Once upon a time, I, Jodi Ritsch M.D., was a busy wife and mother of four young children spending my nights awake at the hospital welcoming new babies as they arrived on the planet. I attended 95% of my patient's births which left me very sleepy and eventually, after 11 years, very burned-out. I reluctantly gave up the baby business part of my family medicine career and discovered how wonderful it is consistently sleeping through the night (who knew?).
During my journey to better balance and whole living, I started to breathe deeply with meditation, stretch with yoga, feel energy with Reiki and laugh more with laughter yoga. Always wanting to share the information I learned with others. I started retreats for burned-out physicians, met wonderful new friends in holistic healing practices, trained as a Mindful Life Coach and a certified leader of Laughter Yoga.
As my paradigm of healing expanded, it became more difficult to stuff myself into the small box of corporate medicine. The connection with families I had time to develop over multiple pregnancy and well child visits was replaced with seeing patients for only minutes a time (or two) each year. I longed to spend more time connecting with patients. I felt like only a small part of me was able to show up for work and longed to work in a bigger way. I started buying lottery tickets.
Then the "aha" moment came when I realized that living as a woman at this time in history with a supportive family and wonderful friends...I already had won the great cosmic lottery! It was time to get busy and bring more love and healing into the world.
Just like during pregnancy, it is hard to think past the time that the baby is born. A few days later, you are stunned and sleep deprived, marveling at this new person wondering what the next step is and how you are going to prevent screwing things up.
Here we are at the birth of The Joyful Doc Clinic. It's empowering, overwhelming, exciting, nerve racking and just plain fun. I hope you will join me in the adventure!
Dr. Jodi Ritsch is board certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. She’s a proud graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed her residency in Eau Claire. She previously cared for patients at Mayo Clinic Eau Claire and was also the distinguished Medical Director of Employee Wellness from 2012 to 2013. Dr. Ritsch has also attended more than 500 births in her more than 11 years of doing obstetrics. The Joyful Doc Clinic offers direct pay visits at our clinics in Menomonie and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.