, and then I get into an ice bath, and it is a game changer.
You increase your dopamine levels significantly, and then it’s a sustain.
And then when you do it over time, it’s just I am a much calmer person. [51:43] So those are my, you know, in eating healthy. So those would be my prescriptions for success, life and medicine.
Well, there’s a lot of wisdom in there and I’m not at all surprised because your story is just full of wisdom and I appreciate you being here to share that with us.
Dr. Sheila Kilbane, this has been a lot of fun. Before we get away, I want to give you an opportunity to share whatever you want to share in terms of contact information, where to find the book, speaking engagements, or whatever you would like to share with our audience. [52:23] Yeah, so our website has a lot of info. And if you want to get a hold of me, info at SheilaKilbane.com.
It’s best that way, because then I will, I, I. [52:38] I don’t know, like many of you, I don’t love being on email all day long, but my team will make sure that I see it if it goes to that email address. And my book can be found anywhere books are sold, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. We have a lovely page on our website that we have all kinds of, downloads and supportive material. It’s just shelakilbane.com forward slash book.
And I do, I don’t have a specific page on the website, but I definitely do speaking engagements.
And interestingly, one of the dads in our practice works at the VA out in South Dakota, and we’re going to go there and speak in the fall. Anyway, you know, but I do lots of different, lots of speaking engagements.
Well, Dr. Sheila Kilbane, it’s been a lot of fun and very enlightening to have a conversation with you today.
So thank you so much for being with us on Prescription for Success.
Well, you are super kind and I very much appreciate what you’re doing to support our profession.
We definitely need it. [53:45] Thank you so much for listening today. We hope you’ll help us reach more listeners with your five-star rating and also visit our Patreon page for membership-only material like personal rapid-fire Q&A sessions with our guests.
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Clausen Solutions Group, who edits the show. And remember, be sure to fill your prescription for success with my next episode. [54:35] Music.