Dr. Litrel - Food, Books and Mastery - Cherokee Women's Health

Dr. Litrel – Food, Books and Mastery

Michael Litrel, MD, FACOG, FPMRS

An Interview With Michael Litrel, MD, FACOG, FPMRS

What was your first job?

I was a waiter at Kennedy Airport, at the international arrivals building. I was seventeen years old, and had to wear a bow tie. It was great preparation for being a doctor. I met people from around the world, served people with their basic needs, and I had to utilize my time efficiently. I shuttled between tables just like I do between exam rooms – and I tried not to drop anything.

What is your legacy? How do you want to be remembered?
As the longest living person alive? (He laughs.)

I want to have always done my best, and to have always been honest, and to accomplish what God had put me on the planet for.

What book has influenced you most?

In 1984 I read The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck. That really influenced me a lot. I also really like Richard Bach’s book, Illusions.

Other books include Mere Christianity, by C S. Lewis, and The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, which has influenced me a lot again this year. One of my all time favorites that I’ve reread for several years is The Holy Man, by Susan Trott. It’s short, funny and quite profound.

A book that’s influenced me this year is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I especially recommend it to young mothers.

Handling stress by “Tidying Up”

Dr. Litrel introduces a concept of handling stress by “Tidying Up”.
Dr. Litrel study photo

What words of wisdom would you pass on to your childhood self?

I think believe in yourself and know that the dreams in your heart are gifts from God to pursue. And I would say that I think there’s so much bad stuff – and it’s so easy to believe the bad stuff – but what’s most important is to believe the good stuff, and to then pursue. Never give up. Keep endeavoring despite the pain and the sadness.

If you could master one skill right now, what would it be?

Surgery. That’s the skill I’m most endeavoring to master. You don’t cut into the human body willy-nilly. During each and every individual operation, I try to master the surgery.

I think the pursuit of mastery is the purpose of life. You have to seek mastery. You can master the ability the walk at two years old, but that doesn’t mean you don’t trip sometimes. When performing surgery, I think that I serve, not that I’ve mastered. In every surgery, my goal is to serve each patient and God at the same time.

Dr. Litrel Santa hat photo

Okay, a question just for fun – If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chinese food. I really like Szechuan beef, but now I’m a vegetarian. I’m an aspiring vegan so I’ve given up a lot of my favorite foods.

Cookies, a personal favorite, are sadly not on the list.

FUN FACTS

chris-and-dr-litrel-twin-pic2

Unexpected Twin

Dr. Litrel is an identical twin. Born before the technology of ultrasound, he was unexpected until the very day he and his brother Chris were delivered. His first birth certificate named him “Baby B”

Chinese-Italian Culinary Mutt

Dr. Litrel grew up eating custom ravioli from his Italian father’s pasta shop on Long Island, and authentic Chinese dishes homemade by his Chinese grandmother in the Bronx

Dr. Litrel Karate photo

Healer With a Black Belt

Dr. Litrel is a lifelong martial arts student. He has studied karate, chi gong, bando, tai chi, and has a black belt in tae kwon do. He has also studied the Japanese healing art of Reiki.

POP QUIZ:  How well do you know Dr. Litrel?

Which of these jobs has Dr. Litrel NOT had?

A. EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) on ambulance
B. High School Chemistry Teacher
C. Forensic Intern (assist with autopsies)
D. Waiter

ANSWER:
Sorry – trick question! Dr. Litrel has worked in ALL these jobs.

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