In this week’s episode, we have a conversation with Dr. Bobbi Kline, board-certified OB-GYN, genomic medicine expert, and intuitive guide who helps women understand their soul blueprint to create a life of health, purpose, fulfillment, and joy. Dr. Kline shares her story of a blessing in disguise that led her to find her soul blueprint and explore holistic health. We discuss the multidimensional factors of health and the importance of not just physical health but emotional and mental health in battling stress and burnout.
Connect with our guest, Dr. Kline
[00:00:00] Dr. JB: Ever wish for a safe place to have conversations that need to be had? A place where you could say the things that need to be said? Well, welcome to Hope4Med.
[00:00:15] Welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast. I’m your host, Dr. JB, and today’s featured guest is Dr. Bobbi Kline. Dr. Kline is a board-certified OB-GYN, genomic medicine expert, and intuitive guide who helps women understand their soul’s blueprint so they can create a life of health, purpose, fulfillment, and joy. Welcome Dr. Kline.
[00:00:40] Dr. Kline: Thank you, Dr. JB. I am so excited to be here and have the privilege of chatting with you. This is great.
[00:00:47] Dr. JB: Yes, me too. So, Dr. Kline, tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to become an OB-GYN.
[00:00:55] Dr. Kline: That’s an interesting story. All my life, I wanted to be a doctor and I thought I was going to be a family practice physician, take care of people in the community, take care of their whole health. And then I was doing a second rotation in OB-GYN just to get more under my belt because I loved it, so I wanted to do a little more before I finished medical school. And after six weeks of the residents telling me, you need to do this, you need to do this, and they let me do everything. And when I did my first delivery all by myself, I had an epiphany and I just knew that was what I was here to do. And so at the last minute I changed my residency applications and everything.
[00:01:34] Dr. JB: That’s a magical feeling, holding a baby newborn.
[00:01:37] Dr. Kline: It is. And it’s the whole process of facilitating this miracle, empowering a woman to be able to experience this, in a way that feels… it’s, it’s just, it’s sacred. It’s special. It’s hard to describe.
[00:01:55] Dr. JB: And so how long did you work as a OB-GYN? Or are you still working actively as an OB-GYN today?
[00:02:02] Dr. Kline: I am not working as an OB-GYN actively today. I worked for about 15 years as an OB-GYN. I was in the Air Force first and then in a group practice, and the last few years of my practice, I just was feeling frustrated, stuck, feeling like I didn’t have the answers I needed to go deeper with my patients, didn’t have the tools I needed to give them the answers, and couldn’t figure out a way to switch in order to leave OB-GYN, or at least leave the practice. I had to come up with a $250,000 malpractice deal and I couldn’t figure that out myself, so the universe gave me a shoulder injury that ended my surgical and obstetrical career but opened up a whole new one for me and the trajectory that I’m still on today.
[00:02:49] Dr. JB: Wow. So, you graduated residency, you were so excited about being a GYN and being a part of that magical experience for women, but then suddenly you started feeling stuck several years into it. So, can you elaborate on that a little bit more?
[00:03:05] Dr. Kline: Sure. I think like so many women in healthcare, I was juggling my young kids, being married, and a career. When I went out into private practice, I actually went with the intention of creating a better balance than what I had when I was in the military, and so I actually practiced part-time and I’m going to put that in air quotes, “part time,” and I still took full call, but I decreased my time in the office and so I was only working 60 to 90 hours a week. And I think over time, it was exciting at first and I loved applying the knowledge I had and I loved the relationships with my patients and I think that was the thing I loved the most. I loved being able to do all sorts of different things, spend one day in the operating room, a day in the delivery, a day in the office. And so it kept things fresh and interesting, but I think about probably six or seven years out, I started looking around and saying, is, is this it? Aren’t you guys curious? Don’t you want to learn more? There’s so much more out there. And patients started to come to me and even people who weren’t my patients. I was known for somebody who was open. Open to exploring new ways of doing things, different ways of doing things, and especially in the burgeoning holistic area. How often didn’t know the answer, but I would research to find the answer. And I think over time, I realized there was so much more out there that I didn’t know, I could deliver babies, I could care for women. I could help them in so many ways. But whenever I started asking, well, why, why did this woman get this condition? Why is this going on for this woman? Why didn’t this procedure or medication or approach, whatever it was, why didn’t it work the way we thought it would? And I finally realized that working 60 to 90 hours a week and trying to juggle all the balls, trying to be a perfect physician, a perfect mom, not, not hitting that mark anywhere. I really started to become burned out, and I think the burnout was on multiple levels and over the course of many, many years. Okay, well, I just need to change this. I need to just continue to tweak this. And then finally, I realized it was a fundamental issue coming internally that I couldn’t find the tools to address.
