Yes! You can open your dream clinic—without completing residency.

Hi, my name is Dr. Kat Lopez and I unfortunately know what you are going through if you are suffering in conventional medical training or a conventional treadmill medicine job. I was really afraid of going to residency because I had heard of the abuse that I would undergo. And even though my residency program in family medicine was overall a great and supportive program,

I came to feel during my first year of training that the medicine that I was practicing was simply a training to become a robot doctor. It was to be able to see patients as fast as possible as we were given shorter and shorter time slots in clinic. And it was to learn how to both prescribe and manage a polypharmacy of drugs as efficiently as possible and with the least amount of litigious risk.

And this was never the type of healing that I signed up to learn. And I was deeply hungering to learn about nutritional healing of disease, nutritional prevention of disease, alternative approaches including mind-body-medicine, Chinese medicine. What about these things people have been using for centuries?

Kat Lopez MD

I grew more and more bored and more and more desperate to start to live my passion and my dream of becoming the doctor that I knew could do great things in the world and my residency program was not able to educate me in that way. So I actually resigned from my residency program after the first year. I announced about halfway through and completed my intern year in my family medicine program. I did this with the support of several mentors in my life and I also learned that in a number of states in our fine union physicians can obtain their general medical license with only one year of post-graduate training. I had never been told that. Nobody ever talked about that. There are even D.O. [Doctor of Osteopathy] PGY-1 spots all over the country that are intended to be complete for one year if that D.O. will be going into primary care. 

So I spent about all told from the beginning of residency until I found my dream (where I live now) just in absolute emotional turmoil from feeling like a total failure, a total screw up, feeling like my genius was absolutely unappreciated and unimportant. That all these passions I had for real health and real healing were useless at best and dangerous at worst, that were causing me to become a problem to my residency program and a problem to the conventional medical system in general. I was in absolute grief and despair over thinking that I could never be the healer I was meant to be. I started looking at other educational programs and thought what I can do other than work under my medical license if I can’t get my medical license. I considered things like selling my soul to the pharmaceutical rep industry and taking a job there so I could be paid to drive around and sell devices or pharmaceutical medications. 

And then through meeting Dr. Pamela Wible—who is a liberator of physicians from treadmill medicine—I started to realize that I have all of the emotional intelligence, the educational prowess, the passion and the drive to truly live my personal dream even though I did not have a mentor outside of myself to show me “Hey I want to practice like you. I want to do what you do. I want to work like you work.” I did not have that exactly presented to me and I was empowered by Dr. Wible to define that for myself. Ultimately her support of patting me on the back and saying, “You can do it! You’re going to be great! Your patients will love you!” gave me this fuel through a lot of other healing processes to define what I wanted to be really in my life. And how I wanted to live each day both impassioned by the subject matter in front of me, both in service to the people who can benefit from my personal form of healing and genius and to make a lot of money while doing it. 

So what I ended up creating in my life was a beautiful collaborative practice where I met an experienced mentor in naturopathic and Chinese medicine, Dr. Satya Ambrose. She had just opened a new wellness center in Happy Valley, Oregon, which is about half an hour outside of Portland (where I lived at the time) and she became a close mentor and teacher of mine and over the past two years I’ve essentially developed my personal private practice as an independent contractor in a group of really forward-thinking, loving, relaxed, interesting people with diverse capabilities of healing from acupuncture to body work to naturopathy and as an independent practitioner work on a percent-split basis to enjoy the benefits of the wellness center staff. I have my own staff. I have assistants. I have front office scheduling and website maintenance and these kind of things. In addition, I’ve gotten to essentially grow into a functional medicine approach to diagnosing and treating both complex chronic disease and simply prevention medicine for the people who are feeling kind of crappy in their fifties and maybe 30 pounds overweight and need a little bit of guidance to kind of guidance to get healthy in this second phase of their life.

