Elizabeth Saladin, MD
Board certified Family and Obesity Medicine
Enrolled tribal member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Meet Elizabeth Saladin, MD
Elizabeth was homeschooled through high school.
After breaking both of her femurs at the age of 15, she was inspired to learn biology and the human body. This experience also inspired her to want to connect to people on an emotional and empathetic level. She pursued medical school. Coming from a family where there weren't any doctors to take lead from, she is grateful to have family and people in her life who believed in her more than she felt she believed in herself.
She graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) IN 2006 with a B.S in biology/chemistry. She was accepted into Howard University in D.C. Howard is a HBCU (Historically Black College University).
She graduated in 2010. Residency in Family Medicine in 2013 in Fayetteville, AR. She was committed to working in tribal clinics to improve the health of the Native population. She spent 4 years with the Eastern Band Cherokee Tribe in North Carolina and then went on with 5 years with the Absentee Shawnee Tribe in Little Axe, Ok.
In 2019 she became Board Certified in Obesity Medicine, after becoming tired of treating diseases. She felt that she wanted to do more to prevent other diseases.
Throughout her own life, Elizabeth struggled with her own weight, flucuating from being overweight to being obese. She has strived to focus on 4 pillars: Nutrition, physical activity, behavioral and medication. She began seeing a nutritionist at the clinic where she works, who renewed her education on the basics of nutrition. Elizabeth felt empowered! She knew to start with small goals so to not set herself up for failure. She made small changes in her nutrition by educating herself about portion sizes, knowing what carbs are and knowing how many she should have, grocery shopping and cooking smarter with small changes that did not make her feel so restricted. She practiced mindful eating.
Throughout the years she tried to stay engaged in physical activities. She had a goal to ride her bike 29 miles in a community event, she joined a HITT class at work, and went for walks during her lunch time. She signed up for a SKO'DEN STRENGTH plan for 1-month. Her personalized plan focused on exercises she could do anywhere. She learned many different exercises with her plan and realized that she does not need fancy or expensive equipment to exercise. She tries to be outside as much as possible and feels that the fresh air and sun help her so much. She enjoys gardening and working on outside projects, loving the smell of the dirt. She exercises for her mental health if not for anything else. She knows that she feels better when she exercises.
For a behavioral pillar, she is most proud of herself. She has committed to working on herself for the past 2 years. She has been attending therapy regularly and has learned so much about herself. She has also been focusing more on her physical health by going in for regular check ups. Lastly, she has made sleep a priority. She does everything she can to protect that time and make sure she gets a good 7 hours, at least, of sleep at night.
From a medication pillar, that's where stigmas about weight and obesity have to be broken down. Obesity is a disease. It is a very complex and multifactorial disease. Losing weight and maintaining it is probably one of the hardest thing someone can do. It does not simply depend on "eating less and moving more." Doctors have not done a good job with treating or even diagnosing obesity as a disease. A lot of the time it is all placed on the patient as if it is their sole doing as to why they weight what they do. REMEMBER! Obesity is multifacturial. It is also a chronic disease that has to be diagnosed and treated. Thankfully research continues to try and find medications in order to properly treat this disease. There are already a handful that are approved by the FDA. Once you have your disease under control or managed, we don't want to just discontinue treatment. That makes absolutely no sense. It is like saying to a person who has high blood pressure, "Good job! You have taken your medicine and now your blood pressure is under control so let's stop taking your medicine." Obviously, the disease will become uncontrolled once again. The same goes for treating obesity. Once someone has crossed a BMI of 30, which is technically called "obesity", they are at a higher risk of crossing that again even if they do lose weight at times in their life. It is something that you will always have to be mindful of. ALWAYS.
Dr. Saladin loves doing weight management where she works. It keeps her aware of her own health every day.