[00:05:32] I think the last couple of years of practice I was suffering with, I had recurrent injuries and I wasn’t sleeping well on top of no-call, and I was just, I was exhausted and depleted. I mean, truthfully for the shoulder injury, after six months of physical therapy and all sorts of different things didn’t work. My orthopedist finally said, “well, let’s do surgery and clean the shoulder up, here’s the ‘but,’ you’ll need three months off.” And I said, oh, thank you. I get three months off to figure this out. And that’s a really sad commentary that I couldn’t give myself permission to take time off to heal myself without a legitimate reason to do so.
[00:06:12] Dr. JB: Yeah. I mean, you have this, you feel like you have this obligation to your patients.
[00:06:18] Dr. Kline: My patients and my partners. If I wasn’t working, if I wasn’t doing calls, seeing patients, that increased the burden on them and I didn’t want to do that. They were all trying to juggle their families and their work too. And I think that that was just as much as impacting my patients, it was all wrapped up together.
[00:06:39] Dr. JB: It’s so interesting because you were saying how you were so exhausted, but doesn’t that end with residency?
[00:06:46] Dr. Kline: Gosh, no,
[00:06:48] Dr. JB: No?
[00:06:49] Dr. Kline: No, and it may, it varies depending on what specialty you go into. I think the life of an OB-GYN can be exhausting. We work long hours and there are hospitalist programs that have cropped up around the country trying to help deal with that. But when you’re a resident, in some ways your work is kind of controlled. The residency limited hours came in, you can’t work more than so many hours in a row and all that. When you’re out in private practice, the buck stops with you. And we played with all sorts of different ways of doing call, but the majority of the partners felt that well, yes, going from Friday morning to Monday night is a long weekend of call, but that means I only have to do it one in six weekends and that’s better than shortening the weekend and having to do it more often. So it wasn’t uncommon for me to work a Friday morning to a Monday evening and get 8 or 12 hours of sleep the whole time.
[00:07:52] Dr. JB: Wow. Are you serious?
[00:07:55] Dr. Kline: I’m serious. Yeah.
[00:07:56] Dr. JB: So did you just live at the hospital?
[00:07:59] Dr. Kline: Yeah. Yeah. And over time I realized it was often harder on my kids for me to come home for three or four hours and go back to the hospital, if I could slip away for just a little bit. It was actually harder for them for me to do that than to just stay at the hospital.
[00:08:15] Dr. JB: Wow.
[00:08:16] Dr. Kline: Now, so sometimes I would go two, three days without seeing them, if it was busy.
[00:08:20] Dr. JB: Wow. And you’re trying to be this quote unquote, “perfect mom.” What did a perfect mom look like to you?
[00:08:29] Dr. Kline: Well, it was interesting, and this plays into my beliefs as well as my husband at the time, that, okay, my work was taking me away from my kids and somehow that was a bad thing. So I had to make up for it and do everything that stay-at-home moms did. So be available for all the school concerts and plays and activities. When I would come home after being up 70 or 80 hours, I couldn’t take a nap. My kids needed me. I had to be there for my kids, all these making home cooked meals, all these things that I thought a mom should do. And that’s a belief system that is absolutely untenable when you’re working mom. Period.
[00:09:08] Dr. JB: Period,
[00:09:09] Dr. Kline: Yeah, exactly. Period.
[00:09:12] Dr. JB: And so you’re getting eight hours of sleep, this is from Friday to, you said Monday, right? So, if your child had a soccer game Monday afternoon or evening, because you felt like you had to be this perfect mom, you would show up, you would go?
[00:09:28] Dr. Kline: Oh yeah. Yeah, I would get home and, my husband would say,” good, you’re home, kids are yours, they need you.”
[00:09:35] Dr. JB: Wow.
[00:09:37] Dr. Kline: Yeah, that wasn’t a healthy relationship either. But, yeah. A lot of it was certainly my, the circumstances, but I think a lot of it was my belief systems as to who I was supposed to be.
[00:09:48] Dr. JB: And speak more about those belief systems,
[00:09:51] Dr. Kline: Gosh, those belief systems are kind of our operating manual, and most of the time they are operating unconsciously. When we’re young, we imprint beliefs from our experiences, as well as the customs and beliefs of our parents and primary caregivers, and they really get in there. And so most of us are operating with those without knowing why we do what we do, why we feel how we feel. For me, I didn’t really start uncovering this ’til after my injury and I took some time off to recover and started delving into the emotional, spiritual, and energetic aspects of my injury because I knew it wasn’t just physical. And so I started delving into what was going on underneath and in the process, uncovered a significant childhood trauma and abuse that I was absolutely unaware of on a conscious level,
[00:10:48] Dr. JB: But that was affecting your day to day?
[00:10:51] Dr. Kline: Absolutely. Affected every relationship, including my relationship to myself, how I feel about myself, all these accomplishments that I accumulated along the way and yet, underneath the feeling of not being good enough, which was not logical. And people would look at me like, “well, who are you to say you don’t feel good enough? Of course you are.” But underneath, abuse at an early age, really instilled that belief system that no matter how many accomplishments I had, no matter how hard I worked, I was never going to override that until I started uncovering and dealing with it.