I not only as my own boss have all of the ability to dictate my schedule, how much money I really want to make, how to go into my community as a grassroots marketer of myself whereby interacting as a teacher, a lecturer, a demonstrator, a colleague, I am basically marketing my group and myself as the community-based wellness-type of physician that I truly am. So marketing feels effortless, attracting patients has felt completely effortless and over the course of two years my practice is filling beautifully with basically no effort on my own other than personally following my passion to learn the functional and natural medicine approach to complex chronic disease. So I am happier amd more fulfilled than I could have possibly imagined. 

This type of practice which is both financially sustainable and extremely fun and basically a deep and intensive learning process as I expand my toolbox from sort of from the pharmaceutical-based medicine that I was taught and trained in. This process has been so easeful and harmonious as soon as I got in touch with what I really cared about, the vision I really held for my life, and got empowered to learn what I needed to learn to make that happened as well as connected with people who were right there helping me from the business sense to how do you write office policies. Well, I guess I can make them up myself. What do I want my office policies to be? So currently I work as an out-of-network doctor. I’m not contracted with any insurance companies and I have a scale for my cash-pay patients, many of whom are uninsured. I give discounts for various things such as for people who have Medicare. I also have a biller in my office who will bill people’s insurance if they have out-of-network benefits for our office visits.

The care that I am able to provide absolutely fills me and my patients with joy. And learning along this process has been so empowering and liberating from the do medical school, do a residency, and get a job—one of these jobs that you’re offered on a piece of paper sent to you in the mail at a big-box clinic. I knew that that job wasn’t for me. It wasn’t harnessing my genius. And I could not express my personal passion for health and wellness through that model. Guess what? I’m not a quick doctor. I would have never succeeded in anyone’s model that requires me to see people in 10-20 minutes. Just never. So fortunately I get to succeed as my own boss in my own practice with a beautiful group of collaborative naturopaths who are helping each other and see our patients together to do an awesome, awesome brand of really true healing. 

So if you’re an exhausted, overworked medical student, intern, resident, or physician in treadmill medicine, I want to summarize for you that I was hopeless, totally discouraged, very, very bored by the type of treadmill medicine I was being trained in and exhausted physically from lack of sleep. I was undernourished and filling up on more junky sort-of calorie-dense stuff so I could make it through the day while shoving as little volume down my mouth and in the bathroom stall as I could so I could not pass out on rounds, really, really suffering in the system that is designed to disempower very intelligent people and wring every bit of productivity out of you as deeply as possible no matter the personal price. And now as my own boss having been supported by other doctors to realized that I can figure all this out on my own just like the dry cleaner business down the street can take money from satisfied clients to do their business. Gosh darn it I can learn how to do the same thing in medicine.

I roll into work at nine or ten or eleven or twelve, depending on the day. I set my own schedule. I can block off days for any of the things I would like or need to do—educational purposes, recreational purposes. And in my clinic itself, the staff juices for us green juices everyday. I can wander around between patients with a quick acupuncture treatment. If I drop something on the floor, I don’t feel like I have drug resistant bacteria everywhere, but can like wash it off and put it back on the table where I was eating. It’s a clean, wholesome environment that I just never thought would be possible. Medical students come through from the naturopathic school and practice their massage and craniosacral work on me so I truly am living in a wellness center where we practice what we preach and I had no clue it could be this good. Just two years after quitting my residency, I’m truly living my dream. I have enough and the horizon is only growing brighter. So thanks for listening! Contact me to find out more!


Pamela Wible, M.D. is a family physician and “liberator of physicians from treadmill medicine.” This video was filmed by GeVe at our biannual physician retreat. Come join us! Questions? Contact Dr. Wible.

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85 comments on “Yes! You can open your dream clinic—without completing residency.
  1. TW says:

    I love this!! – exactly what I needed to hear this morning as a residency candidate preparing for the match again. Thank you!

