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Before he became a doctor, Mark Gomez, age 9, was sitting in church with his family one Sunday morning when his identical twin brother, Brian, had a life-threatening emergency.
Brian had asthma and suffered a serious attack in the middle of the service.
“We’re all freaking out because he can’t breathe,” Dr. Gomez says. “Seeing him struggle to breathe, I was seeing myself. I realized helping other people would be my calling.”
They took Brian to an emergency room and he recovered. And from that moment on, Dr. Gomez never lost sight of his goal to become a doctor.
Dr. Gomez grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago, followed through with his goal to study medicine and graduated from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 2004. He completed his internal medicine residency at Loyola University Medical Center, becoming a board-certified internist in 2007.
“The great thing about being an internist is you get to see the gamut of everything that’s going on,” says Dr. Gomez. “You can go from one room to the next and see completely different cases. I see primary care as a way to talk about prevention. Be proactive.”
And an opportunity to debunk health myths. Dr. Gomez mentions a patient who told him she believed mammograms caused breast cancer.
“It was like when the needle on a record player suddenly scratches off the record. I was like, ‘That is 100 percent false!’” Dr. Gomez says.
Several years ago, he took his myth-busting efforts to a larger stage: podcasting. Dr. Gomez hosted a weekly podcast, “To Your Health with Dr. G,” with guest experts covering a range of health topics.
Enter Edward-Elmhurst Health’s new Health 360 with Dr. G podcast, coming in January. It’s a podcast by Dr. Gomez and a platform to not only debunk misinformation, but share valuable, science-backed facts from healthcare experts.
“There’s so much confusion out there when it comes to health,” Dr. Gomez says. “We’re going to help you navigate your health concerns. We’re going to give people the resources to be the best version of themselves.”
He acknowledges that healthcare can be intimidating. His goal is to reduce fear with familiarity.
“If we can talk about things in a comfortable, meaningful way, you might turn that light switch on for somebody,” Dr. Gomez says. “We plan to talk about the issues, and not be afraid to talk about them.”
Topics will be timely, from health issues in the news to the latest information about COVID-19, to topics like pregnancy, sex, aging and mental health.
“I always identify myself as a man of faith and a man of family,” Dr. Gomez says. “And being a man in his 40s with a wife and two young kids, we’re going through the same things so many people are going through right now.”
Mental health is critical to overall wellness, he says, adding that he feels compelled to destigmatize the topic. The negative connotation tied to mental illness and addiction often prevents people from seeking help, and that needs to change, Dr. Gomez says.
“Mental health is a foundation for almost everything,” says Dr. Gomez. “We’re humans, we’re emotional and we need to process so much. We can’t be afraid to have those conversations, to talk about mental health the same way we would talk about diabetes.”
Health 360 with Dr. G will put it all out on the table. And listeners will be encouraged to submit questions, comment on topics and share health successes.
“I was never afraid to talk about hot-button issues. We’re going to have some fun, too,” he says.
New year, new podcast. Listen to Health 360 with Dr. G, a Healthy Driven podcast, on your favorite podcast channel.
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