Dr. Eri Shimizu
Board Certified Internist
I am board certified in Internal Medicine and certified through the Institutes of Functional Medicine. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Bioengineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated summa cum laude from Creighton University Medical School. I completed my Internal Medicine residency at UCLA and worked at a Los Angeles county hospital. In 2012, I returned to Hawaii and served as a Hospitalist at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui is now home with my husband, two children, and a fighting fish named Rainbow.
When I first became a doctor, my calling was to care for the sickest of the sick. For 13 years, I treat patients in my role as a Hospitalist (that is, an Internal Medicine Physician specializing in hospitalized patients). While I never doubted my calling to help others, I began to question how I was helping. Call it a midlife crisis (or a more positive phrase, a “midlife awakening”!), but I no longer thought I was using the right tools to get the job done. Yes, I was helping people through their most immediate, life-threatening problems. However, I did not feel I was making them well. Antibiotics and fancy procedures save lives no doubt, but often they stop short of complete healing.
A few years ago, I began having health issues of my own. I ate a healthy diet (or what I previously considered “healthy”), exercised most days, and controlled my weight – I should have been the epitome of health. Despite this, I suffered miserable migraines, annoying stomach aches, and alarming menstrual issues. Worst, (and I still feel guilty about this), I was highly irritable, even around my young children. Of course, I tried all the conventional and a few less traditional approaches, but things only worsened. That is how I discovered Functional Medicine.
By addressing the underlying root cause of my issues – burn-out, poorly managed stress, inconsistent sleep patterns, gut dysfunction, suboptimal diet (it turns out I was not eating as well as I thought…) – I gave my body what it needed to work WELL. The Functional Medicine approach is not an easy fix (taking pills requires far less personal investment), but it is the long-lasting fix, freeing me to focus on what matters – life! You can be well too, but it does take commitment.