[00:11:27] Dr. JB: And so that happened during those three months that you had taken off that you started uncovering?
[00:11:34] Dr. Kline: No, I wish! I wish it was that easy.
[00:11:37] Dr. JB: Three months and done!
[00:11:40] Dr. Kline: No. It’s been 13, 13 years and just an ongoing process of delving deeper and doing some really powerful work. And then me saying, okay, I’m done. I don’t, I really don’t want to work on this for awhile. I just want to live with my life, and then I would live life and kind of ignore it, and then something would come around and remind me that I wasn’t done. Here’s a new opportunity for you to grow. Should you choose that challenge? And I would say this last year for me has actually been another huge growth opportunity to really identify, heal, and clear a lot of these things that are operating underneath for me.
[00:12:24] Dr. JB: And it’s interesting, because part of what Hope4Med is about, is to really bring back the humanism in medicine, and really show that, we’re human beings, are human beings that have sacrificed a tremendous amount to do what it is that we are doing, but we are human. And as humans, there’s only so much we can, there’s only so much weight we can bear before our knees start to buckle. And as humans, just like our patients have problems, we also have our own fair share of problems, be it childhood trauma or current problems with our relationships, colleagues, et cetera, that we are carrying with us, we go ahead and interact with our patients.
[00:13:07] Dr. Kline: Yes. And I think this is one of the big wishes I have. If I could wave a magic wand that we would change how we view ourselves and each other, we are trained for good reason to be able to disconnect from our emotions when we’re dealing with patients, we don’t want to make emotional reactions. We want to stay cool, calm and collected, especially someplace like the ER for you, or, or OB GYN for me, but that sets up a pattern that we. Set aside our needs for everybody else. And at some point, that is not healthy. So it’s very hard to admit to ourselves, never mind anybody else that we are struggling, that maybe things aren’t going the way we want, that we’re having challenges that we are facing that we need help with. And where do you go when seeking help is viewed as being weak? And I think that’s a huge cultural thing that needs to change.
[00:14:17] Dr. JB: And that’s what Hope4Med is trying to do, is to create that change.
[00:14:21] Dr. Kline: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a big one. I was asked to help create a functional integrative track for a new family practice residency program and we were given half of the didactic time every week. And so when we launched it in 2013, we were so excited to bring this to the residents and really introduce this at an early level, both on a program level, as well as on an individual level, both opening up about being vulnerable, opening up about addressing things on a broader level, mind, body spirit, looking at the whole person. And it was actually disappointing because the residents, they came in wanting this and they were excited about it, and then the reality of, “well, I don’t need that to pass my boards.” “That doesn’t count for anything.” And still in a culture where a lot of the clinical teaching was still done from the conventional viewpoint. And it just, it highlighted how big of a challenge this is and how deep it’s embedded in the system.
[00:15:30] Dr. JB: Yeah. So what ended up happening with the didactic?
[00:15:34] Dr. Kline: It’s still there. It’s still there, it’s still ongoing. I moved about a year after we, we launched it. I was just talking with one of the physicians who had continued on, I was talking to her the other day and, she actually is no longer teaching it as well because she just got discouraged, but there are people still carrying that on.
[00:15:54] Dr. JB: She got discouraged because the residents weren’t showing a lot of interest or, or what exactly happened?
[00:16:02] Dr. Kline: It was the residents weren’t showing interest. And it was because they viewed it as, “this is great information, it’s nice, but it doesn’t count in the real world.”
[00:16:13] Dr. JB: And little did they know. Little did they know.
[00:16:18] Dr. Kline: I know, but at that, at that level, you’re so focused on, “okay, I need to need to pass my boards.” “What do I need to do to get where I want to go?” And it, it’s not seen as essential.
[00:16:30] Dr. JB: Yeah. But that’s also part of like incorporating these self-care early, makes it habitual, I mean, there’s a lot of hoops you have to jump through. There’s a lot of boxes you have to check off. It’s overwhelming. It’s true. But how do you maintain your sanity during all of that?
[00:16:47] Dr. Kline: You can’t? I mean, truthfully, I think that’s why we’re facing the huge epidemic of burnout that we are now, because it’s very difficult, in my experience. Often times our coping mechanisms are either to just shut it all out and try to block it all out and think we can just push through, or to leave because we can’t figure it out.
[00:17:12] Dr. JB: Yeah.
[00:17:13] Dr. Kline: So there’s gotta be, this is why I’m excited about what you’re doing, because I was one of those that finally left. I’m still involved in other ways, but I’m not practicing medicine. And if we don’t fix this, we’re not going to have medical care, there’s not going to be enough people to do it. And it will become a snowball effect because fewer people left behind means there’s more stress. So I think it really requires a whole reimagining of the system. And as you know, then the challenge is, that because that takes a while, how do we support individuals in the meantime? Well, we’re working on changing the system in the bigger picture.