  2. Mina Guzman says:

    Hello Pamela,

    Curious to do this naturopathic medicine

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Works great for naturopathy, acupuncture, counseling, massage. Any outpatient medical practice. Happy to help. Contact me if you have questions here:

    • Kat Lopez says:

      You may want to check out the naturopathic medical schools – National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR and Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Also check out the Institute of Functional Medicine, which is a comprehensive training for doctors in diagnosing and treating the root causes of disease rather than practicing “pill for an ill” medicine. They have training programs all over the country.

  3. Vítor says:

    Inspiring. Congrats!

  4. Steve O' says:

    Hooray, Kat! You deserve delight and joy as a doc! Welcome to sanity!

  5. Michelle Murphy says:

    Wow! So, inspiring! I am wondering though if you felt your knowledge base was substantial enough with only one year of Residency? I’m scared of Residency myself, but I feel like I need it to really learn the medicine I was supposed to have internalized in medical school.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      What most people need is pretty simple and with 60 minute visits you can look things up PLUS she has created a holistic team of healers to support her so always has folks to discuss patients with. You can contact Kat directly if you like too.

    • Kat Lopez says:

      I wanted to work closely with a very experienced clinician, so I have been in a mentorship with a naturopathic physician who also does Chinese medicine, senior faculty at the naturopathic medical schools, and has been in practice for 30 years. I also have all the time in the world to look up the proper way to diagnose and manage conditions – I have read a LOT of Academy of Family Physicians overview papers on different diseases, and honestly they are extremely clear and concise and just perfect for everything from COPD to polymyalgia rheumatica. In addition, I had more training than NPs, PAs, and naturopathic doctors, all of whom are licensed PCPs. I have many doctor friends to call and text questions to when necessary, although with the time available to research it’s rarely necessary. I love the OHSU consult line – I can call this high academic hospital and talk with any specialist any time of day or night regarding anything at all. So many resources. I attended a top-10 med school and their training in information processing, gathering, assessment, and researching has been so useful.

  6. gene saltzberg md says:

    This is a great alternative for those of us going into primary care. However, this approach does not work for students, residents in specialized fields (Ex: Emerg. Med, ENT etc.). Our fight has to be to HUMANIZE medical training, get the “ball busters” out of their teaching roles, and provide TRUE emotional support for trainees having a difficult time. This is simple we need to start treating trainees as human beings, and care for them just as we care for our patients!!

  7. Lucy Hornstein MD says:

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Fix the very real problems with medical school and residency, YES. But don’t pretend they’re not necessary:

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      A few corrections to your blog Lucy:

      1) I do NOT have a subscription practice. I see all-comers and I take insurance.

      2) I have never turned anyone away for lack of money. I don’t believe in a two-tiered health care model.

      3) Diet and nutrition is not woo (and is certainly not taught in med school). There are HUGE problems with allopathic medicine which does not prepare us to care for patients in an outpatient setting when it comes to prevention, lifestyle, and common sense things people can do to prevent taking drugs for the rest of their lives.

      4) PAs and NPs are providing primary care in an outpatient setting with a lot less training and most are doing a great job. Physicians who want to practice outpatient medicine should not be held hostage to 3-4 year residency programs. There are not enough residency programs to meet the needs of current med school graduates. These students with 300K+ loans should not be sitting at home twiddling their thumbs when they could be caring for people like NPs and PAs.

      5) And yes, I believe that residency programs can be shortened. How does working in the NICU help me provide care in an outpatient setting? There are so many parts of residency that could be structured in a more personalized way to meet the ACTUAL needs of patients and docs who plan to open neighborhood family medical clinics. A tertiary-care hospital-based Pharma-heavy medical indoctrination is not appropriate for everyone.

      I could go on . . .

      ~ Pamela

      P.S. I allowed my community and patients to design and define their OWN ideal clinic (which I opened based on 100 pages of their submitted testimony) and what they want and what residencies deliver are not a great match. Patient engagement is important – in fact essential – so let’s stop holding everyone hostage to a one-size-fits-all medical education system (that need to be TOTALLY revamped).

