We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Bergina Isbell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Bergina, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson my business and career has taught me is to put God first, family second, and career third. It’s actually one of the principles that Mary Kay Ashe popularized with her Mary Kay cosmetics business and I’ve now personally learned that it is true. While I’ve been guided by integrity and compassion in my business and patients are aware of my personal faith, it wasn’t until recently that I began utilizing my insight into matters of faith and mental health specifically in my business. It has made things so much simpler to include faith in my teachings as opposed to only sharing general information on mental health.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets our business apart from other mental health practices is that we provide Concierge Psychiatry and enhanced consulting services. Based on national data, the average doctors appointment is 7 minutes long. In Psychiatry and other specialities we typically spend more time, but in my previous work with Community Health Centers, I was only given 15 minutes for a Follow Up visit and 30 minutes for a New Patient. That’s not how I was trained and it usually causes you to sacrifice something. Either you don’t spend the time to get to know the patient or you don’t have time to further investigate the concern that brought them into the office. I spend a minimum of 60 minutes with new patients and coaching clients.
The other area that sets us apart is our consulting with leaders of organizations. Typical consults begin with a talk or workshop, and maybe a brief assessment before recommendations for improvement are made and that’s where things stop. We do formal Needs Assessments, particularly in the area of being Trauma Informed for faith based organizations and we can take a considerable amount of time seeing what is already working before making any recommendations. Then we have long term relationships that develop throughout the year to follow up and make sure things are running well.
Whether we work with individuals or organizations, as a Concierge practice, we take our time. That is the easy part of our business. Taking time to get to know people and treating them with personalized care is fun for us and very fulfilling. The challenge is the fact that we can not be all things to all people. We can’t support everyone individually in this model of care. So we take a limited number of individual clients and for others, we have learned to put valuable information into courses and teachings that people can access on demand. Our latest endeavor along those lines is the Hope Infusion Podcast, which is a faith and mental health interactive podcast where people can ask us questions live.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love nature, I love food and I am big on getting exercise so I’d combine the three as much as I can. I have a few best friends, so I’d cater things to their liking and pick things we’d both enjoy. One of my friends that I have known for over 20 years, loves photography and food like me, but not long drives. I like supporting small businesses so if I arranged a weekend trip for us, we would definitely stay at a Bed and Breakfast. We’d do a little shopping in preparation for lunch, picking up some gourmet items to pack from local markets and shops. I would be looking for things like a seafood based sandwich, rich chocolate desserts, and a sparkling cider or lemonade. I’d find a nearby state park and we’d take a long walk or hike. That would give us some sunshine and exercise while we chat and catch up. There’d be plenty of scenic spots to take photos, and we’d have our packed meal near water. After our outing, I’d see what the host or hostess of the Bed and Breakfast recommended and check out anything that would make me laugh – like a comedy show.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Dr. Amir, is definitely my biggest advocate and supporter. I’ve shifted and changed trajectory as much in my business as Sam Walton did with Wal-Mart. Dr. Amir has supported the business through each transition. From technical support in my Telehealth practice to his medical expertise that he provides for the podcast and speaking engagements, he is my rock on this earth. Anything that I need or want to accomplish, he supports me 110%.