[00:17:55] Dr. JB: Yep. And that’s where Hope4Med comes into play. We start with these conversations, like we’re having real conversations. Conversations that we would have with your close colleague from residency. But you know, putting out a podcast so that other people can hear and really just create this community of shared experiences to let you know, you’re not the only person who’s feeling burnt out, who’s feeling stressed, who’s feeling anxious, who doesn’t feel like this path is easy, because on the surface, everybody makes it seem like it’s easy. Everybody is kind of smiling. They’re cool, calm, collected, but inside it’s like this chaotic experience, but we’re trained to not let it show.
[00:18:40] Dr. Kline: Right. And then I think it’s hard for people who aren’t intimately involved in our healthcare system as a provider in some way, shape, or form. It’s really hard for other people to understand what we go through. And, then as an individual, when you start losing that very passion that you came in with. I mean, most of us come in, it’s not a job, it’s, it’s a calling and it’s a part of you. It’s not like you can just turn that off. And how do you reconcile that with your experience and current state of feeling, disconnected from that and the joy that it used to bring? The expectations you had of what that was going to look like. All the time and resources you invested in this. How can you all of a sudden start questioning them? I think that’s really hard.
[00:19:31] Dr. JB: And then, a lot of us leave it with a tremendous amount of debt.
[00:19:36] Dr. Kline: Yes. Yes. So there’s, it’s a practical consideration as well. For me, I actually, I had an Air Force scholarship that paid for most of med school, so my debt was relatively low compared to what many have, especially today. But for me, I wanted to leave the practice and do something different or drop OB, do something that, that would give me room and space to have more balance. And I had to come up with a huge malpractice tail in order to do that well, that, that was a huge financial hurdle that I couldn’t figure it out on my own. And I only, the shoulder injury gave me the way out because they actually, I was on medical leave for a year and then, they waived the tail.
[00:20:22] Dr. JB: Wow.
[00:20:23] Dr. Kline: So as long as I stayed with them, I opened up a holistic women’s health practice after that, as long as I stayed with them for at least five years doing that, they waived the tail.
[00:20:34] Dr. JB: So you’re able to do what you wanted?
[00:20:37] Dr. Kline: Yes. Yes. It’s got a huge price though. I was out of work for almost two years and I still have ongoing chronic pain and issues from that 13 years later. So, a huge gift and yet a huge price to pay as well.
[00:20:52] Dr. JB: Wow. So, tell me a little bit more, I know that you had mentioned that while you were working as an OB-GYN and your patients were having these questions that you couldn’t answer. And I thought to myself, this wasn’t taught in medical school? You didn’t leave medical school with all the answers?
[00:21:13] Dr. Kline: No. And I think that was one of the things when I started talking with my partners and my colleagues, they would go to continuing education courses as I would, but it was really rehashing the same stuff, maybe a new technology, but no fundamental new knowledge. And patients who were exploring alternative ways of approaching health, they wanted to know about natural hormones, they want to know about diet, I had one patient who had just persistent dysplasia of the cervix for well over a year, we just followed her, I didn’t want to do anything and finally I said, I, I don’t know what else to do. Let’s do a laser ablation, which was the standard approach at that time, and when she showed up in the OR, we were setting up the laser and the laser broke. And so I said, I’m sorry, I’m going to have to reschedule you. And she says, okay, that’s all right, it’s a sign. It’s a sign that maybe I’m supposed to do something else. And she went to a naturopath and the naturopath worked with her on nutrition and specific supplements, working on healing the cervix, and six months later, the dysplasia was gone.
[00:22:24] Dr. JB: Wow.
[00:22:25] Dr. Kline: And that was a huge eye-opener that, wow, there is so much I don’t know. That’s just one experience, but just an exposure. And then not a lot of time to learn. I loved residency and medical school because I felt like I was learning all the time. And once you’re in the grind of everyday life, juggling your home, your family, your work, everything’s focused on that kind of, it almost felt like survival mode. There wasn’t a lot of room for creative learning and just being curious.
[00:22:53] Dr. JB: But then that injury allowed you to have that time period to be able to explore those interests while also dealing with past trauma to take the next step.
[00:23:05] Dr. Kline: Yes. After about six months after my surgery, I had a frozen shoulder a couple of weeks after my surgery said, “oh my gosh, you’re, you’re healing so fast, you’re progressing so fast, you’re going to be back to work way before the three months.” And I went, ugh, I need those three months and two days later I had a frozen shoulder.
[00:23:21] Dr. JB: Oh my goodness.
[00:23:23] Dr. Kline: A very direct mind-body experience there. Yeah. And so after about six months, orthopedist just looked at me and said, “you know, if you weren’t who you were, i.e. A colleague, I would tell you it’s all in your head, you just need to suck it up and get back to work.” And that was the kick that I needed to say, I need to go outside the system. The system that I’ve known and trusted and feel in control being in, I had to go out and explore this whole unknown world, which was scary. As physicians, we’re used to being in control, with knowing. Yeah. And so I explored all sorts of different things. I did a two-year energy medicine course, which did a lot of the mind-body stuff as well as energy work. And from there, I have not stopped exploring different ways of addressing health on a truly holistic level. I think for me, one of the biggest things I find, I’ve been in the alternative health world, I’ve been in personalized medicine, I’ve been in conventional medicine, I’ve been in energetic medicine, I’ve done psychic and intuitive work. What I’ve seen is people tend to be in those individual silos, thinking that they have all the answers, and not one of them has all the answers. And so, my work is trying to bridge all of these worlds and help people understand you have to look at all of these elements, and that’s something we’re absolutely not trained to do. And we don’t have the tools, even if we want to in medical school or residency.
