Hi everyone Dr Cris here and I’d love to share with you a little bit about my story, and how I became Dr Cris sitting in front of you today.
A lot of people don’t realise that I was born in Portugal, I have Portuguese parents and we emigrated when I was 5. So although I have blonde hair and I don’t know Portuguese, I’m definitely Portuguese. I do speak Portuguese although very badly, I have an Aussie accent now, which my family laugh at of course and then I obviously went through standard school here in Australia. On the Gold Coast is where I grew up, I went to Uni at Griffith University and studied my first degree which was biomedical science. I got into that because I really wanted to help people. I realised that I love science, I always excelled in the science subjects at school, and I realised I had that analytical mind, so I really loved studying about everything to do with the human body so I did biomedical science first.
Along the way I had some real health challenges, I suffered a lot with chronic fatigue, I felt terrible most of the time, I felt very tired, bloated, I had doctors even tell me that I might have been depressed. Looking back on it I realised that my health really was quite terrible and I don’t know how I got through, but somehow you scrape through and you pull through that time, and I learnt along the way things that I could do to help myself. I become a personal trainer, and I learnt all about nutrition, and health coaching, and how to help other people do what I was doing and basically helping to heal myself. I then finished my biomedical science degree and finished up with personal training realising that I couldn’t do both, and worked in a lab and I was doing cancer research, so I was researching about breast and bowel cancer.
Realising that I loved working with people and I love that one-on-one interaction I decided to do medicine. Fortunately back on the Gold Coast, (at this time I was in Melbourne I was doing cancer research in Melbourne) back on the Gold Coast Griffith Uni had started a medical degree. So I went through as the first that went through and did a total of 8 years of study at the University to become a doctor and so as a freshman, my first year out I started at the Gold Coast Hospital. I became a kids doctor which I loved, but I hated seeing kids sick, absolutely hated it, I realised it wasn’t for me it was pulling on the heart strings and decided to be a GP. I became a GP, it took me 4 years and along the way of becoming a GP I once again had a couple of health challenges and I dug deep and I looked at what I knew about medicine, and I realised that it was very much a lot of it is very band-aid approach, it’s very reactionary, so it’s not often preventative, if it’s not often looking at why someone got to the way they were, and that’s when I discovered an integrated physician.
My husband recommended that I go and see an integrated physician, I had never heard of one before. My husband is a physio and he was treating one as a patient, so I decided that’s what I needed to do I needed to go and see an integrated physician. I was very sceptical initially, I thought this can’t be real medicine, it has to be witch doctorie, but I found some real help. Within six months I was back to my old self, I was no longer chronic fatigue, I no longer struggled to lose weight, I know longer felt tired, bloated, stressed and I no longer looked tired and I realised then there must be something more to this. So I studied integrative medicine over the next four years and decided to come and join this clinic where I work now, The Medical Sanctuary, and become an integrated physician myself. I’ve been practicing this way now for two and a half years and I love it, and I wouldn’t change a thing. What I love most is being able to help people, just like me, recover the health that they never had, or recover the health that they used to have but no longer do.
That’s a little about my story and what has got me to this point today and look forward to going along the journey with you in the future.
Holistic Medical Doctor, Author ‘Healthy Habits, 52 Ways to Better Health‘