5Dr. Staci Tanouye, M.D. is a woman’s health advocate with a mission is to empower women to learn and love their bodies. She embodies the Lift & Be Uplifted philosophy by empowering women with the knowledge to create improved health, confidence, and happiness. Dr. Staci is passionate about this mission, and it shows in her care for her patients. I can attest to this, as I am one of her patients! I knew when I met Dr. Staci that she was going to change the game for women's medicine. She began an exemplary career in Obstetrics and Gynecology, after residency training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN whose department of Gynecology is consistently ranked the top in the country. After moving to Jacksonville, FL and entering private practice, she faced unique heath issues of her own that forced her to pivot and reshape the career she imagined for herself. However, as with most of life’s greatest challenges, getting past crisis and disappointment can provide perspective and opportunity.
Dr. Staci uses her education and experience to not only provide care for her patients, but to educate hundreds of thousands by uplifting and educating young women through social media platforms. As an influencer specializing in women’s health, her goal is to spread evidence-based medicine to a generation that normally relies on sensationalized media and advertising for information about their health. She shares her health methods to over 35K daily on Instagram and over 769K people on TikTok! If you haven’t seen her fresh dance moves while answering questions you may have been too embarrassed to ask, you owe it to yourself to do so!
I’m happy to see Dr. Staci be uplifted by lifting so many women to the best and healthiest they can be. Read more about her journey through the field of medicine below!
1. Rarely is someone's journey linear. Can you explain what you wanted to be when you grew up, and how your career landed where you are right now?
I’ve wanted to be a physician since I was 14 years old. In 8th grade, I was voted “Most Likely to Become a Doctor.” Prior to that, I had never really thought about being a physician. But from that point on, the idea of becoming a physician was solidified in my head. I never looked back from there. I never had a back up plan.
2. Which single word do you most identify with?
3. What moment/experience in your life was the most formative in your development as a woman in the field of medicine?
When I was in medical school on my family medicine rotation, I was assisting my attending with seeing a gentleman who was interested in a vasectomy. He flirted with me the whole time, asked suggestive questions, phoned in his wife to also ask questions, and when the consult was done after a very detailed physical exam, he proceeded to ask me out. I walked out, told my attending and the resident, and they laughed. I know they weren’t laughing AT me, they were laughing at him and how ridiculous it was, BUT no one stood up for me or said anything. The patient left his number for me when he left.
4. Go-to ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip
5. You have counseled and educated women of all ages! What is something you have noticed that most women struggle with?
Weight and bodies. When my medical assistant asks patients to step on the scale, every single woman states, “I hate this part,” or says something about how her weight is not where she wants it to be.
6. As an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, you have been an incredibly strong leader in your field. How do you inspire and motivate women to prioritize their health?
Mostly through education and knowledge, but in a fun and relatable way. If I can make someone feel comfortable enough to ask the “embarrassing” questions, then we’re moving in the right direction.
7. What is the biggest barrier you experienced as a woman in your career?
The hesitancy of people to change the traditional model of how we practice medicine. More women want to be in medicine and entering medical school classes are finally consistently half, or more, female. But in addition to full-time work, the majority of us are still the primary caregivers in the home as well. Practice models need to be open to change to allow more women to work comfortably while still taking care of their families in the way they desire. This means more opportunities for job-sharing, part-time work, shift work, hospitalist positions for less on-call time. And not only do we need more flexible options, we also need to not be looked down upon when we choose to do so.
8. What advice would you go back in time and give your younger self?
Meditation and therapy.
9. Who is your female icon?
Michelle Obama – she is everything. She’s from my hometown, has an Ivy League education, is brilliant, and met the future POTUS, her husband, because she was HIS BOSS. She then quit her cushy corporate law job to work for her community and make her world a better place.
10. What is your "mantra," or personal "motto" that keeps you motivated and focused?
“It could always be worse.”
I tell myself this whenever I am upset or feeling overwhelmed. This mantra started during a period in my life where I was very sick, and there was nothing I could do to make It better except live day to day. Everything that happened to me was completely out of my control. They only thing I could control, was how I felt about it. So I decided to let it all go and take it day by day, choosing to just live because no matter how bad it got, it could always be worse.