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Conversations with the Inspiring Dr. Allyson Berkey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Allyson Berkey.

Dr. Berkey, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Newport Beach in the 70’s. My dad, Al Pizzo, was a beloved doctor in the community. I could see his dedication to his patients and the compassion he shared every day with each interaction he had. He would come home late most nights, having made a trip to the hospital or a house call to check on his patients after a full day’s work. He taught me that medicine is so much more than prescribing medication.

At UCLA, I studied Kinesiology and pre-med, then attended medical school and residency at the University of Minnesota. The big shift for me happened after I had kids and wanted to return to medicine. My interests had changed, and I couldn’t bring myself to re-enter primary care in today’s world, a system built around disease management and pharmacology. Of course, there are amazing medical necessities, like surgery and emergency interventions, and we need these, but a whole new field of functional medicine, integrative medicine and preventive medicine was where I wanted to be. I returned to the insights of my father, studying the importance of nutrition, something that was briefly touched on in medical school, emotional well-being, and preventive care. With recent advancements, I am now able to evaluate hormone imbalances, micronutrient deficiencies, DNA variations, age-related issues, and new approaches to “bio-hacking” our body with hormone replacement, DNA testing, telomere testing, peptides, stem cells, exosomes and IV therapies.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Medical school and Residency are physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. It requires conforming to the system which meant leaving parts of myself behind. I became almost robotic over that period of 8 years. Once out in the real world, the demanding pace continued. I honestly had not realized what I had signed up for, a life of never-ending work. I didn’t want to be that always-exhausted doctor, no time for family, fun or self. At that time, I was starting a family so I stepped away from medical practice. When I returned to medicine, things had changed quite a bit, as had I.

One speaker and thought leader had a huge impact on me, the late great Dr. Wayne Dyer. He inspired me to carve out a way to be the kind of doctor I wanted to be. He said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer. So, rather than conform to the medical system, I began my journey following my intuition and what I had seen my father do to truly help people. My advice to women just starting their journey: Know your worth, your value. Trust yourself. Know what you are OK with, and what you are not. Speak your truth. Know that it is OK to change your mind. Often it is in knowing what we don’t want that we are led to the right path.

“Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.” ~ Rumi

We’d love to hear more about your practice.
I’m a doctor, healer, investigator, problem-solver…. and I also make a mean PB&J for my kids. My work focus is on helping people reach optimal health and well-being. It is the key to slowing aging and staying healthy so that we can enjoy life. I believe that we do not have to age as our parents did. We can take steps now that will affect our health, our longevity and how we feel day-to-day. At my office, I offer healthy approaches for internal health along with aesthetic treatments for skin and hair that add to one’s confidence and well-being.

I think what sets me apart is my commitment to each patient individually. I offer custom integrated, nutrition-based wellness plans, sometimes including things that are not widely accepted by conventional medicine – such as targeted nutritional supplementation, hormone optimization, Growth Hormone stimulation, mitochondrial support, leaky gut solutions, macro- and micronutrient replenishment, and the latest in stem cell & exosome therapy. Coupling that with easy, safe, and fun improvements to one’s appearance, I am complimenting the quest for health. It is an exciting new era for medicine, and I love what I do.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
I was fortunate to have my first mentor in my dad. After that, what worked for me was emulating qualities I liked and respected from many different mentors. I have also found that in my profession, I have the unique opportunity to learn from patients too as if we are mentoring each other through the complexities of life.

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