*Interview adapted from NBC news article.
Hello! I’m Dr. Nicolle Martin. I’m from Chicago and moved to Atlanta to attend Spelman College, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Pre-Medicine. I earned my Medical Degree from Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). I went on to complete a preventive medicine residency at MSM, and a family medicine residency at Emory University School of Medicine, where I served as Chief Resident. Additionally, I received my Master’s in Public Health degree in Health Administration and Policy from MSM.
I am a nationally recognized author, speaker, researcher, and consultant. I have found fulfillment in my career as an Assistant Professor and Medical Director. In addition, I am a sought-after media expert regarding preventive and integrative health care, medically supervised weight loss, and cancer prevention and control.
My career was going well, but my life changed on September 30, 2014— my father passed away from heart failure. He lived what was considered an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ and suffered from chronic diseases; he smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and ate poorly. His motto was “you gotta die from something.” Sadly, in his last year of life he regretted his poor lifestyle decisions.
Living a healthy lifestyle and focusing on prevention could’ve potentially saved my dad from suffering. What if I could’ve helped him enjoy making some lifestyle changes? This realization changed my life and caused me to change the way I practice! I know that I cannot bring my father back, but what I am doing now can bring back your health, so you can live a healthier, more fulfilling, higher quality of life.
My clinical approach is different from traditional medical practice; I’m interested in restoring health, not just managing disease. My mission, passion, and goals are to break the generational curses of chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
Thank you for this question. This may sound cliché, but I truly believe and live by this: “Never give up on your dreams.” I’ve known that I wanted to be a doctor since I was 8 years old. Even though I considered other professions over the years, my path was always towards medicine. And when I did not get into medical school the first time I applied, I was heartbroken. I was scared. I was disappointed. I was embarrassed. All of those things. But I did not give up. So, I spent the next year laser focused on improving my medical school application. I took an MCAT review course to improve my MCAT scores, and while working full-time I completed a Postbaccalaureate (postbacc) pre-medical program. As a result, I more than doubled my MCAT scores and got all A’s in my postbacc program. My new application was much improved, I did well in my interviews, and I attended my first-choice medical school, Morehouse School of Medicine.
I am a double board-certified Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine Physician. The passing of my father motivated me to pivot my medical practice. My clinical approach to medicine is different from traditional medicine. I’m interested in restoring health, not just managing disease, so I take a specialized, 5-step approach to better health. I focus on the following: 1) your basic healthcare needs; 2) diet; 3) physical activity; 4) mind-body therapies; 5) and your environment. I welcome the opportunity to work with patients and clients who use preventive and integrative therapies and lifestyle change to minimize the use of medications and maximize health.
And as the Founder and Chief Medical Advisor of DrNicolleMD.com, I discuss actionable ideas and real-world strategies to help people take control of their health. I also share my medical expertise via my social media accounts, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube to help people pursue healthier lives.
My uncle shared some advice with me back in college that I have taken to heart. He said, “Do what you want to do, when you can, while you can, while you’re young. If you want to go to medical school, go to medical school. And if you don’t like it when you finish, at least you know you tried because you’ll get to be my age (he was 71yrs old at the time) and you’ll sit back and reflect on your life and wonder what you would’ve done, what you should’ve done, what you could’ve done. I always wanted to be a fireman”.
People often tell me that they’ve “always wanted to be a doctor, but the process takes too long”. I advise them that it usually takes 4 years to complete medical school and 3-5 years to complete residency, depending on specialty. Those years are going to pass by whether you like it or not, so you may as well spend it doing what you’ve dreamed of, and if you find that you don’t like it, at least you know you tried. So, when you reflect on your life in your elder years and think about the things you wish you had done but didn’t, you can at least say that you tried. I continue to share my uncle’s words of wisdom with anyone who is trying to make a decision on their next steps in life.
Since success is so personal, the definition should be based on your own values, and not based on the values and opinions of others. What do you value? Do you value relationships? Education? Money? Freedom? For me, success can be more of a journey, path, or pursuit. That journey can involve the learning and growth that leads to being “successful.” For example, if I think that making $10M in one year makes me “successful,” I will embark on a journey to take me there, and it must include my values. That journey can make me happy, sad; it can help me make more meaningful connections and networks with people; I can learn a new skill or skills… the possibilities are endless. I can find success in everything I learn and do. Ultimately, the journey of success can lead me to financial freedom; a life of more choices and freedom to help more people, spend more time with loved ones, work my own hours, travel the world, and do what I want, when I want, and how I want.
The COVID pandemic has definitely changed all of our lives. I’ve spoken to so many people who really want to take better care of themselves but have managed to put on those “COVID pounds.” So, I realized that I needed to pivot again. I thought about the millions of people with limited access to healthcare services, especially during this pandemic, and decided that I need to make my evidence-based weight loss program more accessible. This program used to only be offered by healthcare providers to patients, but now I am making it available as an online course. It’s my hope that people will take the lessons learned to lose the weight they want, reduce the chances of taking more prescription medications, and get healthy. I plan to launch the weight loss course later in 2021.
I’m also writing a book to continue my mission to break the generational curses of chronic diseases. This book is a comprehensive, how-to guide to improve your overall health. If you’re super busy but need to take control of your health; if you’re tired of being tired, this book is for you. We discuss everything from clean eating to fasting, from meditating to exercising, from supplementing to socializing. What I love about this book is that it provides a blueprint to transform your life. It’s an easy-to-read resource; you can study it, keep it at your bedside, refer to it daily when making lifestyle choices, etc. The book will be published later this year.
Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.