      • Lucy Hornstein MD says:

        1) and 2): My bad. I seem to recall you talking about your practice being “full,” having a waiting list and so on, meaning you manage a panel. (I don’t.) Most people who do that are DPC or otherwise subscription based. Apologies.

        3) Diet and nutrition (may as well throw in exercise as well) are not woo at all. I never said they were, nor does any legitimate doctor I know. However they are often used by alt med practitioners as a bait and switch for their actual woo, like naturopathy, chiropractic, homeopathy, and so on. As for that old canard about nutrition not being taught in medical school (not true, BTW) what we do learn about biochemistry and physiology allows us to understand nutrition at a much deeper level than anyone else, if we’re paying attention. In fact, truly understanding the basics allows us not to fall for each new fad diet that promises instant loss of belly fat. The really exciting new stuff about nutrition has to do with the gut microbiome, and how different people respond completely differently to exactly the same foods. Real doctors are the ones doing that research, not the ones with books to sell.

        Use of the adjective “allopathic” is another flag that you’re setting up a false dichotomy between drugs and non-drug treatment, where presumably doctors ONLY use drugs. I use lifestyle measures (like diet and exercise) and “common sense” for prevention and treatment every single day. The idea that taking drugs represents some kind of failure is, in my opinion, foolish. Many people still need medications for things like blood pressure and diabetes even after optimizing their lifestyle. They certainly don’t have to “take drugs for the rest of their life,” but their lives will likely be shorter. The ability to use drugs appropriately is one of the skills developed in training. Opting out of that education is very much throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        4) Yes, there are many people providing primary care who are not residency trained physicians. However I reject your assertion that they are doing a “great job.” Google the Dunning Kruger effect: the less you know about something, the more confident you are about your knowledge. I’ve written about this with regard to PAs and NPs before. Patients love their NPs and PAs, just like they love their naturopaths, which basically means that they’re either never going to realize what lousy medical care they’re actually getting, or that if something untoward happens, they’re not going to blame them. Is graduate medical education perfect? Hell no! But fix it; don’t forego it.

        5) I disagree strongly that residency should be shortened. Re-structure it? Absolutely. Spending more time in various outpatient settings, possibly free clinics where trainees can experience true undifferentiated primary care while still under the supervision of experienced faculty, would be fantastic preparation for independent practice. But one year of postgraduate training is nowhere near enough time to become familiar enough with primary care to practice safely and effectively on one’s own. All the CME in the world doesn’t make up for treating patients with someone who knows more than you do looking over your shoulder, pointing things out to you, and providing guidance. No, tertiary-care based training isn’t appropriate for everyone. Guess what! I did mine at a community hospital. Again, you’re offering a false dichotomy of “indoctrination” vs “following the dream.”

        PS I’ve read all about your clinic, and I’m happy for you. Somehow I managed to wind up in pretty much the same place, but without going through the burnout phase that you did. Believe it or not, NOT everyone is driven the brink of suicide by medical training and practice.

        As for “allowing patients to design and define” their ideal clinic, you have to remember that patients are not customers and are not always right. All too often they want things that are not medically appropriate. I have patients who would say that their Ideal clinic would be a place where they could get antibiotic prescriptions called in without a visit. Trying too hard to please patients can also lead to inappropriate narcotic prescribing. Slippery slope, that. I stick to treating my patients the way I want to be treated: same day appointments, communication any way they want, all labs called back personally; friendly, attentive, thoughtful, medical care. They seem to like it.

        “Patient engagement” is indeed important, but it’s just the new term for what I’ve always done; involving patients in their own care, soliciting their input to treatment decisions, and providing lots of patient education. Frankly, my patients are most grateful when I take the time to explain why all those alternative treatments they found on the Internet are a waste of their time and money.

