Dr. Rich (00:00: Welcome back to the Dr. Rich channel. We have our El Paso icon public figure is still accosted with us today. We’re grateful to have a candid conversation, uh, about women’s health, um, full disclosure. We are both received the vaccination for COVID-19 and socially distance. And we are following the CDC guidelines, the most recent guidelines regarding gathering indoor for vaccinated individuals.
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Dr. Rich (00:37):
Going back to what we’re talking about. So with, um, selling the practice, you know, I don’t also, so I don’t work eight hours a week as doctor and then spend another 20 hours running a business anymore. Right. So that, um, and then with COVID, it’s like I was seeing four patients a day and there was just like, what am I doing with all this time? You know? And so, um, first I taught myself final cut pro 10, and it was making all these videos, uh, and I had always made videos, but I mean, I got actually got good at it. Um, and so such that like, you know, Intuit is like a billion dollar company and they’re like, who, who is your guide that helps you produce this video? And I’m like, yeah, I just,
Estela Casas (01:19):
You’re so modest. You’re so modest.
Dr. Rich (01:22):
Um, and then I was like, well, that’s not really particularly good use of my time though. Right.
Estela Casas (01:30):
Because your talent is in the operating room. Well, that,
Dr. Rich (01:32):
But I mean, even in, um, PR you know, in creating a product, a video product, cause I’ve always, you know, that’s been afforded a former life and this is, you know, this is a passion project it’s fulfilling for me to do this. And I mean, yeah. So, um, and, and I, you know, I, I like, I, like, I mean, I’m not going to lie. I mean, I like it. And so, um, but I can probably offload most of that to Ruben and let them produce everything. And Jonathan, Christine, and, and, and also, you know, to be successful at this. Um, what I’ve learned is that it’s just about constant content creation.
Estela Casas (02:13):
That’s what I, that’s what I understand. You have to constantly be doing something on social media, but, but the most important part about everything that you’re doing is that you’re making a connection.
Dr. Rich (02:24):
I hope so. I mean, absolutely. And really at the end of the day, it’s, um, adding value, right. So, so, you know, my patients they’re already coming because, um, you know, we have done great things in my little tiny area, you know, in robotics for, for our community, you know? Um, I mean, I’m proud that, you know, we’ve developed a training center in El where, for my specialty, there’s five places in the country you can go and we’re one of them. I mean, that’s, that’s a pretty, that’s a pretty cool thing. Absolutely. So, um, so patients are already coming, but, you know, there’s, um, a million questions people have
Estela Casas (03:17):
They forget to ask when they’re in the, when they were in front of you. Yeah. Because they’re intimidated, they’re in pain, they’re whatever it is. Right, right.
Dr. Rich (03:24):
And, and, or embarrassed. Um, yeah. And so, um, to create a platform where we compile the most commonly asked questions about things and use that as the resource that people can evaluate like a waiver of resources and from procedures to just, you know, an exam and then, you know, make it entertaining and fun. Right. And, um, I don’t know. So that was my thought around it. So, um, we spent a lot of time on brand, so like what makes sense? Um, you know, how, how do we connect? Um, and you know, so tenant has my licensing agreement for my practice or Texas you’re in ecology and, you know, I’m their employee. So there has to be some degree of separation. Sure, sure. And you have your brand. So I became Dr. Rich, right. Because you know, it was mine. So if you look at all the worldwide, you know, doctor worldwide, um, that was taken.
