Dr. Joel Kahn grew up in a supportive and loving family and considered the idea in his mid-teens of training to join a family retail business, to train to be a rabbi, or pursue his interest in science and medical school. The medical school won out in part when he was accepted at age 17 into a combined undergraduate and medical school program in Ann Arbor. Six years later he accepted his diploma as an MD graduating Summa cum Laude.
He went on to train in cardiology and became a heart attack specialist. About 10 years ago he had a plan to train in advanced preventive medicine and put that plan into action with a university program he completed. He now runs one of the most advanced heart prevention clinics in the US and stops the disease way before a stent is needed or a heart attack occurs.
Along the way he married his childhood sweetheart, raised 3 children that are doing great things, and gained one daughter in law, soon to be more. He also decided if the prevention journey was serious and whether he needed to move even further into that field and opened 2 plant-based healthy restaurants in suburban Detroit in the last several years, GreenSpace Cafe.
He shared the ups and downs in his life with ScaleUp Magazine. His life journey includes raising a family, taking them to see the world, helping so many people with health issues, lecturing to thousands over and over, local and national TV, being in a few movies like What the Health, writing 5 books, featuring a national public TV special on heart disease, and having friends all over the world.
He lost his in-laws early in life and his father a decade ago. It would be so special to celebrate life and business events together with them.
But the things that he has learned during these ups and downs are persistence, faith, optimism, and courage. You have to be odd to be number 1 and it takes a strong will to beat a path your colleagues are not taking. It can be lonely. You have to get up every day and go through the motions on the faith that it will grow and be worth the effort and risk. Quitters truly never win.
Dr. Joel shares the advice which he got from his father and changed his life. His father was a hard worker and used to say “do it all, do it right, do it now”. That commitment to doing your best the first time and not delaying has served him well. Getting the job done before the day is over is key, doing it to the best of your abilities, and not cutting corners is sage advice for everyone.
For Dr. Kahn, some things are not negotiable. A good nights sleep. A workout, even if 20 minutes. Moments of gratitude. A healthy whole food diet. Love in the family. That does it even after a long day full of challenges.
He is usually up at 6 AM, working out in his basement doing a daily yoga flow followed by some cardio and weights, and then his off to the office. He packs a lunch but skips breakfast other than coffee. He is organized and run on time in the office. He keeps up with emails, voicemails and, social media between patients. He also listens to positive music while working, often from the yoga tradition, and it keeps him moving ahead. He tries to be done as a doctor by 5 PM but that means it is time to go to his restaurants and greet the guests and staff.
He is driven to make his life meaningful by helping many and being fearless to follow my dreams.
“I have a passion to see people learn to take care of their own health and learn new habits. I enjoy seeing families gain new skills and confidence to pursue healthy habits.”
He feels motivated by the words “one day your life will be two dates with a dash in the middle, make sure that dash is filled with as much as possible”. His dash is very full.
He limits his news time to just enough to be up on world events. He does not listen to constantly negative news. He learns constantly and read non-fiction in his field to grow and expand his skills. He meets in masterminds and other supportive settings to network and share experiences with like-minded healers.
Sources of inspiration
Dr. Joel derives inspiration from his parents and in-laws for sure. His wife Karen and his children who have had struggles and overcome with maturity. Many fearless health leaders and physicians who fight against the powerful and noisy machine of big pharma, big food, and big farm to entice the public to make poor health decisions. There are so many, most recently JD Roth, Penn Jillette, Valter Longo and Rich Roll.
Resources for scaling up life, health, wealth and happiness
Podcasts. They are so simple to access while driving or working out. He listens to science, medical, and business ones. TED talks are always great.
Advice for people looking to transform their lives.
Shut out negative influences as they will rob you of your energy. Infuse positive books, tapes, podcasts, and videos to power your life and success. Read the classics like Think and Grow Rich. Never give up. Get a good nights sleep Find a peer group to share stories with.