        I could go on as well…

        • Pauline says:


          Due to your (lack of ) understanding of nutrition my mother almost died due to a bacterial infection, under the hands of Los Angeles UCLA’s most renowned doctors. The doctor also had a “Stein” at the end of its last name…

          Take this from a real life patient, but most importantly open your mind and thought to these bright minds that are contributing greatly to a new generation of medicine, please.


    • Kat Lopez says:

      Hi Lucy! Thanks for your comment.
      I hear your value the comprehensive residency programs in the US. I do as well. But…Necessary, as you state? To practice medicine? Well, that’s simply not true…are you aware of NPs, PAs, and naturopathic doctors? They all practice medicine with less than 5 years of training. There are a lot of practicing MDs and DOs who are not board certified or eligible – I was just contacted by a resident in Puerto Rico, where 80% of docs did not complete residency. Nobody’s “pretending residency is necessary” – we’re stating that it’s the case based on reality.

      In addition, I didn’t just stop training, I changed course…to train in a cutting-edge approach to treating complex chronic disease primarily through proper nutrition. I do at TON of fascinating continuing ed. Did you mistake the Institute of Functional Medicine for woo-woo? You may want to check into it. The IFM is run by highly experienced MDs who have become world-renowned for their success in healing difficult diseases; the Cleveland Clinic just opened a functional medicine program because the efficacy of the approach is unparalleled (addressing the underlying causes of disease using nutrition and approaches to decreasing inflammation in the body).
      Have you heard of Dr. Esselstyn or Dr. Fuhrman, eminent cardiologists who reverse severe coronary artery disease with diet alone? They’ve written several books, you may want to read one, they’re amazing. I think it should be illegal for docs to NOT reveal to their patients that there is a failsafe nutritional method to getting off their cholesterol meds, antihypertensives, diabetes meds, and gaining radiant health. Try reading up on those guys.
      Also, writing off Mind-Body Medicine (I trained with Harvard’s Center for Mind-Body Medicine) as woo is a mistake – their unique approaches to mental health disorders (which I now teach as ongoing classes at my clinic), such as severe PTSD, has been shown my extensive research to far exceed the success of counseling and medication combined.

      Just some food for thought.

      • Lucy Hornstein MD says:

        Sorry, Kat, but yes, every last modality you mention is nothing but solid woo, magical thinking, and pseudoscience. I urge you to check them all out at ScienceBasedMedicine,org, my go-to site whenever I need to sort out science from pseudoscience.

        On the topic of mental health, by the way, check out the writings of a wonderful young psychiatrist named Maria Yang MD. I’ve been following her through training, board exams, and now practice. She avoids the stereotypical portrayal of psychiatrists as the ultimate drug pushers without ever invoking the kind of woo at Harvard (no, the name doesn’t impress me) and elsewhere. Food for thought, as you say.

        • Max Sedanka says:

          @Lucy Hornstein MD

          The problem with your stances is that they are only right in a general sense. It’s important to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Sure, there are Chiropractors that practice way off the deep-end, but there are also plenty who practice responsibly and know and communicate the limitations of the modality.

          Are many mind-body practitioners wooists? Yep, but there are also a number of them who don’t believe in reiki, homeopathy, etc, but instead focus on relaxation, positive-thinking and the integration of science-based approaches all of which every Doctor worth their salt should be arming their patients with. The point there is that the average MD doesn’t do this.

          When you bring up ScienceBasedMedicine,org it doesn’t instill confidence. While they do a lot of good work, they are also total know-it-alls who are completely full of themselves and are indifferent to listening to any viewpoint that doesn’t agree with theirs which in the end winds up doing almost equal harm.

          As for the residency matter, I have no dog in that fight. I just know that everyone is ready at different points. Some Doctors can complete a full residency and are still terrible Doctors, and others can do the job much better and sooner. If there is to be any reform at all, perhaps it’s recognizing the readiness points more effectively.