[00:24:54] Dr. JB: Almost feels like it’s something that’s frowned on in medical school and residency.
[00:24:58] Dr. Kline: Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s considered very ‘woo-woo.” And I like to think what I do is I, I’m very science-based and yet I also have experienced a lot of other ways of approaching health. I see them work. I understand how they work, and so I try to bridge them while taking the “woo” out of things. Very practical, it has to be very practical and applicable and something that people can actually feel empowered with in using. This whole idea of, oh, just, just change your thoughts, everything will magically disappear. Everything will be just fine. Or just take this medication, everything will be fine. It happens sometimes, but more often than not, it doesn’t and my experience is people that walk away thinking they’re the ones that are deficient. They’re the ones that have somehow failed because it didn’t work for them. And it’s because, we’re all different. We’re all unique. And we’re really complex. Human beings, they’re very complicated and the answer is more often than not, not so simple.
[00:25:59] Dr. JB: So, in your bio, we talked about how you help women by understanding their soul’s blueprint.
[00:26:08] Dr. Kline: Yes.
[00:26:10] Dr. JB: So, let’s talk a little bit more about that. Like, how do you get an understanding of one’s blueprint?
[00:26:16] Dr. Kline: Well, to me, there’s actually multiple levels of your soul’s blueprint. Your DNA is one, and I’ve spent the last 10 years in personalized DNA-based healthcare and teaching clinicians how to use a holistic model on that. And your DNA is one of those blueprints that you come in with in this lifetime. It’s what you’re born with, but there’s also a spiritual blueprint, what do you come in for on a spiritual level? I do believe that we all come in with a purpose on a spiritual level. And a blueprint, just like your DNA blueprint, there’s a blueprint that you created to help you in that spiritual growth, whatever you chose for this lifetime. But that sounds really abstract and very “woo” and hard for people to wrap their heads around. So in my wanderings, I’ve tried all sorts of different ways. And for me, I have found that two approaches, one is human design and one is astrology, really help answer these questions in a very practical and empowering way. You can really help people understand the bigger picture of their life and really help with misdirection on multiple levels. I think human design brings in an energetic component, so that incorporates both energetic and spiritual, and the astrology brings in both the spiritual and also a psychological, emotional component as well. So to me, the very practical tools that really help people bring something very abstract and ethereal down into real world information and strategies that they can use.
[00:27:57] Dr. JB: And does this correlate with systems biology?
[00:28:02] Dr. Kline: It does in a way. For those of you who are familiar with systems biology, it’s truly a newer term for things that most existed, I think. Our bodies certainly physiologically are all interconnected. One of the common things in medicine certainly is we look at individual body parts, ” oh, you have a heart issue go over here.” Oh, you have an emotional issue, go over there.” ” Oh, you have a skin issue go over there.” And nobody’s really looking at well, actually those are all connected and underneath, there are often common denominators that are impacting all of the systems. And so systems biology has been created to help people understand how these systems are all interconnected. I expand on that and say, well, there’s certainly that physical component of our biology, but we also have an emotional system, if you will, that’s operating. A mental system, a spiritual, and energetic system, and these are all weaving in and out and very much closely integrated. And so, it’s like, if you, if you’ve ever blown bubbles with kids, if you touch one part of a bubble, it changes, it affects the whole bubble. It’s not isolated to where you touch it. And to me, that’s the essence of systems biology, whether you’re looking at just the physical or the broader thing, is that, any imbalance, any disruption, any change in any one of those places are like touching a point on the bubble and it reverberates and impacts the whole structure.
[00:29:41] Dr. JB: And we’re not even talking about environments and how the environment affects all of this. So, let’s go ahead and add another layer, make a little bit more complicated.
[00:29:54] Dr. Kline: Absolutely. We come in with our own internal structures, but we’re not isolated. We, we are constantly interacting with both our internal environment, which we’ve been mostly talking about, and the external environment, and it’s not just toxins and, and certainly climate where you live. It’s your, it’s your food, it’s your relationships, it’s all of these pieces that we as human beings are constantly responding to on, on a very deep level, often outside of our awareness. We’re constantly scanning our environment, interpreting what’s going on in our environment, being affected by what’s going on our environment, and our bodies respond accordingly. Not always for our best long-term health, but certainly for the short-term survival, which is at a very basic level, what we’re geared towards.
[00:30:46] Dr. JB: And then how does it affect our mental health?
