As the child of two first generation college graduates, I am very aware of the sacrifices made that have allowed me to become a doctor. My grandparents were truly selfless and often made sacrifices to see their children succeed, sometimes at their own expense. Often, the focus was keeping food on the table, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their back as opposed to their own personal healthcare and preventative screenings. Unfortunately three of my grandparents passed away of diseases that could have been managed if they did not have social barriers to medicine. As a medical professional, I have two profound responsibilities. The first is to be an effective clinician. It is my obligation to treat and heal patients to the best of my abilities, while cultivating and promoting prevention. The second, perhaps more important, is to go beyond the hospital walls and become an innovator in healthcare. I must identify roadblocks that may impede healthy practices, and provide sustainable solutions for these challenges. My hope is to distribute health knowledge and innovation down an information gradient to galvanize even the most vulnerable patients to confront the challenges against them.
Despite improvements in health distribution inequalities , African-American communities continue to be plagued with cardiovascular disease at an alarming rate. Some of the main contributors to the high burden of disease are the persistent and increasing degrees of limited access to healthy food, low socioeconomic status, and poor nutritional awareness. Unfortunately, my family, like many other African-American families, is no stranger to heart disease and a combination of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes has placed several of my loved ones at risk. My proximity to the disease in my family and in my medical training is what drives me and I am currently conducting a retrospective cohort study examining the effects of food insecurity and socio-economic status on heart failure. Additionally, my experiences in working with at-risk communities has encouraged me to create this unique platform.
The Doctor’s Orders is my attempt to advocate and promote healthy living. In my experience, I have found that people do truly enjoy healthy foods, however, they might not always know how to prepare these foods. By providing easy, simple, yet delicious recipes we hope to make preparing meals less difficult. While cooking, I love to focus on the chemistry of different flavors and experiment with different blends of spices. This helps to make nutrition exciting! Additionally, I love the visual depictions of colorful and enticing foods. I focus on making my foods with vivid and bright colors in order to make my plate as appealing as possible!
Thanks for joining our tribe and I hope that you learn something while you’re here 🙂
~Dr. Aubrey J. Grant MD