Dr. Rich (04:42):
So, so we have, uh, the famous Dr. Utuber. So, you know, Dr. Mike and, um, uh, there’s Dr. Mama Jones. There’s a bunch of different people doing stuff, but there’s nobody in like, urogynecology your robotic. It was nobody doing that. And so I was like, okay, so there’s a need, I can, you know, create content, serve my patients better, and then potentially serve people that aren’t and would never be my patients. Right. So, um, they can, Oh, okay. I’ve seen that. And I live in Timbuktu, but I now have ability to make an informed decision or research more or whatever. So,
Estela Casas (05:24):
So let me tell you a little bit about, about, uh, w you know, when you reached out to me, um, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of embarrassing for me. Yeah. It’s kind of embarrassing for me, you know, you you’ve been my doctor and, um, but I see you and I connect with you and I, you and your wife. Um, but you, you provide that, that connection and that feeling of it. I’m okay. When I run into you in the community. Yeah. And, uh, that’s a fine line that sometimes, you know, it, it’s, it’s easy to cross. Yep. And, but I’m, I’m very lucky and feel very fortunate to know you because I know the quality, uh, doctor that you are, but we also have that connection outside. And that that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. So let me share a little something with you. Um, I remember, uh, that you invited me to go, uh, watch a baseball game at Southwest university park baseball, baseball park.
Dr. Rich (06:26):
What is it called? I think so ballpark.
Estela Casas (06:28):
Ballpark. Okay. Yeah. Okay. I remember you invited me several times to go watch a baseball game. Uh, and, uh, that day sticks very, uh, clear in my mind because that morning, um, I had had, uh, my ultrasounds of my breasts and, um, I forgot about it, you know, and I went to see you, my, my brother and I showed up and we had such a great time, you know, we were, we were, we were enjoying the evening, the beautiful star on the mountain. Uh, I just remember what a beautiful day that was despite everything else that was going around in my life. But, um, you, you just made me feel my brother and I feel very comfortable that day, but it was three days later that, uh, I got my, my diagnosis bilateral breast cancer. But, uh, so when I look back, it’s like you were part of that journey. Um, and it’s been, it’s been quite a journey, uh, but, um, you have embraced me over the years and it’s something really special. And I appreciate that from you and that, and that confidence in that, um, that connection that we’ve had over the years, because it’s, it’s not easy being, you know, uh, as a, as a public figure that I was, or whatever you want to call it.
Estela Casas (07:47):
Uh, you know, when you, when you walked down the street, you know, you’re not gonna remember, you know, what you saw in your exam room, but you might remember what you saw in me. And that that’s, that’s kind of intimidating for me, but you’ve, you’ve made me feel very comfortable. Um, and it’s, and it’s all good. And I think that’s, that’s a connection that you make with a lot of your patients because you’re professional.
Dr. Rich (08:13):
Well, I appreciate that. And, and it’s just been an absolute honor to, to know you and to you to accept that invitation and to meet your family. And first of all, I don’t believe you’re intimidated by anything. I mean, you, you really are one of the strongest people like I’ve ever met and, um, on so many levels, I mean, professionally, um, you know, your strength through this, and the fact that, you know, that was also a very difficult journey that you shared publicly, publicly, because you knew how important it was and to have the courage to do that is, I mean, that’s stronger than I think anything I’ll do or anything that, uh, you know, most people would have, have the constitution to be able to do. But, um, you know, I, I appreciate that. I think it is kind of a fine line and I would never, you know, um, in someone that I know in a medical relationship, um, impose that socially in any, in any means, but I’m glad that, you know, um, you know, we have the comfort and, you know, we, we know each other, we know each other’s families and, and, um, it just, uh, it, it’s just another point of connection and it’s not, and I’m glad that it’s not, I’m glad to hear you say that it’s not something that, um, you know, is, is bothersome or concerning, or, I mean, obviously there’s the thought of embarrassment, but I mean, it transcends that
Estela Casas (09:46):
I, you know, I remember, uh, you texted me, you texted me when I made my announcement on, on TB. And, uh, you’re one of the first ones who said, Hey, you know, I’m here, I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through, but, but I’m here for you. And, uh, you know, I really appreciate that, um, that you included me in your life and I was able to include you in my journey as well. So, um, that’s important to me and maybe, and I have a feeling that that is a connection that you make with a lot of your patients. Um, Oh, a wave from, uh, in medical terms, you know, away from the office, right. Because that’s how you’re able to connect with people and they see you in a different light. And we see you as, as a human being, not just as a doctor and you see me, you as, as a human being as well, and not just a news anchor or executive director or whatever you want to call me. But, um, and that’s, that’s, that’s kind of cool. I I’m, I’m happy about that. And thank you for, including me.
