Episode 94: Ari Pence (she/her), Family Medicine Physician, talks destigmatizing disordered eating and body image in healthcare
Hi Navigators! Today, Catherine and Francis welcome Ari Pence to the podcast. Ari is a Family Medicine Physician, practicing full-spectrum family medicine, including obstetrical and delivery care. She is passionate about destigmatizing and providing excellent for patients struggling with eating disorders, prenatal and postpartum mood disorders, or addiction. She also has completed advanced training in Integrative Medicine through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. In this episode, Ari dissects how language, active listening, and provider education are critical means to closing the gap and stigma many patients with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns experience when visiting a medical provider. She outlines how physicians can more effectively talk about body image and disordered eating with patients, starting with creating an accountable space to address these topics, particularly with adolescents, and includes asking for consent to even begin the conversation. On the topic of weight, Dr. Pence argues that it is on the healthcare provider – not the patient – to address weight stigma and offer a space where weighing someone doesn’t necessarily have to happen (there are certain circumstances where it may be needed). Ari brings a fresh, patient-centered perspective to medical practice, and speaks with passion, intellect, and care. We are so grateful for her time and energy – it was such a pleasure!