Our Parsley Health Los Angeles practice is expanding: We’re thrilled to welcome Jaclyn Tolentino, DO.
Dr. Tolentino is a Board Certified Family Physician with a collaborative, holistic approach to practicing medicine. She holds a subspecialty certification in hormone optimization and is deeply committed to creating opportunities for her patients to make empowered and informed decisions about their own health.
Learn more about Dr. Tolentino, how she approaches patient care, and why she joined Parsley Health.
Q: Why did you become a doctor?
I think I’ve always been fascinated by the human body; the complexity of it and its remarkable resilience. I also grew up watching several of my family members struggle with medical issues, including my mother, who received her first breast cancer diagnosis when I was eight years old.
By the time I was pursuing my undergraduate degree I was definitely gravitating towards the medical field and I completed my B.S. in Health Science, but it wasn’t until after graduation that I really knew medicine was the right path for me. I worked in a doctor’s office with a Doctor of Osteopathy and I completely fell in love with the way he practiced, it appealed to me in this very intuitive way that encouraged me to seriously pursue medicine.
As a practicing physician, I’ve also experienced a personal evolution in my philosophy of patient care that ultimately led me to functional medicine. I really wanted to scratch more than the surface with my patients; to provide a deeper level of care that had the potentiality to offer solutions beyond medication. Continuing my medical training as a functional medicine physician was really the most natural conclusion to beliefs I have long held about the body’s interconnected nature and its ability to heal itself.
Q: What are the conditions you see most often?
I hold a subspecialty certification in hormone optimization, so I see a lot of patients experiencing issues that can be traced to hormone imbalances. I also see a lot of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid issues, or metabolic imbalances.
Many of my patients are also trying to take proactive steps to improve their health, whether that’s preventing chronic diseases or cancer, or optimizing their cognitive health and brain function.
Dr. Tolentino is now taking patients in Los Angeles! Sign up for a free 15-minute call to find out how Parsley Health can help you.
Q: Why did you decide to join Parsley Health?
I whole-heartedly believe in Parsley Health’s philosophy of patient care. It aligns with and amplifies my own beliefs on how medicine should be practiced. As a physician who started my career in the traditional primary care world, I understand how valuable it is to have the ability and the resources available to work collaboratively with my patients to set health goals and get to the root of issues.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
For me, forming a genuine connection with a patient and building a partnership together is really amazing. The thing about primary care is that you and your patients are really embarking together on a journey towards their long-term wellness, and you get to be there with them at every step of that journey.
I also truly love continuing education; technology and research are advancing all of the time in medicine and I think it’s part of my job to stay informed and present my patients with the best information, and options, available at any given time.
Q: What is your experience of the current healthcare system and where would you like to see changes?
My perspective on the state of our current healthcare system has been shaped by my experiences as both a provider and a patient. As a provider, the influence of the insurance industry has had a profound impact on the ability of physicians to provide the type of care their patients desperately need. Change is really going to start with a shift towards seeing individuals as more than a collection of symptoms that can be mitigated through prescribed medications.
Nothing was a starker wake-up call about the inefficiency of our healthcare system than trying to manage my own care as a patient facing major illness. The process of trying to navigate a system that often left me waiting for weeks on end to see specialists for serious, sometimes time-sensitive treatment, all the while buried in a relentless succession of paperwork and phone calls, opened my eyes to the depths of frustration and stress a patient can experience.
Q: How would you describe your relationship with your patients?
If I had to describe my patient care philosophy in a single word, it would be trust! I am very conscious about creating space for my patients to open up and share their experiences with me, so we can work together to build a relationship where they feel relaxed and at ease. I really try to develop a very open relationship with my patients because every aspect of their lives is relevant to their health, not just what their lab test or symptoms might tell me.
Q: What are three things you do every day that are non-negotiable?
Consume as much water as possible, get at least 30 minutes of exercise, and aim for a full night of restorative, restful sleep.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I feel like right now, at this moment, I’m exactly where I should be. I am deeply grateful to be present and living this life.
Q: Favorite food?
I absolutely love a piping-hot bowl of Sinigang, which is a Filipino soup that’s sour and savory. It can be made with several different combinations of protein and fresh vegetables, but the base is always a really nourishing stock infused with tamarind, which gives it that sourness. I could really eat this every single day!
Q: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Something that’s really resonated with me is the philosophy that “the obstacle is the way.” Disruption isn’t necessarily destructive, sometimes it’s the push we need to refocus our purpose and put us on a different path.
For me, overcoming obstacles is a constant reminder to live with gratitude daily. I also really have to credit to my husband and my mother for providing reinforcement of that principle for me, even at some of the toughest moments. With their support, I have cultivated a resilience that has allowed me to find strength in the idea that there is always a new path; nothing is permanent, and nothing is impossible.