Dr. Rich (10:45):
Um, well, again, and it’s, it’s been just an honor for me to, um, be able to serve you, to serve our community and, um, you know, to treat everybody, um, and, you know, we’ve become friends, but honestly, um, I want to be able to, uh, express that compassion, that empathy, that understanding. And I, I feel that I do for every person,
Estela Casas (11:15):
But what I think is important is it yes, like I shared, was able to share my, my, my belt with, with thyroid cancer now with bilateral breast cancer. Um, I never really talked about my, my, my other, my other problems, but, but a lot of people need to know that, that, that we have a lot of problems. And just because we’re on TV or in the seem like untouchable or whatever you want to call it, that we don’t go through the same pain or through the same problems, or as through the same procedures and the same problems it’s, that’s important to share. And that’s why I was able to open up about my, about my, my problems, because it’s important for everybody to know that that we’re not alone. You know, when, when we’re in it, you, you forget that there’s other people, there are other people who’ve been through the same thing you have, and that’s why it’s so important to be able to share that and, and sh, and be able to share that opportunity with you is also important because, um, the more, you know, the more you are empowered to take care of your own health and education is key.
Estela Casas (12:15):
And, um, you have to be your own advocate. I don’t remember how we met all. All I remember is that, all I remember is the first time I went into your offices, I was having problems. I was, um, not, not particularly hemorrhaging, but I was having some heavy periods and, and didn’t know what to do. And, um, it, it kind of scares me. It’s got kind of scared me when you, when you realize that your body is going through some changes. And that’s why I went to see you. And I remember that, that first day that I went to see you, it was, you made it all very comfortable and very, um, soothing to be there despite having to be on, on stirrups. Right. You know, but, but I think, I think it’s important to tell these women just like, you know, your first mammogram or your first pelvic exam, it’s very important to tell women that they have to take ownership and, and, and own, you know, w w many times what they’re embarrassed, you know, somebody else to see.
Estela Casas (13:13):
Yeah. And, uh, I just remember just you making me feel very comfortable and, and explained everything to me, what was going to happen. And despite the scary, the scariness of it all, you made me feel that you made me feel comfortable. And I remember when I went in to have my surgery to have the hysterectomy, it was all, you explained everything to me, you showed me the machine beforehand. So I knew exactly what was going to happen, or I thought I did. And, um, just got out of it and recovered, uh, well, and, and women need to know that, um, you have to take ownership of your body and you have to be careful and be very well aware of the changes in your body and not be afraid to tell your doctor and cooperate
Dr. Rich (13:57):
Well, and I think one of the big things about our channel is empowering women to understand that they do have a choice. So a lot of women they’ll come and, you know, they may be, um, suffering and maybe they were suffering for a long time. And they’re afraid to even go because they’re embarrassed, or they have a story that someone they knew had a surgery, had a hysterectomy, and it was an incision and they had problems. And, um, they ended up suffering or, or God forbid, some patients even end up developing cancers because they were just afraid, um, or maybe even afraid, um, that it was going to be uncomfortable. And that none of those things necessarily have to be the case. And if you are concerned, get more information, you know, see a provider. Um, and that just because, you know, 10 years ago, somebody had surgery some way there’s technology now. And obviously we’re big advocates of robotic surgery. Um, there’s technology now that really completely makes it a different experience. Um, and you know, obviously providers that Excel on certain technologies and, and you do need to advocate for yourself. You gotta say, you know, what’s your experience level, you know, with this. Um, and at the end of the day, um, not every doctor, not every patient have the right fit. And if you’re not getting the answers you want, you know, get another opinion.
