Hello, Savvy Lady!

I’m Leslie Tidwell, M.D. I’m the creative mind behind SavvyLadyPatient.com. This business has been a long time coming. Deep in my subconscious mind I’ve always known that I was a teacher and a healer. But I ran in circles for years, always feeling that I was getting close to my calling, yet never hitting the target.

Here are my credentials: Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College in 1990 with a B.A. in English; then the MEDPREP graduate program at Southern Illinois University for two years.  Medical Degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1996; and finally, completing an Ob/Gyn Residency at the Medical Center in Central Georgia in 2000.  Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2003.

After years of practicing in different offices, clinics, and hospitals, I realized that the way I was providing care wasn’t working for me. It felt fake, like I was an actress in a play or a robot instructed to do certain tasks. There was a disconnect between the care I was encouraged to provide as a resident and the care that I was forced to provide in “the real world”.

Plainly put, I walked into an environment where doctors were mechanics and patients were machines on a conveyer belt. This comparison is a gross oversimplification, but accurate. I was instructed to see a patient every 15 minutes and sometimes two or three if double or tripled-booked. I was reprimanded if I spent too much time with a patient or if my patient census was deemed too low by the bosses.

God forbid that a patient might actually want to “talk”. Answering questions takes too long. Discussing other possible treatment options will cut into my next appointment. Explaining a confusing diagnosis is a definite schedule-killer; it is easier to give her patient literature. Then there was the atomic bomb: bad news resulting in emotional outpouring. I might be tied up potentially for hours with the patient. How inconvenient! (insert mock indignation).

The inability to be of genuine service to my patients was soul-crushing, for myself and my patients. I was forced to play a role than was in total opposition to my heart’s desire: compassion, connection, teaching, and empowering.

As an Ob/Gyn, I worked at night, weekends, and on holidays. Initially, when I was young and fresh out of residency, the hectic lifestyle was manageable, even fun. In 2003, an unrelenting series of life events began that sent me into a tailspin. Over the years, I struggled to work under constraints and rules that were incongruous to my true self. Something had to give. Despite the fear and uncertainty (which kept me stuck and unhappy), I’ve struck out on my own. Hence the birth of Savvy Lady Patient.

SavvyLadyPatient.com is a digital sanctuary for women who want to take charge of their own health and wellness through education, expert resources and a community of support. And I help facilitate the journey. I am called to share my knowledge and experience with other women, helping them gain clarity and agency over their own health.

Have you received a diagnosis that you don’t understand? Were you given treatment options that you want to discuss further? Do you want to know what your next course of action should be regarding a condition? Do you need another opinion or a review of your medical records? Do you want to discuss options for treatment that were never brought up at your doctor’s visits? Herbal or naturopathic remedies? Reiki or meditation therapy? If yes, SavvyLadyPatient.com is your community.

I am a doctor, consultant, coach, advisor, mentor, and guide for women’s healthcare. In today’s medical environment, it is difficult to provide the kind of care that I feel a patient needs and deserves. There is no way anyone can handle EVERY concern or challenge or treat every problem in a 15 minute visit. As a doctor, I’ve been caught between a rock and a hard place of wanting to be thorough in my care for my patients and having to plow through way too many appointments in a day. It makes the patient feel like cattle, and me, as the doctor, like a jerk. And trust me, I’m not the only doctor who feels this way. I’ve just decided to launch Savvy Lady Patient to finally take a stand about it!

All Ob/Gyns are trained to do the “hands-on”, technical part of women’s care. But on SavvyLadyPatient.com, I will give you the time, patience, and empathy for true healing to take place. Are you a Savvy Lady Patient? Work with me and take charge of your health care!