I first met Dr. Marilyn Roderick in the mid-80s, when women were supposed to be nurses and men were supposed to be doctors. Marilyn was a pioneer in shattering that glass ceiling and I was thrilled to find a female primary care physician. While that was what first led me to Dr. Roderick, this is what kept me going back:
Compassion – I remember going in once for a sore knee. She asked “How are you?” I proceeded to tell her all about my knee. She said, “We will get to that, how are YOU?” She always made me feel whole, and that I mattered.
Empathy – Having endured many health challenges herself, she understands the emotional and physical challenges of dealing with serious disease.
Humility - She encouraged my participation in my health. We talked through alternatives and consequences and I felt well equipped to make informed decisions. In the days before and early days of the internet, when we relied heavily on our physicians for medical information, if I asked a question she wasn’t sure of the answer to, she’d say “I don’t know, but we’re going to find out” and she would pull a book off the shelf or commit to calling a colleague and getting back to me.
Adaptability - Marilyn has reinvented herself multiple times in new geographic areas and in new areas of medical interest. As the communities she deals with encounter new challenges, she is all in figuring out how she can help. She has spent her lifetime learning and growing and preparing to climb the next mountain. If ever you have the opportunity to work with her, as a colleague or a patient, do yourself a favor and do it!
There aren’t enough words to express our sincere appreciation for Dr. Marilyn’s online, live coaching sessions on COVID-19. She shared the fundamental truths and brought my husband and I serenity, strength and a depth of emotional insight.
Her experience, enthusiasm and knowledge, strengthened by years of practicing medicine and continued education, and her passion for sharing with others, have propelled her to become an expert life coach. Thank you again for all that you’ve done for us.
Janet & Richard P.
I participated in all 6 of Dr. Marilyn Roderick's weekly COVID-19 seminars “Coping with Covid-19: A Message of Diligence and Reassurance.” She is knowledgeable about epidemiology and medicine, and she explains medical information very clearly.
She empowered me as a "warrior” in our virtual army, fighting the virus and trading fear for facts. This significantly decreased my anxiety about this pandemic. I highly recommend her!
Dr. Bonnie R.
Dr. Marilyn Roderick’s presentations on Zoom regarding how we can cope with the frightening aspect of catching the Covid-19 virus were outstanding and went a long way toward calming my jangled nerves.
Knowing her background as a specialist in infectious diseases as a nurse before even attending medical school, I knew she would have something of value to say from her experience in the wards as well as from her many years as a practicing physician.
As new things are being revealed almost daily about this malady, it is comforting to be able to look back at the solid, confirmed evidence Dr. Roderick gave for time-tested methods of “diligence and reassurance.” Her guest in one session, economist Dr. Jim Smith of UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, was a bonus which added to the overall picture of the effects of this virus on the world. And lastly, her additional advice to practice a quiet time of meditation at the end of each session was right on.
Combined with the scientific facts she presented, I feel safer and more confident as I live into the unknown future.
Words cannot begin to express how much Marilyn’s council and guidance have helped me in facing and overcoming one of the most difficult periods of my life.
Not long ago I had to decide whether or not to pursue a series of major surgeries to treat my chronic ulcerative colitis that had been draining my quality of life for the last 5 years. I had just been through an especially severe flare up which had lasted almost six months and caused me to lose over 30 pounds. I became severely anemic from the substantial blood loss, and the abdominal pain and frequent trips to the bathroom left me all but bedridden right as I was supposed to begin my first semester in graduate school.
This should have made surgery a no brainer. Unfortunately, the surgeries carried their own challenges. Aside from the general dangers of undergoing surgeries, it would involve the complete removal of my colon and force me to have an ostomy bag installed in my abdomen to serve as my new fecal receptacle. It was a very scary prospect, and in some ways, it seemed like the cure was worse than the disease.
It was during this dark period that Marilyn stepped in and helped me to plot the course for the future I wanted for myself. She was with me through the whole process helping me to assess my options, weigh the pros and cons of having the surgery, and to get the answers to questions about the surgery I needed to know in order to make an informed decision.
At my request, she also joined me on my video appointment with the surgeon in order to help me understand and record everything I was being told. Like many people, I do not speak doctor, and Marilyn’s experience in the world of medicine was integral in helping me navigate my way through that process with the confidence that I was making the right decisions regarding my health.
After I decided to pursue the surgery, Marilyn helped me through the difficult process of balancing my work and school obligations and setting up my goals for the coming year, so that when I came out of surgery I would already be on the path for success. Most importantly she has been a consistent positive voice in my ear throughout from beginning to end encouraging me, and reminding me constantly why these decisions I made were the right ones that would lead me to a much happier, healthier life.
It has now been only a few short months since my surgery, and already I feel better than I’ve felt in years. I could not have done it without her.
If you are someone like me who is facing major life decisions, or if you're just someone who knows how to set goals but has a darn hard time following through with them, then you cannot find a better coach than Marilyn. She will help you clarify your goals, and set obtainable objectives to reach them, so you can finally be that person you always knew you could be.
Stop procrastinating. Don’t wait. Make that call, and get started on the road to becoming your better self. You won’t regret it.
In June of 2020, my son Austin began experiencing an extremely long flare-up of Ulcerative Colitis. As a single adult, he was managing his own health affairs, and my husband and I no longer lived nearby. However, I became more and more anxious as he lost so much weight he looked almost skeleton-like. I was scared.
After exhausting the medicinal options for treatment, his doctor suggested surgery to remove his entire large colon, where his disease resided. This is when Marilyn stepped into the picture. Mind you, she lives on the East Coast, we were in Nevada, and Austin was in northern California. She immediately agreed to talk to Austin and help him in any way she could as this was exactly what she was trained to do as a medical coach. Austin readily agreed. What a load off my mind!
With Austin’s permission, Marilyn joined the Zoom call with the surgeon that was scheduled for the following week. She prepared him for the call, reviewing what questions he would need to ask. On the call, since she was an experienced physician as well as a coach, she knew how to help Austin get the care that he needed from the most experienced surgeon available in this field. The doctor described the procedure and told Austin that he would need to use a temporary colostomy bag while he healed. By the end of it all, the surgeon agreed to alter his schedule to perform the procedure himself. Another great relief! As Marilyn told me afterward, doctors love to talk to other doctors because they speak the same language!
Next, Marilyn worked with Austin to create a list of important questions to ask the nurse specialist who would help him learn how to use the bag. She also taught Austin meditation techniques for stress reduction. Just knowing Marilyn was there helping Austin was so reassuring!
What mattered almost as much was the time she spent on the phone with me the day after their Zoom meeting. She went over the whole virtual visit, and later, her conversation with Austin to ensure that he would feel secure in his decision.
She is an invaluable help for both the patient and their family. Marilyn has a very special way of combining her professional medical knowledge with her empathy as she talks. Feelings I didn’t know I had were revealed as different concerns came to mind. At the doctor’s office we rarely get the time we need to discuss our problems. Here, with Marilyn, you get that time, and it's so worth it! Everyone should have a medical coach like Marilyn. She is a rare jewel in the field of medicine.