Dr. Mia is the beauty, balance and belief specialist with keys to wellness

Photo courtesy of Dr. Mia
Photo courtesy of Dr. Mia

Dr. Mia is chief medical adviser of MiaCowanMD.com, the online destination where women learn how to “live well, age beautifully,” and the host of the YouTube series “Live Well, Age Beautifully.”

She’s believes in total wellness which includes maintaining healthy weight, keeping women’s hormones balanced and the effects of menopause on weight, energy, sex drive, mood and memory. Her followers, “Ageless Belles,” are provided strategies to “live their best healthy lives.”


Read what she has to say.

Please describe how you made a decision to work in the health field as a career choice?
My mother is a nurse and growing up I would go with her on home healthcare visits. I loved the interaction my Mom had with patients and how she always left them with a smile and feeling better. I wanted to go into a field where I could help improve the health of people and make a positive impact on their lives. I told my mom I was interested in being a nurse because I wanted to help people like her. She told me that because I was smart, good in science and math, and motivated, I should pursue medical school. I am so grateful that she believed in me and continued to encourage me throughout my pursuit of becoming the first physician in my family.


What are three challenges that health professionals face from managed care?
As a physician, managed care poses a few challenges, including declining reimbursements, which requires providers to see more patients to ensure that we can maintain our practices. At my office my staff has to spend a lot of time verifying insurance and educating patients on their policies and benefits. And now with more patient financial responsibility, sometimes patients can’t afford some of their treatments, which may limit treatment options.

What are the three factors that inspire service to the community?
As I pursued my career in medicine I had the privilege of having several mentors in medicine and they all taught me the importance of taking care of my community and giving back. While pursuing my medical degree I was able to witness the health care disparity experienced by minorities in our country and I knew that it was my duty to help decrease this disparity. After finishing my residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, I worked at Cooper Green Hospital, which was the county hospital in Birmingham, which served the indigent population of Jefferson County. I saw first-hand how much my community needed compassionate care, education, and access to superior health care.

What is your specialty and why did you choose to focus on this area of health?
Obstetrics and gynecology. I love taking care of women and teaching them to live their best lives. When I delivered my first baby in medical school, I immediately fell in love with the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. I loved the diversity of the field, from treating and educating adolescents, to helping infertile women get pregnant, curing female problems through medicine and surgery, and yet still having the opportunity to educate my patients and prevent disease. Most of all, I love the connection I have with my patients, being a woman taking care of women.

Three things people should give up in order to live a healthier life?
Tobacco, sugary beverages and a sedentary lifestyle.

Stress has what affect on your health and what are ways to reduce stress?
Stress can negatively affect your immune system, increasing the risk of illness and causing worsening symptoms from many chronic diseases. Stress can cause weight gain and unhealthy coping behaviors, like increased alcohol or tobacco use. Stress can increase depression, irritability and anxiety which can negatively affect relationships and job performance. It can worsen chronic diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Uncontrolled stress can cause headaches and worsen pain. Exercise, meditation and therapy are good ways to prevent and manage stress.

Sleep plays what role in your health?
Adequate sleep helps to maintain the immune system, and improves mood, energy and focus.

How does the environment of a patient play a role in their health?
It determines access to health care and healthy food. The environment plays a large role in determining health behaviors of its inhabitants.

How has technology helped your patients?
Advances in technology have allowed patients to educate themselves more on their health, and make more educated decisions on healthy living and understanding their disease processes. Technology has improved preventive care and the treatment of disease, as well as screening options. The electronic medical record has improved the communication process with patients and other providers for better quality of care and more regulation and consistency of the medical record.  Technology has also given scientists the means to cure many diseases.

What role do regular checkups play in a healthy lifestyle?
The prevention of disease is necessary to maintain overall health. For example, women go to the gynecologist for pap smears, which actually prevent cervical cancer. Because of the pap smear the rate of cervical cancer has dropped dramatically. Regular exams can identify disease in an early stage so that more treatment options are available, as well as providing time to educate patients on prevention of disease.

Finish the sentences:

I am committed to providing superior and compassionate care to my patients so… they can live their best lives.

I work to make a difference by… educating my patients on their health, as well as the prevention of disease. I also make an impact on an even larger audience through speaking, writing and blogging on health and wellness.

In order to remain healthy, it is necessary to… have recommended preventive exams, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and practice healthy coping mechanisms to stress.

The best way to healthy life style changes is… to first become educated on healthy living and implement small changes first, and then continually add healthy behavior changes to improve overall health.

Annual check-ups and visits are necessary… for overall health and prevention of disease.

Health and wellness are... essential to quality of life.

A great day for me at work… results in me seeing my patients improve their quality of life and health after following my treatment recommendations with obvious success. It is so fulfilling to see one of my patients previously suffering from fibroids and pain return after surgery with an improved quality of life, or seeing one of my menopausal patients return after treatment of her symptoms with a smile on her face because her symptoms have resolved and she is able to enjoy life again.

Medical school attended?
Medical College of Wisconsin

Hobbies?
Reading, writing, traveling and snorkeling

Favorite vacation spot?
Jamaica

Favorite authors?
Maya Angelou, Zora Neal Hurston and Alice Walker

Favorite human beings?
Maya Angelou and Maggie Cowan (my mother)

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