[00:30:49] Dr. Kline: Because it’s all connected. So, if you look at mental health as a big picture, we know that so many elements of– first of all, it’s not just in your head, your brain is, it’s all connected with your body. So anything that’s going on in your body, it’s going to affect your brain and vice versa, they are very much connected. So you look at basic things, your nutrition, how is your biochemistry being supported by your nutrition, or not? That’s going to impact how your brain functions, your thoughts and your emotions, the kind of relationships you’re in. That’s going to very much impact you. I look at the human design and astrology, that actually it gives you a sense of, kind of your hard wiring, if you will, to respond and be in this world emotionally. We know that head trauma, even mild concussions or whiplash can impact somebody’s emotional health. We know that structural issues, postural structural issues, can influence that, and we know our genes influence our biochemistry and can influence us. So there’s so many layers that I think most people are just not even aware of. It’s not even on their radar. So you have an emotional health problem? Oh, go to a therapist to get some talk therapy, which was certainly can be helpful in a specific way, or go be put on medication. And I’m not saying medication is never helpful, but we’re not born with a Prozac deficiency. And so I’m always saying, well, what’s underneath? What’s the why? How many people are asking, have you ever been in an auto accident? What’s the history of both emotional and physical trauma.? And one of the biggest challenges with cognitive therapy is that you’re dealing on a very superficial, conscious level. You can only access what that person is consciously aware of or willing to acknowledge consciously. And so there’s so many other tools that can help us go deeper underneath to illuminate what is so often hidden.
[00:32:56] Dr. JB: Like hypnosis?
[00:32:58] Dr. Kline: Hypnosis can be great, EMDR , EFT. There’s a lot of different ways. And even astrology actually can, can help do that as well. Getting, you can get functional MRI, see how the brain is functioning. Look at, look at somebody’s biochemistry, look at their genes. So many different levels.
[00:33:18] Dr. JB: But you have to be willing as a person to go there because there’s a reason why it’s suppressed, right?
[00:33:26] Dr. Kline: Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s why for me, it’s not a one and done process. I mean, firstly, I can tell you I’ve been doing this work for 13 years and it just layers, and when I’m ready for another layer, the opportunities show up and the people who can support and help me through that show up. And I’ve learned to trust that, which I did not at first.
[00:33:50] Dr. JB: And when you say that when you’re ready, it’s not necessarily that you’re consciously ready, right? You may not realize that you’re ready.
[00:33:59] Dr. Kline: You know, but often if it’s not a conscious readiness, it’s that something gets triggered. Something happens in your life. Something gets triggered, whether it’s a consequence of what’s going on underneath, a relationship falls apart, you lose a job, something goes on that triggers whatever is underneath. And no, it’s often very much not conscious, but it often is the trigger that seeks, that somebody says, oh, maybe I need help with this. There’s something I need to look at. I need help. And it may have no idea what they need help with beyond that.
[00:34:31] Dr. JB: And so, and when we’re talking about like mental health, how does your mental health contribute to burnout?
[00:34:37] Dr. Kline: Well, think about it. If you are feeling exhausted, if you are feeling anxious all the time, if you are feeling depressed, if you are just feeling disconnected, feeling without purpose, these are all things that impact then your physical energy, never mind your emotional energy. And yet, in order to function in our work, which we often continue to do way past the point of practicality, the energy it takes to suppress what’s going on, manage what’s going on, hide it from people, that in and of itself is exhausting.
[00:35:16] Dr. JB: Yes. Right.
[00:35:18] Dr. Kline: And so sometimes it’s not actually the original emotional issue, it’s everything that gets wrapped around it. And if we could, as what you’re doing, create an easier way for people to get help earlier on in the process and not feel ostracized, not feel a failure, that, it may not be prevention cause it’s already going on early on, but it can prevent this whole cascade that then results in somebody getting to the point where they just, they have to walk away or they, you know, suffer very physical consequences of all of this stress, all of this stuff that’s been running around in the body.
[00:35:56] Dr. JB: Yeah. Yup. The goal of Hope4Med is to be a pop-off valve. Just something to allow you to decompress, to allow you to continue working and doing what you love and not getting to the point where you throw your hands in the air and say, I’m done, I can’t do this anymore.
[00:36:12] Dr. Kline: Yes, yes. Once you get to that point, it’s really hard.
[00:36:16] Dr. JB: Yeah. Yep. And the thing about it is that our jobs are hard. It may not be manually difficult, like we’re not doing a lot of manual labor, at least as physicians we’re not– other healthcare professionals do more manual positions, I will give them that– but it’s mentally exhausting. It’s emotionally exhausting.
[00:36:38] Dr. Kline: Yes. Yes. I mean, you’re constantly worrying about, did I do the right thing? Did I give the person the right answer? Did I figure this out? Did I miss something? And emotionally, you’re dealing with all of the emotions of your patients and it’s very hard not to take them on on some level. Even though we’d like to think we can be disconnected from that, we do, we do take them on. And then our emotional responses to what goes on, you have a patient that dies. You have a patient that has a complication of some treatments that you offered. You have the feeling of failure when you can’t provide the answer somebody needs. All of these things create such an invisible burden, I think, if you will.
