A photo of Kristen Fuller

Kristen Fuller, MD

Throughout my training and career, I completed my undergrad degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, medical school at Saba University School of Medicine, and my Family Medicine Residency at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, I’ve noticed the lack of patient education in mental health and addiction medicine. Early on in residency, I would see patients with a plethora of complicated medical disorders but it seemed that not one medical professional was asking about their quality of life, and their mental health. I spent many hours each week working with patients who were extremely depressed, suicidal, struggling with heroin addictions and going through some of the darkest times of their life.

Addiction and mental health disorders are a disease, not a life choice. I believe that mental health and substance abuse treatment starts with educating the general public and this is not done enough in the exam rooms, emergency rooms or hospitals. I became involved in educating the general public and my patients about mental health and substance abuse, early on in my career when I started writing for online platforms that focused on these issues.

After many years of practicing medicine in emergency rooms and urgent care and after seeing the worst of it through the COVID-19 pandemic, I discovered that my passion for my career in medicine shifted from bedside medicine to mental health advocacy.  I believe the best way to advocate is through the written word. Educating my community about the trials and tribulations of mental health is my true calling. I have the opportunity to use my voice as a writer, my experience as a physician, my passion for mental health and addiction medicine to help break down stigmas and educate the general public on issues that are often pushed under the rug.