I’m Monique Tello M.D., and I’m based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I’m a primary care physician, medical school instructor, researcher, writer, and mother, all stimulating jobs that bring rich experiences. I feel very lucky, and very tired.
My main writing focus is healthy lifestyle, which includes nutrition and fitness, self-care, and finding balance. My book Healthy Habits for Your Heart was published in December 2018!
My kids are an 8 year old boy with autism (Babyboy) and a 7 year old girl (Babygirl). Hubby is Bob Socci, local sports broadcaster. Then there’s our spoiled rescue cats, Leo and Little Kitty, who are important family members as well.
You know when you’re on an airplane, and the flight attendant gives the pre-flight safety talk? He says: “If the oxygen masks come down, and you are traveling with children or others who need assistance, always place the oxygen mask on yourself first.” Why? Because if you’re going to be of any use to anyone, you need to be breathing.
It took most of my life to achieve some semblance of balance, and I’m happy to share my mistakes made and lessons learned. Lesson number one: you can’t do a good job taking care of others well until you take care of yourself.
Mental and physical health and wellness: These are my goals for my patients, students, children, and myself. I haven’t always been the model of either. It’s an ongoing process, and my life’s work.
No Advertisements, No Solicited Reviews
My academic medical institution does not accept pharmaceutical representatives nor marketing of any kind. In other words, no product pushing, no free samples, no shwag. This is because it is well-known (research-proven, in fact) that when doctors accept these things, they become less objective, and their prescribing habits change.
For this same reason, I do not accept advertising and do not feature solicited services nor products on my blog or website. If I offer an opinion or suggestion for a service or a product, it’s an honest and objective opinion and I don’t get anything for sharing it. Bonus: No annoying ads!
I love my job. I am privileged, honored really, to do what I do. People share the intimate details of their lives with me in the simple course of my day-to-day work, and I am in awe of this. I have great respect for their privacy. And while I am willing to share the details of my own life, this does not extend to the lives of any of those around me (at least, as of January 2015).
To my patients: I will never write about you, nor your specific case. For example, if I see someone in clinic who is very sick, and the case is challenging, and I want to share that, I think back to other similar cases. What are the salient, relevant features? It’s not going to be the specific case details, but rather, describing how this was challenging to me. Did the diagnosis elude me, was I not confident in my skills? I focus on emotions, and lessons learned. Any names, potentially identifying information, physical findings, specific imaging and/or lab results are omitted or altered.
If the real patient was an elderly woman with pneumonia, my essay will feature a young woman with pyelonephritis, and so on. I do this to comply with HIPAA regulations, as well as to be nice and ethical. Because, while it is true that I can be fired if a patient recognizes themselves on these pages, it’s more important to me that I never violate anyone’s trust.
To my family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, kids’ teachers, parents of my kids’ classmates, mailman, hairdresser, etc, etc: I have learned the hard way that any writing that directly alludes to a real person in my life had better be positive and complementary. Past blog posts of mine that have included venting have caused pain, and for that, I am deeply sorry. Those have been removed. (For the record, there were two.) If I have a beef with someone, I resolve to go to them, rather than to these pages. This blog will not be a place for personal vindication.
To my Employer: I very much enjoy working for you, and would like to keep doing so for a very long time. I am perfectly aware (and will make it very clear here now) that you do not review or pre-approve any of my writing. The title of this blog originally referred to the fact that I completed a fellowship in general internal medicine, and am a member of the general internal medicine unit at our hospital.
To the guy that tried to run me down as I crossed the road: On these pages, you’re toast. Obnoxious strangers will be subject to all manner of venting. Take heed!