I came over from the Philippines in the late 90's to finish medical school by visiting some of the best places for medical training (Cook County Hospital, Northwestern University Hospital, Harvard....). I completed my first year of training as a transitional resident, prepping for a orthopedic surgery residency. My last few rotations were general surgery and open heart surgery....I felt it wasn't for me so decided to switch fields at the last minute and during the 90's Family Medicine was not popular (as it is usually the most hours for the smallest reimbursement-not great when you have medical school loans to payback) so I signed up with this program that was looking for people to fill empty slots at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park Illinois. I didn't know much about the primary care field but my intention was to work for a year so I could get to Chicago and look for a "real residency". I fell in love with the concept of Family Medicine and being able to deliver babies, take care of parents, and watch over the elderly. After graduation I wanted more experience so decided on an extra year of fellowship training-I was one of the few residents in the US to match with a Sports Medicine program in Chicago. Awesome experience and finishing I was hired to open a sports medicine clinic with Central Dupage Hospital. I developed a dedicated following in the Wheaton area, became team doc for Benedictine University and even went to UCLA for Medical Acupuncture to help patients get better from disease and injury. In 2005 the Administration for CDH changed and I didn't like how they undervalued primary care doctors so I left to find myself. Flew to Florida to just be a Dad and give up medicine but then started my new way of thinking. I worked with an herbalist/aromatherapist at the Clermont Herb Shoppe and learned about natural healing/supplements. I also found my way back to medicine when Cirque du Soleil La Nouba called me to be a house physician for them. Then University of Central Florida called to be one of their team physicians. I felt even if a hospital told me I wasn't making money for them, my patients told me I was making a difference and changing lives. I flew back to Chicago to try fitting in again and worked in several Immediate Care/Occupational Medicine centers while building up my practice again in Arlington Heights. I then received a letter from Andrew Weil to consider a 2 year fellowship in Integrative Medicine! I remember this guy with a white beard offering a fellowship in the late 90's but I was more interested in sports medicine. The curriculum and experience with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine was life changing! I was on such a high with natural healing that I enrolled in Deepak Chopra's Yoga Teacher Training to learn about Ayurveda (India's ancient healing tradition). It was so exciting to be practicing regular medicine but also empowering patients with maximizing on "natural healing" using exercise/nutrition/relaxation practice. To my surprise (10 years to the day I left medical practice because a large corporation essentially told me my practice was not important) Advocate Sherman Hospital called me to take over a local medical practice and spearhead the development of an Integrative Medical Clinic, the first of it's kind for Advocate Medical Group! I have also been asked to teach students at University of Illinois College of Medicine. (what a privilege)In yoga we are taught that all paths in life lead to an ultimate goal of giving back to the universe. I feel in my heart that my calling is to serve others and help design change. I don't just give a prescription to care for a symptom; I listen to the stories my patients tell me and try to see where they are in life-then I empower with teaching and education (see my videos "DrRic Tutorial's on youtube) to attain the best chances of healthy sustainable lifestyle change. Thank you for trusting in me and giving me a chance.
I have dedicated my life to understand the human mind/body/spirit. I utilize evidence based medicine to increase the chances for my patients to make sustainable healthy change. I do not believe one treatment plan fits all and thus my practice is based on designing individual plan. The human body is dynamic and change always occurs, this is why I will always watch over and reassess and redesign when the time comes.