Q&A with Marcelle Pick, MSN, OB/GYN NP, Author, and Co-Founder of Women to Women in Yarmouth, Maine
Marcelle Pick is an NP and author of The Core Balance Diet and the recent best-selling book, Are You Tired and Wired? She has a BSN and a BA in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and an MS in nursing from Boston College-Harvard Medical School. Marcelle is a certified nurse practitioner in OB/GYN and pediatrics, hosts the weekly radio show, Core Balance for Women's Health on Hay House Radio, and writes a bi-monthly newsletter featured on the web site for Women to Women, www.womentowomen.com. Marcelle is also a regular contributor for The Huffington Post.
Q: Can you give our readers some insight into your background?
A: I was born in Australia, surrounded by Aboriginal cave drawings and crystal water. My father, a psychologist, wrote a book and we moved to the United States when I was 11 years old.
I knew early on I wanted to work in healthcare. It came down to medical school or nursing, and I decided to pursue the latter. Then, at the University of New Hampshire, I dropped out of the nursing program. It had been too rigid for me at the time and I became discouraged. I wanted to expand my philosophy, my foundation in life. I completed a BA in psychology and graduated in 1973.
Soon after, when I was skiing with a bunch of friends, the desire to make a difference in the world hit me like a flash. I wanted to make an impact in the healthcare field. I received my BSN in 1976 and became a nurse practitioner in 1980.
Q: Which specialty areas have you worked within nursing?
A: I've worked in family planning, community health and in a holistic health center. I've worked with battered and abused children and in a variety of different centers in New England.
I specialized in OB/GYN and pediatrics when becoming an NP to specifically work on mother/child healthcare. Overall, I've always wanted to give back and really change women's health.
Q: Speaking of influencing women's health, can you talk about your clinic, Women to Women?
A: I started Women to Women with another nurse practitioner, Annie Rafter, in 1983 and founded our current practice two years later. It was our vision that women would be part of the journey and solution to taking care of their health. We were heavily scrutinized for having an all-women clinic at the time, but Women to Women soon became one of the fastest growing practices. The clinic recently celebrated 25 years.
Q: What are the challenges of running your own facility?
A: Being a boss, staffing issues and sometimes wondering, "How do I do this?" It's a matter of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. Thankfully, we have a very good VP in my business, and I attend conferences four-to-five times a year to educate myself.
Q: You've written two well-received books, The Core Balance Diet and Are You Tired and Wired? Can you talk about that process?
A: I never anticipated writing books, though I became interested in having a voice while writing a newsletter. It took me one year to write my first book, The Core Balance Diet (2009), and nine months for the second, Are You Wired and Tired? (2011). People don't realize that you give up your life researching and writing during nights and weekends. It's pretty intense!
Q: You also have your own radio show, Core Balance for Women's Health on Hay House Radio. Are there any recurrent questions you get regarding women's health?
A: It depends on the theme of each broadcast, but topics have included thyroid issues, uterine bleeding, weight loss resistance, adrenal dysfunction, emotional issues, depression, and basically any women's issues.
Q: Are you currently involved with any projects? Are there any projects that you would like to be involved with?
A: I'm presently figuring out the content of my next book. Women to Women is also looking to open a new clinic in the South in 2012, complete with an organic vegetable garden and cooking classes. I plan to travel back and forth between facilities.
Q: What do you like most about working at Women to Women?
A: It is incredible work and I get to set my own hours (although people would probably tell you I still work too much!) I get to counsel, write and educate. There is nothing I dislike about my job.
Q: Do you feel that the role of nurse practitioners has changed over recent years?
A: Yes, nurse practitioners are more than an adjunct to the hierarchal system in medicine. We provide patient-focused care to those in dire need within the healthcare crisis.
Q: What do you feel is of the greatest concern to NPs today?
A: So many nurse practitioners are not taking care of themselves because they are too focused on patient care. It is just as important for us to take care of our own health.
Also, nurse practitioners are independent in practice, but some resistance exists. There is a hierarchal pecking order for some practitioners, but what is the battle? We are all just as important, though not equal.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: I've had some of the most amazing success stories. I love when patients call or write me and say I changed or helped save their lives. Through lifestyle changes and implementing the use of probiotics, multiple nutrients and digestive interventions, one of my patients went from being on 20 different medications to zero over the course of a year and a half.
Q: What words would you use to describe your job?
A: Creative and inspirational. As a nurse practitioner, so much is possible, and there is so much we can and need to do in healthcare.
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