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WEEK 2: 52 STORIES OF INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN

Prescribing Hope: A GP’s Transformative Role in Weight Management

DR ANGELA KWONG’S STORY

WELCOME TO WEEK 2 of 52 Inspirational Stories of Women! The project is designed to recognize 52 inspiring Women, celebrating the everyday women who make a difference in our lives. 

WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?

Seated at a makeshift picnic table, I reflect on the early stages of my journey.

As a traditional GP, I grappled with a sense of limitation, mainly confined to the roles of ‘prescriber’ or ‘referrer.’ The surge in patients concerned about their weight intensified this dissatisfaction. I yearned for a multidisciplinary approach, a collaborative effort in patient care, rather than routine prescribing or referring. The pandemic ushered in a new era of telehealth, a shift embraced by many patients. The convenience was evident with online bookings, reminders, and enhanced accessibility for those in remote areas. It triggered a thought – could I change the system?

To enact change, I pursued SCOPE Certification with the World Obesity Federation, delving into the latest weight management information. Simultaneously, I mastered the technical aspects to create ENLIGHTEN ME, an online medically supervised weight loss program launched in November 2022. The focus: addressing the root cause during medical consultations and providing sustained support through weekly coaching.

The response surpassed expectations, propelling our team from one to six members in just 15 months. Word of mouth and organic referrals fueled our growth. Invitations to podcasts, GP seminars, and an online Menopause Summit followed, culminating in a pivotal moment – presenting at the WONCA Sydney World Conference.

The core lies in a sense of purpose. Empowering individuals to take control of their health, and equipped with skills for long-term weight maintenance, makes the exhaustive hours worthwhile.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

As a seasoned GP with a diverse practice encompassing women’s health, pediatrics, family planning, and preventive care, my focus on medically supervised weight loss has become paramount. Despite my long-standing dedication to general practice, it’s the potential impact of weight management that has ignited my passion in recent times.

Reflecting on my patients’ health journeys, I consistently find weight to be a central factor contributing to chronic diseases. Addressing weight concerns at an earlier stage holds the promise of preventing such conditions, reducing reliance on medications, and significantly enhancing overall quality of life.

Conversations with patients have revealed the profound struggles they face regarding their weight. Far from mere vanity, their motivations for weight loss stem from the daily challenges they encounter – from keeping up with their children to simple tasks like tying shoelaces. Moreover, the repercussions extend beyond physical limitations, impacting self-esteem, confidence, and interpersonal relationships.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

Having worked in weight management within the medical field, I’ve found it to be exceptionally gratifying despite occasional skepticism from a few colleagues who jest about my role as a ‘Weight Loss Doctor.’ Contrary to common belief, the satisfaction doesn’t merely stem from seeing numbers drop on the scale. Witnessing patients embrace advice and seamlessly integrate it into their lives is truly inspiring. Guiding individuals to adopt healthier habits until they become second nature, and fostering independence in their self-care journey, is profoundly fulfilling.

Furthermore, observing tangible improvements in patients’ measurements, blood results, and medication regimens serves as a continuous source of motivation and inspiration for me.

HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED?

It is the patients that keep me inspired to keep on doing what I’m doing. We have a private community where we share our wins together and it feels great to cheer one another on. Whether it’s a big win, such as being able to fit into their ‘goal dress’, or a weekly win, like using one our Nutritionist’s recipes to cook something at home, it always feels good to share

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Stay true to yourself and your vision.

If you believe that what you want to do will make a difference, then you must do it, no matter what it takes.

Ignore the naysayers. Just keep pushing through.

HOW DO YOU GET PAST SELF-DOUBT?

I am well aware of how I look and sound.  I am a young, female, Asian Doctor and that makes me a minority.

Sometimes, I admit that I do have feelings of self-doubt, particularly when I am expected to present to a room of my peers.  There is no masking who you are. You just have to do it anyway.

Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, and feed him for life!

Lao Tzu
WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF WOMEN?

I have always been inspired by women who have created a business or side gig out of necessity since becoming a Mother. My situation was a little different, but it does make me reflect on the way that we place pressure on our children to make fixed choices about what they want to do with their lives when they are quite young. “What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor? A nurse?”

What might be beneficial, and something that I plan to instill in my own daughter is “What change do you wish to create in the world?” I don’t believe that it’s occupation-specific.

With the right drive, mindset and determination, I believe that the future for women is incredibly bright, so long as we nurture their ability to dream, innovate and ultimately, create change.

walking group Melbourne for women

HOW CAN OTHERS FIND OUT MORE?

DR ANGELA KWONG INFORMATION: Website | Instagram

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    About the Author

    KARINA PAMAMULL

    A brilliant brunette, effortlessly juggling a plate of crispy fries in one hand while gracefully dancing to the rhythm of life with a glass of fine wine in the other.  I’m the ultimate dopamine hunter, always on the lookout for thrilling new experiences.

    I have worn many hats – a professional Dating Coach responsible for countless love stories, a seasoned General Manager, and the mastermind behind multiple events departments. I’ve successfully orchestrated over 500 events, each one a unique tapestry of connection and celebration. From conferences, and elegant soirées to heart-warming gatherings, each with its own unique story.  I am the successful author of a book called ’52 Stories of Kindness’ with more than 500 copies sold.

    All these fabulous experiences showed me the power of true connections and acts of kindness. They inspired me to create a space where women can uplift, support, and empower one another. WingWomanTribe – the home for women to find friends, connect, and grow with a tribe where they feel fully supported. #liveyourwishlist

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