A Double Doc Finds a Niche
Meet Dr. Richard Harris MD, PharmD, MBA
In my last piece, Dr. Corine Ferebee used entrepreneurship to take control of her career and her health. Now meet Dr. Richard Harris, a multi-passionate board-certified pharmacist and internal medicine physician — also known as the “Double Doc.” Dr. Harris uses lifestyle medicine to empower his patients to take control of their health.
Fighting bias with brilliance
As a young black male professional student, Dr. Harris and his like-minded, high performing classmate were given a dose of harsh reality. He was called into the assistant dean’s office and told to be a beacon for his people “otherwise, the school would stop letting African Americans in.”
While the black community commonly experiences these unconscious biases, Dr. Harris forged ahead and completed a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree, a Medical Degree, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
Like many high school juniors, the young Dr. Harris was unsure of his post-graduation plans. The Dean of Pharmacy — his research mentor at the time — suggested pharmacy school as a good option. In his first year of the pharmacy program, Dr. Harris realized he wanted to attend medical school. He described his pharmacy education as invaluable and explained that “without pharmacy school, I do not think that I could be the kind of physician I am today.”
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Combatting the “pill for the ill” mentality
Today, Dr. Harris runs a lifestyle medicine, functional medicine, and health coaching practice called The Great Health and Wellness. He cultivates a personalized plan for each patient by instilling healthy habits, nutrigenomic evaluations, and micronutrient testing. When asked about the patient population he serves, Dr. Harris said, “currently, I focus on three groups of people for my services. The first is the worried well, the second is the biohackers community, and the third is people who have chronic diseases and want to get off medications.”
Dr. Harris describes entrepreneurship as “the highest highs and the lowest lows.” In managing his highs and lows, he thrives on the genuine concern for the health and wellbeing of Americans. He enjoys educating through webinars and intends to move into group classes, lunch and learns, and corporate events.
After sitting in on one of his webinars, I’d say the “Double Doc” is much more than an entrepreneur in health and wellness; possibly an “OMNIpreneur” (an emerging concept characterizing one who applies entrepreneurship to every aspect of life).
Find out how my next feature couples pharmacy and public health to create healthier communities.