Kasia Braiter talks to Ewa Kempisty-Jeznach, Medical Director of the Wellness Medicine Clinic. She is a doctor for men (with the international certificate of the Doctor of Men’s Health (Männerärztin CMI) and a supporter of a holistic approach to health. She is the founder of the Polish Men’s Health Medicine Clinic Swissmed Gdańsk and the Polish Society for the Promotion of Male Medicine “Achilles,” as well as a co-organizer of the International Congress of Men’s Health in Sweden.
Ewa, you are a very busy person. Your job is also your mission. Why?
From childhood, I knew that I would be a doctor thanks to my father, who was also a doctor, a professor of medicine, a social worker and, like me, he wrote books. As you can see, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. During the difficult and long years in medicine, I often blamed my father for not having the right to choose my own studies. I was supposed to be a doctor and that was that. When I got my diploma and for the first time had contact with a patient as a full-fledged doctor, I fell in love with this profession. Medicine suddenly became my passion and the desire to help sick people has become my life goal.
You spent many years in Germany. What did you do there?
Yes. For 32 years, together with my husband at the time, I ran a clinic in Frankfurt am Main. As a freshly baked internist, I left the country with a suitcase and a medical bag, and in it, apart from a stethoscope and a blood pressure monitor, there were many dreams of my own clinic. After a year I made my dreams come true and after passing the exam in the language and ultrasound skills (the ultrasound machine was not available in Poland at that time), I opened my first clinic in one of the main districts of Frankfurt am Main. It worked out well and after a year I became a competitor to nearby clinics. The key to success was diligence, passion and the desire to prove to yourself that you can also be a successful doctor in a foreign country.
After many years you came back to Poland. What was the reason for this decision?
There were many reasons, but the most important was the desire to introduce Male Medicine to Poland. In 2005, I was one of the first 16 doctors in Europe to obtain the cmi- medical international certificate. There is no such specialization in Poland to this day – a comprehensive male doctor. At the request of prof. Niels Sjöberg from the University of Lund, I introduced this medicine to Sweden. In 2013, I stated that now it was time for my homeland, Poland, to learn about this important field of medicine.
You treat the man as a whole. Where did you acquire so much knowledge about the human body?
I have three specializations. In Poland, after graduating from the Medical Academy in Wrocław, I worked in the Endocrinology Clinic, where I obtained the title of internist. In Germany, I did two additional specializations that are not available in Poland, in General Medicine and the aforementioned Male Medicine. These two specializations allowed me to have an extremely thorough and comprehensive look at the human being.
I got to know you as a patient. You charmed me not only as a doctor but also as a human being. After five minutes, I had the feeling that we had known each other for a long time. Your approach to the patient is so different than is most common here. Where does it come from?
In my opinion, diagnostic and therapeutic success depends on close cooperation between doctor and patient. There must be chemistry between them. I am a supporter of shortening the distance between the patient and the doctor. This allows for a better opening up of the patient and the disappearance of shame or taboos. The days of the gods in white are long gone. Now it’s time for partnership in the office. I have vast experience that this is the best way to successfully cure a patient and gain trust.
You are the only certified male hormone doctor in Poland. Do men in Poland appreciate that they can benefit from a specialist like you?
I think so. Gentlemen are reluctant to see a doctor. Having a doctor who will take care of health as a whole and take care of his heart, stomach, allergic sinuses, potency disorders and even low testosterone levels during one visit is the best solution for a modern man.
You have written a lot of books, you have your podcasts, you have been interviewed many times. Do you feel fulfilled already? Are you still running to get more knowledge to help patients better?
Do I feel fulfilled – I think so. I have proved to myself that I can have patients who trust me and be appreciated by them both in Poland and abroad, but that does not mean I am satisfied with it.
All your life as a doctor you continue to educate yourself.
Medicine is making progress at such a crazy pace that even pausing for a moment in the pursuit of knowledge is impossible to make up for.
I have always been interested in new discoveries and the possibilities of their applications in the clinic. However, the doctor’s experience in talking to patients and observing their response to medications, diets and other treatments is also important.
What would you like to tell us, how should we live, how to take care of ourselves?
The modern world has changed dramatically under the influence of two negative factors – stress and environmental pollution. In my books I give solutions to deal with these stressors. Physical activity, good quality and duration of sleep, proper nutrition not always in line with trends, techniques for calming down to fight stress, such as mindfulness, yoga, autogenic training, meditation and sex. But most of all, love, family and our dear friends are the way to a happy and long life.