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Take Risks

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

"Don’t be afraid to fail."

These were some of the last words my aunt told me before she passed from complications of multiple myeloma. Before she was diagnosed with such a cancer, I had a goal to become an oncologist.

In college, I was a part of an organic chemistry research group researching how to lengthen telomeres of oncogenes to prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells. At that time, I saw cancer only as a group of cells invading the body. I didn’t realize how cancer affected the patient and the patient's family.

After graduating from college, I was faced with the stark reality of the devastation cancer leaves behind. No longer was cancer a group of cells, it became the grey cloud hovering over us. Life slowed as hospital visits became the norm for months. Watching my dad, his siblings, my cousins and their father, and my grandmother plan for the inevitable was heartbreaking. It was during this time my ambitions to become an oncologist were broken. Instead, my goal shifted to help prevent the occurrence of cancer and to help patients mitigate some of the side effects of treatments.

Hence, my journey towards natural medicine.

Within months after my aunt’s passing, I learned about Naturopathic medicine from my yoga teacher while I was studying to sit for the MCAT. I explained to her how I wanted to treat patients— starting with lifestyle changes, then moving on to medications. She looked at me and said there was a type of medicine that is aligned with my goals. She sent me information on Naturopathic medical schools and within a month I was interviewing at Bastyr University in San Diego, and in 3 months I was sitting in my first medical school class.

Not knowing what Naturopathic medicine was, only knowing I needed to be a part of it, I heard my aunt’s words in my head and I took the risk. I received backlash from some family saying it was only going to lead me to a dead end. Nevertheless, I persisted. I worked hard, graduated, achieved my CA license, and found an amazing clinic to work in.

My risks payed off and continue to bring me hope, joy, and a sense of accomplishment.

I hope my story inspires you to try something that you've been thinking about, but afraid to pursue.

You won’t know until you try.

If it resonates with you— a new career path, risky investment options, new treatment options, buying a one-way ticket without a return date. Whatever it may be, take the risk! If things don’t go your way, it is a learning experience; move forward with new knowledge to accomplish your ultimate goals!

Failure is a myth. There is no failure, only learning opportunities.

Jump and the net will appear.

Until next time,

Dr. Francesca Medina, ND

*Disclaimer:  Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor.  The information contained within the pages of this site are for educational purposes only and should not to be used to treat conditions.  Please consult with your doctor before implementing any of the treatments, diets, supplements, etc. mentioned in this blog.*

If you'd like to work with me, you can visit to book an appointment with me!

I look forward to working with you!


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1 Comment

Kudos on the change of direction! It suits you well, I love reading the stories of how and why people chose the path they are on. Your aunt is singing your praises, keep going Dr.Francesca.

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