Physicians Leading by Example and Following Their Own Advice for Getting and Staying Healthy

In November 2010, Thu Tran, MD, Ob-Gyn at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and six other physicians decided to go beyond advising people on how to be healthy. They decided to lead by example and show them.

They formed a “boot camp,” meeting weekly with a trainer for cardiovascular and strength training exercises.

workoutdocsWhat began as a physical workout soon grew into a social and mental outlet for the busy group of physicians, moms and friends. The women followed each session with homemade healthy food and personal discussions.

“The essence of our boot camp has been the personal interactions that occur between the members along with the physical fitness activities,” Dr. Tran says.

Taking it Online

As the group grew, the members recognized that their breadth of knowledge and hunger to promote health went beyond their boot camp and social discussions.

“We realized that there is so much misleading health information out there,” Dr. Tran says. “We wanted to use our combined knowledge and expertise to help other women be healthy.”

In June 2013, they started a blog:

Featuring exercise and nutrition advice, a mental health section, a recipe log and other personal updates, the blog is a community resource. The online outlet, which includes contributions from dietitians, cardiologists and other medical experts, covers a broad range of health information and advice related to each member’s expertise.

“We pick topics that are relevant to people’s lives, so when people read the blog, they know more about everyday health issues,” Dr. Tran says. “We try and write in a way that you would address your family members or friends, so the reader feels a connection. When they feel that connection, they tend to listen to us better.”

Strength in Support

Since its start three and a half years ago, the boot camp has grown to more than 40 women, many of whom are physicians working at Shady Grove Adventist and Washington Adventist Hospitals.

In addition to working out and writing for the blog, the group members enjoy spending recreational time together.

“We have become the best sisters,” Dr. Tran says. “We used to pass by and say hello politely, and now it’s amazing how much we know about each other.”

Learning from her own experience, Dr. Tran encourages her patients to create a support network when trying to achieve goals.

“If you gather with your friends whose careers or personal lives have many things in common with you,” she says, “you never know how powerful your group can turn out.”