      • Bryan Norman says:

        Lucy, I believe you’ve shown us what’s really going on here: your own triggered ego going to battle. When you have to put down everyone else (NPs and PAs for example), to make your profession look better, that’s actually not a good thing. In fact, these statements cause harm to all involved, including patients. The ego and arrogance of doctors is astounding. There is a really amazing story of a Zen Master trying to teach his student, but, alas, cannot because his mind is already full. Check it out! What I mean is that you don’t have all the answers just because you believe you do…

  8. Gregory Laurence says:

    Although I did complete a residency and go on to fellowship training which allowed me hospital surgical privileges, I completely agree with this article. I have transformed myself from my family physician to a complete non-surgical and surgical wellness and aesthetic provider. This includes bio identical hormone’s, vein therapy, laser therapy, injectables, and surgery. In fact I am in the middle of an event that I created which was open to all colleagues who wanted to add to their skills and providing simple aesthetic services to their patients. The most interesting thing about these new threads that are placed with an acupuncture needle, they were originally used for medical therapy instead of dry needling. See the following

  9. Evah says:

    Hey dr Lopez
    This article brought the smile back to my heart! I have been suffering to find a residency program. And i was always interested in finding something more “natural” I didn’t know that MDs can go through this route. I would love to know more information .

  10. Vandana says:

    Dear Pamela, seeing your video kind of gave me a ray of hope. My husband was studying medicine from a school in Caribbean. He was ready to take his MD exam about eight years ago. just then the destiny struck and and a lot of family problems and personal problems showed up and also he injured his spine and became disabled for some years. Though he was really doing wellin his studies, he could never take his exam. His aim to get into medicine was to serve heal not only physaically but mentally as well with a touch of spirituality. He is under depression for not being able to accomplish it and all his years hard work and money gone to waste.

    Is there any way for him to get back in? Complete his MD without having to take all the classes again that he already passed. OR start practicing? Please guide.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      IMG grads must do 2 years of US residency to practice. US gads only need 1 in many states. If he wants to practice overseas then he may need even less years of training. Check out other countries he may be interested in . . . and always keep joy in your heart. Serving humanity is a treasured gift and the most fulfilling thing you can ever do with your life!

      • Kat says:

        Hi Pamela,
        I’m an IMG and have done 3 years of postgrad training. Currently in Family medicine residency but looking to move to the US specifically New York and California.
        I haven’t done the USMLE yet. Am I able to practice in the US as a holistic medicine practitioner or something along those lines? Why draws the line between health coach vs holistic medicine for physicians etc?

        • Pamela Wible MD says:

          You can do holistic coaching (no need for med license) though not sure about the visa sponsorship situation. Health coach no need for medical license.

  11. Christina says:

    Love this . Thank you for sharing. I am board certified Acupuncture, but want to add more and be able to order more diagnostic testing.
    Do you or know someone like minded that takes on internets/residency?

  12. Skye Necaise says:

    I am interested in exactly how you got started. Any advice, insight or recommendations on that? I am a recent Chiropractic graduate looking to practice functional medicine..

  13. Jamie says:

    I want to pursue this same route. At first, I was considering ND but I could not look past all the limitations they have especially on the east coast. I am applying to medical schools but have a passion for naturopathic and holistic medicine. When I look at FSMB and the state requirements to get a license, it is 1 year in some states. However, many doctors say that it is difficult for insurances to cover your services if you are not board certified or insurances charge you a huge premium for the “risk”. Right now I am planning to just do a residency in FM or IM just because I have to, but do not plan on ever working in the hospital. I am wondering how you got around this problem I am seeing on the Internet. Please let me know. You are who I aspire to be when I finish medical school!

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Hey Jamie – I have a free webinar on Sunday on how to launch without completing residency. Let me know if you want an invitation. I’ll email you as well now.

