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From Flaming Fireball to PCOS Trailblazer: Dr. Basma Faris

From Flaming Fireball to PCOS Trailblazer: Dr. Basma Faris
Dr. Basma Faris created a niche practice after "the perfect storm of ideas". We interviewed her and pulled in some of her latest work, for reference.

Table of Contents

Where did you first get the idea to create a niche practice?

This was a perfect storm of ideas. I had created a nutrition course for physicians but I was itching to do something for patients. The COVID-19 pandemic had introduced telemedicine to my practice and although impractical for most of my GYN visits I found it particularly useful to connect with my patients with PCOS.

I’ve always enjoyed helping people with PCOS because my background in nutrition allowed me to provide a level of care that my patients weren’t getting elsewhere.

Then in 2021, through social media channels, I was approached by a PCOS focused health and wellness startup to provide them with content for their social media and website. That led to a week-long program we put on together. This opened my eyes to the scope of the problem, the dearth of PCOS specific care solutions and to the possibilities.

I saw a need, a problem, and I sought a way to solve it.

 

Which specific resources did you use to build what you have?

When I decided to start my own business I joined every physician facebook group that had to do with entrepreneurship, direct care practices, telemedicine and social media.

From there I discovered the many free and low cost resources like podcasts and books that other physician entrepreneurs have generously made available.

 

Dr. Faris celebrates a birthday with her bestie, while traveling to Punta Mita, Mexico.
Dr. Faris celebrates a birthday with her bestie, while traveling to Punta Mita, Mexico.

 

How are you targeting your niche audience?

My network of physician and dietitian colleagues is a great source of referrals.

I use social media, mostly Instagram, to educate the public about PCOS and my services.

 

You recently visited #healthmeetsfood2023. What were some interesting takeaways and can you tell us about it?

Health Meets Food is the annual meeting of the Culinary Medicine Specialty Board. Culinary Medicine is a relatively new specialty that combines the science of medicine and the culinary arts to improve health.

It started with the idea of bringing “the two white coats” together, meaning bringing physicians and chefs together, but it is now an interdisciplinary field of doctors, chefs, dietitians, health educators, and public health experts.

The first day of the conference focuses on culinary skills building. The second day focuses on Culinary Medicine in clinical practice and public health, and the third day focuses on food service. I always learn so much and get energized by being around like minded people.

This year I was asked to be on the advisory board.

The goal of Culinary Medicine is to take disease specific nutrition recommendations and transform the nutritional needs from macros and vitamins to real food solutions that take into consideration people’s access, culinary skills, culture and preferences.

(You can see Dr. Faris’ post on IG, here.)

 

Dr. Faris, with fellow Culinary Medicine Queens Dr. Sabrina Falquier and Dr. Nisha Patel at Health Meets Food 2023
Dr. Faris, with fellow Culinary Medicine Queens Dr. Sabrina Falquier and Dr. Nisha Patel at Health Meets Food 2023

 

"I saw a need, a problem, and I sought a way to solve it."

 

You were a guest on a new YouTube channel called Climax after Dark, on subjects relating to sexual wellness. How did the host of the podcast find you?

Dr. Ojo-Carons is a dear friend from residency.

We have been supporting each other in our careers since we met and jumped on the opportunity to collaborate.

 

Dr. Faris and her twin boys, taking a family cooking class at Pocono Organics in Pennsylvania. "It's never too early to teach our kids where our food comes from, she says, "And how to prepare healthy, delicious food."
Dr. Faris and her twin boys, taking a family cooking class at Pocono Organics in Pennsylvania. “It’s never too early to teach our kids where our food comes from, she says, “And how to prepare healthy, delicious food.”

 

Where did your company’s name, PollyPrep, come from?

Polly, the girl’s name is a play on the name of the condition Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.

Prep stands for preparatory school because a main goal of my practice is to educate.

 

You posted about suffering from “dingusdeflate“ on LinkedIn. What is that??

I was talking to one of my 12 year old sons about burnout and he found that meme and sent it to me.

I think he grasped what I was talking about.

The meme was contrasting “dingusdeflate” which to me, looks like depression, vs “burnout” which was illustrated as going down in flames.

Although I did not recognize that I was experiencing burnout in 2022, looking back, I was, and it felt more like a flaming fireball than “dingusdeflate.”

See Dr. Faris’ post here.

 

 

You use Instagram to disseminate PCOS education (your niche area). How does your account grow best?

I find I grow best when I post a reel that resonates with many.

It isn’t always the one I think is going to be a hit.

I post from the heart, what’s on my mind and what I think is important.

I don’t really pay attention to trends and try to stay authentic.

 

Dr. Faris' Instagram feed. All of her social media links can be found inside her SoMeDocs profile, linked at the end of this article.
Dr. Faris’ Instagram feed. All of her social media links can be found inside her SoMeDocs profile, linked at the end of this article.

 

Your SoMeDocs Speaker Page includes a video introducing yourself to the world. What tips can you share for a doctor looking to create a similar video?

Believe it or not, I am not comfortable shooting or posting videos of myself.

I prefer to hide behind text and informational posts.

I usually type out what I want to say, record and read, taking several takes until I can say what I need to without really reading.

I delete the ones I mess up on, or don’t like, and save a few good versions.

(See Dr. Faris’ speaker page here. Our SPEAKERS section is filled with doctor speakers who are open to invitations to conferences, health events, podcasts, and more)

 

On sharing why you became a doctor (here), you said, “After years of my pain being dismissed as normal by doctors I was diagnosed with endometriosis.” How can we do better, as doctors, especially using technology?

I think some of the best uses of technology by doctors are the ones that allow us to connect.

Technology and the business of medicine have the potential to make the doctor patient relationship more distant.

We can use technology to educate, to communicate, to create communities.

Affordable cloud based EHRs, teleconferencing and remote monitoring technologies allow physicians like me to carve out our own niche.

 

"I don’t really pay attention to trends. I try to stay authentic."

 

We have recently opened a FB group for doctors called Doctor Side Ventures. What would you like to see discussed there?

Most physicians with a side gig have a day job. What are some of the legal and contractual pitfalls of having steady employment and a side gig?
These are some of the questions I had a harder time finding answers to when I was deciding how to make changes in my career to accommodate my business.

 

We took a family vacation to Budapest and Prague this year. This is the steps of the National Museum in Prague, overlooking the Wenceslas Square.
Dr. Faris took a family vacation to Budapest and Prague this year. Shown is Faris, with the steps of the National Museum in Prague, overlooking Wenceslas Square, behind her.

 

A fun question to close with: what’s your favorite book, movie, or TV show, and why?

Right now I am obsessed with The Bear.

I started watching it because I thought it was a show about food, which of course I am all about, but it is actually a show about family, and trauma, but there is a lot of resilience and heart.

 

You can catch more of Dr. Faris inside of her profile, where you’ll find her lecture, course, speaking portfolio, and a few of the articles she’s written for SoMeDocs.

We thank Dr. Faris for being a member of our NETWORK. To join as a member, click here.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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