[00:37:21] Dr. JB: Yeah. And I think that this is the stuff that we don’t talk about that needs to be talked about.
[00:37:26] Dr. Kline: Yes, absolutely. And I think, one of the core seams I see weaving throughout so many clinicians that I’ve worked with is that loss of locus of control and that compounds everything. I think a lot of us cope pretty well, I’m not saying ideally, but when there’s a sense of loss of locus of control along with this loss of purpose, it’s devastating. Yeah. Yeah. So, when you have something like Hope4Med, you can reach out, hit that safety valve, let off a little steam, get some support, and regroup and regain some of that sense of I’m okay. I’m in control. There are things I can do. And, I think that is incredibly powerful.
[00:38:10] Dr. JB: And you don’t have to explain yourself.
[00:38:13] Dr. Kline: Right.
[00:38:14] Dr. JB: You just start where you are because we understand.
[00:38:20] Dr. Kline: As I said, it’s often hard to share this with people who aren’t in the medical world, who aren’t in the healthcare world, who aren’t sharing that same experience, in a general way, that you are. And that’s why it’s so valuable.
[00:38:34] Dr. JB: And when you tried to share it with people that are not in the healthcare world, what has been some of the feedback you’ve gotten?
[00:38:42] Dr. Kline: Most people don’t understand. They think, well, why are you having this problem?
[00:38:47] Dr. JB: Exactly.
[00:38:49] Dr. Kline: You’re looking at it, you’re so accomplished or you’re a doctor or you’re a nurse, or a nurse practitioner, whoever you are, like people have expectations of you. And we often think we have to meet those expectations, live up to those expectations. And so not only is it hard to actually be vulnerable and admit that, gosh, I’m not living up to all of these expectations, it’s also hard for people to understand. They really have no idea what you go through in your education and your training and in your work.
[00:39:21] Dr. JB: Yeah. They’re like, why are you complaining?
[00:39:23] Dr. Kline: Yeah. Yeah. “You got it pretty good, why are you complaining? I wish I could do that.”
[00:39:27] Dr. JB: Yeah. So then, then you start thinking, wait, why am I complaining? Until you get back to work and go, oh yeah. I remember.
[00:39:35] Dr. Kline: Yeah. Well, and then there’s that, again, that sense of, well, there must be something wrong with me.
[00:39:42] Dr. JB: Exactly.
[00:39:42] Dr. Kline: If I can’t handle this, if I’m complaining, if I’m not happy, there’s something wrong with me. And that is so detrimental to healing. It can create such a spiral.
[00:39:57] Dr. JB: Yes. Yeah. And you can spiral very quickly because you have all these other suppressed experiences that you didn’t deal with.
[00:40:07] Dr. Kline: Yes.
[00:40:08] Dr. JB: And they just kept adding on, right?
[00:40:10] Dr. Kline: Yeah. I, I think, again, we’re used to stuffing a lot and it’s usually it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. And it’s often not necessarily proportionate to the response when all of a sudden you just, you hit a wall and you were managing and all of a sudden you say, I can’t do this anymore. So again, if you can get help and support earlier in that process, and to me, I’d love to see this as just a normal part of our profession, our training, our practice, rather than the exception.
[00:40:44] Dr. JB: Yeah. Just an accepted part, really changing around this paradigm, because what we tell everybody, what we tell our patients is you need to take care of yourself. Take care of you first.
[00:40:55] Dr. Kline: Yes. Put your oxygen mask on first.
[00:41:00] Dr. JB: Exactly. How are you going to be taking care of somebody else when you’re hypoxic? How are you going to be thinking straight when you’re hypoxic?
[00:41:10] Dr. Kline: And yet we somehow, certainly as physicians and I think it’s a common thread in many healthcare professions, we somehow think we’re immune to that. I don’t want to say above that. I think it’s just, we’re immune to that because we’re so geared towards helping everybody else, and there’s, there’s an element of that, “well, that doesn’t apply to me.”
[00:41:32] Dr. JB: Yeah.
[00:41:33] Dr. Kline: But it does. We’re people
[00:41:34] Dr. JB: Yep. Just like your patients.
[00:41:36] Dr. Kline: Yep. Yeah. It was interesting, when I opened up my holistic women’s health practice and I really started bringing in not only the energetic element, but the spiritual element, I had patients that I had known for years come see me. The relief they had at my being more vulnerable and open with them, gave them a permission to be more open and vulnerable with me to share things that they never shared with me when I was in my other practice.
[00:42:07] Dr. JB: That’s interesting, because as a healthcare professional, you walk that line of what can I share with my patients? It’s not about me, it’s about them. Right?
[00:42:18] Dr. Kline: Right. Right. I think for me, there is a sharing element, but I think at a deeper level, it was really more my own comfort level in that, and I didn’t have to share personal experiences. I was just much more comfortable in creating a space for these conversations and having better tools and skills to facilitate these. I wasn’t afraid of them because I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t, often we don’t ask questions if we don’t know what to do with the answer.