      • greg arauz md says:

        I like more info on your next webinar
        I am licensed in PR and in the process getting a license in tx
        to open a clinic in area of medical need I will be working with patients believe in natural healing etc (hispanic community)
        chiropractors or alternative medicine have a role in the healthcare field

  14. Dusha Popovic says:

    Pamela, how can I contact you personally? I have tons of questions which are more technical nature.
    I’ve already gone through residency once back in my country, I’ve been an anesthesiologist for over 25 y, and I am not young any more. I am about to finish my usmle exams, and I don’t feel that residency here in US is going to provide me with knowledge that I really need or want.
    I know that I am going to open practice similar to ND, and I will focus on anti-aging medicine.
    I am too old to go through residency, and it will just ruin my health.
    I am asking for direct contact with you so that I can get some very technical answers.

  15. Louis Mazzella, MD says:

    Hi I love the article. I’m very much interested in setting up a practice with a holistic approach but don’t know where to get started. I too am not boarded did surgery for 3 years prelim and contract was cut and could not get a spot. Now I am a wound physician in skilled nursing homes and want to expand my horizons. Would love to be in contact with you.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Just emailed you for the free webinar this Sunday. I;ll walk you through the steps 🙂

    • Dr. Walker says:

      Hi Louis- I am trying to get into post acute wound care as well. I did 4 years of general surgery residency but did not finish. How are your reimbursements handled? Were you able to get insurance accredidation through medicare, etc??


  16. Gurjit says:

    I am exactly in the same position as you. Only difference is that I didn’t even match to residency for 2 year.
    I am a MD Phd, went to med school abroad from Canada to learn how to heal but, found the whole system exactly the way you saw it.
    I want to be doing something what you are doing. Can you help me?

  17. Christen Weber says:

    Hi there! I am an MD who completed intern year in IM and then left, feeling disheartened by traditional medicine and grueling training that left my mental health in the toilet. I have wanted to get back into prevention, lifestyle, etc but have no clue where to start. I currently work from home writing and recently started a blog aimed at patient education for the public (first two posts were on flu shots and breast cancer screening). I would love any assistance you can give me on how to train myself further in functional/lifestyle medicine to open my own clinic. I am licensed but don’t currently practice.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Happy to help. First read everything on my archived “business strategy” blogs. Fun & inspiring stuff there. Then let’s talk. I’ll email you now.

  18. Michelle Shanley says:

    Dr. Lopez,
    May I ask one other question. You had mentioned in your post that there D.O. PGY-1 spots with a one year completion requirement if the physician is going into primary care. Do you know where I would be able to find a list of such opportunities. I have dine a great deal of research and was not aware of this option until I read your post online last night. I would appreciate any detailed information you could offer.Thank you so very much . Have a wonderful evening. Michelle

  19. Daniel Williams says:

    Hello can you provide me with information about schools for opening a wellness cetera and the link to the webinar thank you Daniel

  20. Edwin Garcia-Arzola says:


    I’m an undergraduate with a major in Comprehensive Science Education: Biology with licensure pathway in grades 09-12. I want to know if I could get a year of internship in dermatology and then practice dermatology?

    Thank you,
    Edwin Garcia-Arzola

  21. Michael Mulick, DO says:

    Thanks for the great article. How do you get malpractice coverage if you did not complete a residency? I’m assuming you can since there are docs here saying they open clinics with only an internship…but I couldn’t find any info about malpractice for non traditional doctors.

  22. Steven Svoboda says:

    Are you able to prescribe medications still?

  23. Varsha says:

    This is exactly what I am looking for. Can you connect with me for the guidance? Thanks.

  24. Amanda Paiyesi says:

    I am a biologist is okay to run a conventional medicine clinic?

  25. DJ says:

    This sounds exactly like my situation with one difference which is that I waited too long to seriously consider leaving residency an am now in my second year and not on the best terms with my program director. I excel at Osteopathic/Cranio-Sacral manipulation and have a mind, body, spirit approach to medicine but have not been allowed or able to use it and am often discouraged from using it in my residency.

    I would be so appreciative of a chance to talk through this a bit with Dr. Kat if that is possible. I’ve been scouring the internet and really haven’t found anyone who seems to understand my current situation in the same way she does.

