BeYou sat down with Dr Tosin Sotubo who is a GP based in London and is also the creator of Mind Body Doctor. Her platform strives to demystify those too well-known health myths as well as educating us on what truly matters when it comes to our health.
Why did you become a GP?
I think it just started in school. It was more of an interest in science and a fascination behind the human body and how it works. And then obviously, I went on a couple of work experiences and I found that, "Wow, you can actually make a difference in people's lives." My interest in science, coupled with actually wanting to help people and make a difference is where my passion started and then just went from there.
What made you decide to launch Mind Body Doctor?
I think for me, I've always had a passion for wanting to spread health awareness and really kind of the basics of health and disease prevention. But when I started to work as a GP, I found it really frustrating just being inside the four walls of my consultation room. So I wanted to spread my knowledge a bit more and reach as many people as I could. And that's where the idea of Mind Body Doctor came about. I just wanted it to be a relaxed and chilled space where people can come and learn more about their health, which I think is really, really important. And to inspire people to take control of their health and their wellbeing.
Do you think there's enough diverse representation in the medical and wellness world?
There's definitely kind of a one size fits all approach in the wellness world at the moment, especially surrounding social media, which doesn't really reflect what we're talking about. We're talking about health and wellness, which affects literally everyone no matter shape, size, gender, colour. When you're seeing those people out front representing health and wellness looking a certain way and very similar to each other, it's difficult for a lot of people to relate. And that's one of the reasons I started Mind Body Doctor, I was looking on social media and I was thinking, "Okay, if I can't relate to these people, how are the majority of other people going to be able to relate to these people that are meant to be giving advice, trying to inspire people to look after their health?"
That was another one of my big driving forces and started Mind Body Doctor. I definitely think there's not enough diverse representation, but there's a lot of people out there doing some great stuff in that space. I think there are people, they just need to be brought more to the forefront.
Are there any particular health issues that you're most passionate about?
I seem to naturally talk more and go more towards women's health and mental health. I think women's health is a bit self-explanatory. Obviously I relate more to it, but I do think there's just so many stigmas and there's a lot of things that women as women, we don't know about our body. And I think it's just really important that we talk about it more.
Mental health, again, I guess for the obvious reason is that it's such a big health topic that affects so many people, whether it's someone personally or someone that's around you, you're affected by mental health in one way or another. And I think again, the more we talk about it, the more we can help ourselves and those around us.
Are there specific areas of women's health that you think more women need to know about?
I think periods are always a big one, but then there's so much relating to that. But I think as women, I think we just need to talk more about our journey as women and our health, because there's so much that as women we go through that's pretty much normal. But sometimes we don't know it's normal because we've never talked to anyone else about it. And there's so much that we go through that might be abnormal. And again, sometimes we ignore these things because then we just say, "Oh well, it's normal it's my hormones or it's X, Y and Z."
So I think the more that we talk about it amongst our friends, mums, daughters, sisters, the more we can get to know what might affect women's health or women's organs and when might be the time where we need to seek more help. So I think in general as women we just need to talk more. I would say pregnancy probably as well. And just issues relating to maternal health. It's a touchy subject, so I think people shy away from it. But I think it's a big one because the more we talk about it the more people will feel more comfortable about it as well.
Are there any top tips that you have for women to help manage their health?
Yeah, I would say as women we have to get to know our bodies. Just take, for example, your breasts. So getting to know what your breasts feel like, what they look like, having a feel of them, self examine yourself at least once a month. That way if there are any obvious changes, you're more likely to pick up on them. So I think that's, I guess a top tip. Just getting to know what's normal for you. Again, with your periods, our periods change every month, so it's not unusual to have different periods, but getting to know what is your normal so that when it comes really abnormal for you that you know maybe when you need to speak to someone
Do you think there are any myths around certain health issues that we need to get rid of?
I guess not exactly myths, but mental health. There's a lot of stigma around mental health even though it's getting better, but there's a lot that we need to get rid of around that. That's probably the one that sticks out to me the most. There's a lot of fertility myths as well. Not one in particular, but a lot of pre-assumptions people make about fertility and infertility and we need to get rid of all of those, but nothing, not one I can think of in particular because there's so many in my head.
Do you think male and female doctors have the same GP experience?
I think within the medical world, there definitely are more men at the top. So you see more male consultants in specialities. Being a GP is a little bit different in the fact that it used to be very male-dominated, but as of the past decade, women have taken over, which is great. So, you'll see more women as GPs, which is obviously really good. I wouldn't say my GP life, there's been too many stumbling blocks, but definitely coming up in training, you kind of do feel that you are always in competition with the guys with the same kind of training spots and going through that training cycle as a medic. But in the world of GP, I would say that it's not too bad compared to, I would say the general population and obviously, I guess different jobs, and more corporate jobs.
What advice would you give to your 14-year-old self?
I would say just whatever you want to do, just go for it. Always create a plan A, and have a plan B and a C to fall back on. And it doesn't matter if your route changes along the way, because that's just life, but always go for what you want to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring doctors or junior doctors?
I would say aspiring doctors, especially junior doctors, I would just say remember it's always okay to make mistakes. I think coming up as a doctor, you're expected to put 100% in and always get it right. But that's not really how we learn and that can be really difficult if you're always putting that pressure on yourself. It's okay to make mistakes. Learn from them, we're only human. And look after yourself as well.
Life, especially as a junior doctor, can be difficult at times. You have long hours but you have to remember, we're always trying to put our patients first, which is great, but we have to remember to put ourselves first and make time for the things and the people that make us happy as well as our job. We always have to look after ourselves as well and enjoy it because it's an amazing career. Just enjoy it and get to enjoy it along the way.
Thank you, Dr Tosin, for chatting to us about all things women's health and being a GP. If you would like to check out Dr Tosin's work you can find her on https://www.mindbodydoctor.co.uk/ as well as her Instagram @mindbodydoctor.
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