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Episode 17: Re-Designing Your Life with Gratitude, Hope, and Thinking Big

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“My pathway was finding gratitude, being more present, and really being grateful for the little things that we often take for granted,” shares Carina Hopen, MD, MS, DipABLM. Carina is a board certified doctor of family and lifestyle medicine and started her private functional medicine practice after being inspired by a desire to better help her community. There is a large military presence in her town and Carina helps to teach the VA about different medical conditions so that patients get more recognition and assistance.

Carina redesigned her career by starting her own private practice when she realized that the current medical system was failing patients and providers alike. The system does not see the care team and patients as a unit, which causes negative health impacts all around.

Carina witnessed many providers experiencing burnout under the current system and knew things needed to be done differently.

She turned to gratitude, being more present in the moment, and cultivating a sense of hope within her community. She explains that through having hope for the future without worrying as much about the individual steps to get there, she was able to make the necessary changes to create better health outcomes. 

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to hear more about the importance of living life with gratitude, having hope, and thinking big about the future. 

About Carina Hopen, MD, MS, DipABLM:

Founder & Medical Director of Inspired Wellness

Dr. Carina Hopen is a wife, mother of 3, Navy Veteran and a lifelong learner who earned her Medical Degree from the University of Hawaii. She has two board certifications in Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine as well as a Master of Arts in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Medicine from John Patrick University. 

She has witnessed first-hand how traditional medicine continues to struggle with helping individuals manage chronic conditions, and she is a catalyst for changing the current trajectory of healthcare. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Hopen has been refining her practice of whole person health. In her role as Assistant Clinical Professor for Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, she strives to help new physicians view healthcare through a holistic lens.

In 2018, Amazon recruited Dr. Hopen as one of their first founding team members to create and pilot Amazon Care, a telehealth platform that incorporates a combination of virtual and in-home visits. The experience amplified her creative and innovative spirit to start up Inspired Wellness, PLLC, a part-time solo micropractice focused on Lifestyle and Functional Medicine. In addition, Dr. Hopen also offers life coaching to healthcare workers and is also a career coach for military physicians who are transitioning to civilian life.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • How to think BIG
  • When to seek out help
  • Reasons to not be afraid of failure


  • “Aging is relative. If you compare a newborn to a twenty-year-old, that twenty-year-old is old. But if you compare that twenty-year-old to an eighty-year0old, that twenty-year-old is young. So aging is is really where we are, in comparison from point A to point B.” (13:13-13:29 | Carina)


  • “How do you want to age? Because you’re aging now. And if you are happy with how you’re aging, then that’s great. But if you feel like there’s room to improve, that’s going to help how you age later on.” (17:21-17:36 | Carina)


  • “A lot of what I do is about mindset and how you restructure your thinking and redesigning. So how you can redesign your life is just, ‘Is it something that happened to you? Or can you change your narrative to how have you dealt with it and grown from it?’.” (18:45-19:02 | Carina)


  • “As we were in training, there was a lot of this no emotion. In a sense, you have to be like a superhero, superhuman, and just really, everything you do is for the patient. And I remember feeling bad because I had to take time off to go to my own appointment, like, how dare you take away time from your patients?” (20:26-20:51 | Carina)


  • “If we’re talking about forging relationships and having a clinician who’s really compassionate and very committed to that end, we have to support that clinician.” (21:31-21:44 | Carina)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Dr. Carina Hopen:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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