Estela Casas (15:34):
Well, first of all, women need to know that you have to come in with a lot of questions. Yeah. And, uh, because, uh, we certainly don’t know it all. So it’s very important for a woman to come in with a list of questions, uh, that you will answer. And the more, uh, the better relationship you have with your doctor the better, but yeah. You know, it’s embarrassing and you don’t like to talk about these very private things. And, and as a, as a culture, the Hispanic culture, the Hispanic community, um, we are not used to, um, going to get a pelvic exam or checking your breasts for lumps. Right. And, um, taboo, there is a taboo, although things have changed, but there’s still, you know, some embarrassment there. And so, um, I’m just, I’m just very grateful that you felt made me feel comfortable enough to not feel, um, intimidated or less than, or embarrassed, um, to go through the surgery.
Estela Casas (16:30):
Cause I had a lot of questions. I always have a lot of questions as a, as a, as a journalist. Um, but you are your best advocate. And, um, you know, that’s what I advise women that you’ve have to stop. You have to take ownership of your body. You have to take ownership of, of yourself to be able to ask all those questions of your doctor and, and stay on top of your health. So what happened to me is, uh, is I had, I had had a mammogram eight months before and in eight months and I was on top of my health. You know, I took care of, uh, I was very well aware of my periods. And when, when, when there were changes in my body, I was very well aware and on top of my health. So, um, I’d had a mammogram eight months before and I developed stage one stage two. And, um, and this is somebody who’s informed and educated about their health and an advocate and all those things, and it still happens and it happens to everybody and you can develop cancer anywhere.
Dr. Rich (17:30):
Well, and I think that, I mean, that is probably one of the most important messages as you were alluding to earlier is, um, you know, even public fingers. I mean, we’re all human and we all have these processes. And I think it’s empowering for women to see, um, like suffering is, are not suffering, but, um, it’s not a, uh, a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength to be able to, uh, I guess it’s a vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. And, um, it’s empowering to people to say, okay, well, you know, this is someone I’m certainly, I looked up to, many people look up to, um, and she’s human and these things happen. And, and um, if you have these questions in your life, you know, uh, you need to go and you need to get these questions answered. You need to have what other tests need to be done. And, you know, hopefully everything works out fine, but, um, occasionally we’re going to find something. And when we do the key for all of these things,
Estela Casas (18:40):
Absolutely, I’ve always advocated for early detection. Uh, you talk about vulnerability. Um, it is very hard to be vulnerable, but what I’ve learned from being vulnerable is that you find strength in not only yourself, but in the people around you from give you that strength because you opened yourself up because you became vulnerable and everybody rallies behind you because you’re real, you are raw. And, um, it certainly helped me and it, it, you know, it was really, um, humbling. And I put myself out there every single day, you know, with my wigs and with my fake eyelashes and with my nosebleeds during a newscast. Yeah. And, uh, but, but women need to know and, you know, men need to know too, but women need to know that, that we can and should take control of our health and be our, our, uh, our best advocate in, and reach out to you when you have a heavy period or when you know that something isn’t quite right. And, and not be afraid because, um, yeah, you do become very vulnerable sometimes, but it is what it is.
Dr. Rich (19:52):
Well, and I, like I said, I’m honored. You did come. I’m honored that you’ve shared all of these vulnerabilities with me and with, um, your audience and, and I, I know the effect on that is a measurable, and I appreciate you being able to, um, help us, uh, send this message on our channels.
Estela Casas (20:12):
Well, thank you so much. And I’m writing a book. I, yes, I, I, uh, I, uh, I talked to a publicist today and, uh, I’m going to send her all of my 42 chapters. And, uh, uh, yeah, we’ll have to talk about that. Wanted to talk about that. And it’s about my journey. It’s about my journey. I, my journey was very public. Um, but there are some bits and pieces that, that I, that I talk about in my book that people don’t know about that are necessary, um, in, in important for especially women and families to know what you go through. And so, yeah, I’m doing that. That’s great. So I’m going to come back.
Dr. Rich (20:54):
Thanks for joining us telecast this night for our candid conversation about women’s health and our El Paso Wonderland community for our next video. Go ahead and put your suggestions in the comments section below about who you think we should interview next, and please share and subscribe.