    Thank you for the hope and inspiration!

  26. Anna Que says:

    I am MD without residency so is it possible for me to open a MED spa and do all the basic procedures?

  27. AD says:

    I am an American citizen who graduated from a foreign medical school in China with USMLE step 1, CK, and CS passes and is interested in primary care and preventative medicine. Even though my scores are good but see the uphill task of securing a residency spot. Any advice?

  28. Emm says:

    I wish I were given the opportunity to be trained to be a ‘robot’ at least I’d have owned my life and some kind of license by now. After completing all my steps including step III. Ten years of unpaid research and publications just hoping someone would throw me a bone ‘residency’ I work as a glorified secretary just to pay my med student debt and now laid off because of COVID with no medical insurance no way to pay the bills!
    Yes I’m an American FMG. Get pushed over every day by NPs and PAs who can’t distinguish a tooth ache from a heart attack (excuse me for my lack of PC) no one gives it to me when I’ve earned it for me to give it to folks who haven’t!
    It’s surreal to me after this much ploughing to have positivity no harvest!
    I think opening a clinic or any business venture requires some seed money!
    That’s a little difficult with a 400k debt.
    Something has to change in this system!
    In the sixties you can be a general practitioner with an MD – now what’s an MD worth without a residency no matter how good you look on paper?
    We should form a union and demand better from our law makers!

  29. SC says:

    Dr Lopez, as a current PGY-1, I could have written word for word exactly what you were experiencing in intern year. I am desperately looking to speak to someone who can mentor me to get out. I have no idea how to go about doing this. I fear that I’ll fail once I leave residency early and have no other options. Needing help! Thank you.

  30. Sue yousif says:

    Please send me the webinar. I’m a 4 year medical student

  31. OL says:

    Hi Dr. Lopez I would like to speak with you. I did 2-3 years of family medicine residency. I have a MD licensed and need some advice. Has been so difficult to find a job and not idea where to start to open a private practice.

  32. Jo Greenhalgh says:

    Hi Dr. Lopez! I absolutely love this! I am currently a third year osteopathic medical student. I plan to practice functional medicine as well as have an osteopathic manipulation clinic. I’ve seriously considered doing just my PGY1 and then taking my IFM practitioner exam. I’m interested in doing functional medicine through telehealth. I have a couple questions, and I would also love hearing any advice you have regarding this path if you have some free time in your busy (yet rewarding) life.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Hi Jo, happy to help you this weekend as we have a free Saturday retreat on how to launch your ideal clinic right after PGY1 🙂 I’ll email you. . .

  33. winston domingo says:

    in the philippines, you graduate from med sch. THEN you go to a 1 yr internship. after that you take the board exam. if you pass then you start your residency . . . if accepted. what i am understanding here in the USA is that the 1-yr internship CAN BE ALSO EQUALED TO 1 YEAR RESIDENCY. in the USA there in no such thing as internship then right? in the philippines, its different. intership is part of “schooling.” you don’t get paid. without it you can’t even apply for the board exam. in the phil residency is already a full time job. pls clarify. here is the USA can you as a licensed doctor WITHOUT RESIDENCY see patients? all you need is an MD diploma?

  34. Sheri says:

    I’m wondering if IMG( International Medical Graduates) also can practice medicine after one year of Internship or this is just for those who graduated from the US medical schools?

  35. Elle says:

    I’m a medical student debating whether or not to do a prelim year in order to get licensed. I’m primarily interested in lifestyle medicine (short-term consulting versus longitudinal management) and have already looked into ABLM/IBLM certification. I’d prefer not to deal with insurance, but I don’t want to leave out those who can’t pay out-of-pocket. Do you have to be board certified (and not just licensed) to be reimbursed by insurance? Or is the alternative to offer a limited number of “scholarships”?

  36. Erica Bayas says:

    I would like to know how or who can guide me in how to open my own clinic in the state of Florida. I completed three years of residency. Thank you

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