Hi Dr. Hickson! Thanks so much for chatting with me today. First, what brought you to the Center?
Dr. Hickson: Hello Elizabeth. Thank you for asking the question. I was brought to the clinic by a series of fortunate and unfortunate events.
My journey started with several life events that led me to pursuing a career in health and medicine. Part of that goal was to improve the health of and protect the health of my mother and various communities. Unfortunately, shortly after obtaining a career milestone in graduating medical school, my mother passed away from Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. This left me feeling helpless and in need for developing a deeper understanding and approach to the medicine I had studied. I decided to that I needed to take a break and re-evaluate my approach to medicine.
During my time off and through my search I was able to rediscover the essence of medicine that originally inspired me by originally trying to shadow at the clinic to broaden my clinical understanding.
It was through sheer luck that I was directed to the Center for Integrative Medicine and explore various healing modalities implemented that allowed people with other types of cancers and chronic conditions live fuller lives. This re-ignited my passion for helping others through medicine as well as helping others enjoys life with loved ones from a medical approach.
LG: Wait, so you were supposed to only stay a year? What kept you here?
JH: Realizing the unique opportunity to work in a truly professionally supportive environment, with patients that also challenge and nourish me, was something that pulled me into stay longer.
What inspires you about integrative medicine’s approach?
It’s the type of medicine I thought medical school and residency would teach me, but didn’t.
True healing takes a multifactorial approach, just like the development of many illnesses. Developing tools to address each of those contributing factors through various modalities inspires me to practice medicine with a patient centered specific integrative approach.
EG: What is the ideal patient for you, in other words, why should a patient come to you as their physician at CIM?
JH: I’d like to think that I can work with any and all types of patients. I enjoy people of all ages and backgrounds, but I am developing a particular interest in those with connective tissue conditions and integrative therapies (nutrition, mistletoe, ozone) for different types of cancers. Overall, my goal is to help people understand their health problems and therapeutic options. So for me, everyone is an ideal patient.
EG: Something I’ve noticed is that you always have a smile on your face. What’s up with that? Are you just happy all the time?
JH: Definitely not happy all the time, but it helps to have great colleagues like you and everyone else around to keep me smiling.
EG: Aww, that’s very kind of you. Allegedly you have a life outside of 908 New Hampshire. What do you enjoy doing in your off time? How do you use integrative techniques in your own life?
JH: Haha. Funny question. Time outside of work. I’ve learned long time ago that my joy comes from helping others and enjoying life as it happens. You can usually find me bowling, at the movies, random walks or drives, or spending time with my girlfriend or loved ones. No matter what, I like to keep my spirit and soul nourished through social engagement.
I also like to let my nerd side come out with my non-integrative friends to see if they’ve heard of some the treatment modalities that I have the privilege of being exposed to.
EG: What’s next for you? Any specific interests going forward in IM or otherwise?
JH: I’d like to get certified in functional medicine and continue to garnish a deeper understanding of every health condition, to better help my future patients. Eventually I see myself as an integrative provider, a healthcare and medical consultant to other organizations and possibly be in a position to influence health policies to actually provide tested and affordable integrative services to all.
Throughout my journey I also hope to continue teaching medical students and eventually become an academic dean within a medical school. I’d like my career to be as fulfilling and diverse as integrative medicine has been to me so far.