Dr. Masutto (but you can call her Kerri) is trained in Internal Medicine and has been bringing her functional medicine knowledge to primary care for the past five years with a huge diversity of patients in different healthcare models.
Learn more about Dr. Masutto, her approach to medicine, and why she joined Parsley Health.
Q: WHY DID YOU BECOME A DOCTOR?
I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was three years old. And when you’re a kid, you don’t really understand why you want to be something. Since I couldn’t explain what sparked my interest in the first place I always just said, “I want to help people.”
As I got older, I changed my answer to sound more “serious”—like my fascination with how the body works, wanting to be a healer, and my love of learning. But now I realize that little-kid-Kerri was right—it’s as simple as, “I want to help people.”
What usually brings people in is simply that they want to feel better than they do right now. Sometimes that means we work on hormone issues, often times gut stuff, but at the end of the day, the biggest condition I treat is, “I don’t feel good—can you help?”
I’ve had the privilege of working with a huge diversity of patients and health care systems. All of them have been trying to solve the problems of health care in this country. But I saw Parsley Health as a company that was really creating a sustainable system to help get people well. And I would get to practice the kind of medicine that I really believe in. (Plus, it cuts my commute in half, so it’s win-win-win!)
Restoring someone’s hope that they can get better.
My interests aren’t so much around treating particular diseases or conditions. Rather, it’s really in finding the root cause of these conditions in someone’s life.
That said, there are two areas that I’m hugely passionate about bringing more awareness to. One is addressing women’s connection to their bodies and reproductive organs and all the imbalance and illness that can arise when we lose that connection. The second is preventing and reversing cognitive decline as we age.
Very early in my education I saw the realities of socio-economic impact on health. Out of residency, I spent 2 ½ years doing in-home physical exams and health assessments for Medicare/Medicaid patients in rural Indiana and California. Sitting at the kitchen table of over 1,200 senior, chronically ill and often disabled people was an eye-opening experience for a young doctor. Seeing the conditions that much of rural America live in and hearing the stories of having to live for the next two weeks on the $4.17 that’s left in their bank account because they spent most of their Social Security on medications instead of food…it’s heartbreaking.
I truly saw the REAL cost of healthcare. It’s the side most doctors never see – the impact of years of poor choices, the burden of hospital bills and the painful decision every month to take your meds or eat.
Later I worked as a primary care doctor at two on-site integrated-team clinics for a $19 billion/year international tech company in Silicon Valley. Caring for people from all over the world, from manufacturing-line laborers to C-Suite executives helped me realize that even when people have all the resources they need to take care of themselves, what they often lack is the health education, support, and systems to actually implement change.
Training in functional medicine and other integrative modalities along the way really fueled my desire to be able to bring these needed approaches to my patients, no matter the clinic setting.
“My job is to educate and support you. To be a safe space that you can tell your story honestly and completely.” – Kerri Masutto, MD
I really see it as a partnership. Yes, I have the education and training needed to figure out what the problem is and create a plan to fix it. But you’re the one that actually has to do all the work.
My job is to educate and support you. To be a safe space that you can tell your story honestly and completely. To create a plan of care that works for you in your real life—not a textbook answer based on studies of strangers.
Your job is to keep showing up. To keep doing the work. To be honest what you’re willing or not willing to do.
Neither of us can do this job without the other. So while I have a deep empathy and compassion for what you’re going through, I’m going to hold you accountable for taking control of your own health.
I’m also going to make stupid jokes that make you laugh and remind you that you won’t always feel like this.
Walk the dog, kiss the hubs, get quiet.
I love the Bay Area, but I wouldn’t mind living in Aspen or my husband’s hometown in Italy.
I’m supposed to say ‘kale,’ right?!
Seriously though? My favorite food is probably whatever I’m eating right then. I’m not picky and I love to eat, but my favorite food memories are always tied to meals fixed by and eaten with loved ones.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously. None of us gets out of this life alive—might as well have fun with it.”
Next best is: “Check your teeth for food before you walk in to see a patient.” Sage advice.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.