[00:42:48] Dr. JB: Yeah, that’s true.
[00:42:50] Dr. Kline: And so I think it wasn’t as much sharing personal experiences as more just my own willingness to be vulnerable and open and curious, I think.
[00:43:02] Dr. JB: And then what about time? Like, did you have more time?
[00:43:05] Dr. Kline: I did. Yes. My new patients were 90 minutes and the shortest follow-up appointments that I had were 30 minutes.
[00:43:15] Dr. JB: I think there’s so much to be said to be able to actually spend some time getting to know your patients instead of these quick, what, 20 minute visits. “Check these boxes, medication reconciliation, all right, see you next time. Next patient.” It almost feels like you’re an assembly line.
[00:43:31] Dr. Kline: Yeah. I think more than anything, it gave patients the space and the opportunity to tell their story and feel heard. And I will tell you that is at least half of the therapeutic value of any encounter we have with patients, is helping them feel heard. How many times do they walk out of an office– I mean we, we all have family and friends and probably our own experience as well, walking out of a visit saying, well, I didn’t feel heard and it really harms our ability really to provide care. But I couldn’t do that in my conventional practice and when I was in OB-GYN, the conventional setup was that you had a new patient or an annual visit on the hour and a half hour, and then at the 10 or 20 mark, or 15 mark, once or twice interruptions in between, they’re seeing prenatals or quick visits. And I decided to change that. I said, okay, I still have to see a certain number of patients a day. I’m still going to work within the parameters I have, but I’m going to do it differently. And so when I saw somebody for a visit, I did not interrupt it with having to go see another patient while that patient was undressing. I kept my focus on that person for that whole visit time. And it made a big difference for me. I wasn’t juggling patients. I could really focus on what that person needed. While they were getting undressed, I could really think about what, what was going on. What else did I want to ask? What else would I want to say? And it just helped me, I think, be much more present.
[00:45:01] Dr. JB: So now, what does your day-to-day look like?
[00:45:04] Dr. Kline: Now it is very different. I actually, I converted over to a virtual practice in 2013, mostly doing consulting, coaching work with patients. I wanted the freedom to work from anywhere, and I had been doing a bunch of teaching and I wanted to do more teaching. And then I had the opportunity to co-found this company that I just left back in January to bring this holistic view of genomic medicine to clinicians. And so, I’m actually developing a course right now as part of my new business. So getting the courses up and running, I spend time in my own personal development, make sure I have balance. I work with clients, some are just short consults to help them get direction on health or life issue, sometimes I go more in depth. I may do the human design or astrology meetings, or I may do longer one-on-one coaching. I’ve helped clinicians set up their own virtual practices. I’ve helped clinicians get clear on really where they want to go, what they want to do. I’ve helped, just, I think helping people get clarity by looking at things from a different perspective,
[00:46:25] Dr. JB: It really seems like you’ve really been able to carve your ideal practice now.
[00:46:30] Dr. Kline: I have, it’s still a work in progress, you know.
[00:46:33] Dr. JB: Everything’s a work in progress.
[00:46:36] Dr. Kline: You have to be working all the time, you have to work hard, and it’s, it’s so ingrained. And so it is absolutely a work in progress but yes, I have a much better balance and having the self-discipline to really honor. Honor what I need and not compare myself to what somebody else may need and how somebody else may do things.
[00:46:56] Dr. JB: And that’s huge. That’s huge to be able to get to that point where you’re able to do that.
[00:47:03] Dr. Kline: It is. And this is why for me, I do this work. I see how impactful and how powerful it is when somebody really sees, I use these practical tools that I call the soul blueprint, when people really see who they are, I will say most of the time, it’s not really new knowledge. Most of the time, somewhere inside, they already know this and I’m just helping them reconnect with that. Validate, yes, you are a unique human being and this is how you’re designed to live this life, and you’re not like everybody else. I mean, obviously we’re all humans, but everybody has unique needs. Everybody has unique ways they go about living their life. And it’s really helping to support them in seeing this. And I, I tell you, it’s like light bulbs go off. And once, once people see this, it changes everything. It changes how they view everything.
[00:47:59] Dr. JB: So, if my listener wanted to find out their soul’s blueprint, how could they reach you?
[00:48:05] Dr. Kline: My website. So my website is bobbikline.com, that’s B O B B I K L I N E dot com, and they can either schedule a consult with me or a reading, or the course I’m developing will be launched this fall.
[00:48:23] Dr. JB: So Dr. Kline, we are getting close to the end of our time together and I wanted to know if you had any last minute words of wisdom that you would like to share with my listener.
[00:48:36] Dr. Kline: I think really being able to own who you are and why you’re here is one of the most powerful things you can do.
[00:48:48] Yeah. Who says a doc can’t rap? D O C T O R J B. The greatest doctor to ever touch the mic. The greatest podcast ever broadcasted or prerecorded. Come learn some. Each one, teach one. I’m done.