How healthy is Gabriëlle Speijer
by Eduard Schaepman, on 15 Apr 2021
This week, I have another very interesting guest: Gabriëlle Speijer, radiotherapist-oncologist. Even though she has a sitting profession, Gabrielle does not like to sit still. In addition to her role as a doctor, she is also a wife, mother of three children and started her own business two years ago. We have an extremely fascinating conversation about her nomadic student life, and of course we talk about sports, nutrition, sleep, stress and more.
Gabriëlle was born and raised in the south of the country, just below Eindhoven. As a young girl, she had a keen interest in technology, perhaps driven by her father who occasionally brought home devices that Gabrielle could explore to her heart's content. Even before she could write English, she had a subscription to Scientific American, a magazine that probably means little to many adults. The pictures stimulated Gabrielle to discover things, and it sparked her interest in reasearch and innovation. However, she also knew at a young age that she wanted to become a doctor, driven by her passion to care for others. But her decision to become a doctor was the result of a specific event. Gabrielle was present at the doctor's visit of a family member who, after the doctor left satisfied, flushed all the medication down the toilet simply because she was unable to swallow it; the doctor had missed it. The young Gabrielle did not know what she was looking at and thought 'there must be another way': better looking and listening to the patient. And she decided to study medicine.
After visiting all the universities that offer medicine, Gabriëlle decided to study in Leuven. This place appealed to her, and because national borders have never done much to Gabrielle, she became a real nomad. The study programme in Leuven lasted seven years (at the time), and towards the end she met her Belgian husband - also a doctor. She decided to specialise in radiotherapy at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in the Netherlands, which resulted in her and her husband living at a distance for 5 years. After her studies, she was at a congress in Italy, of all places, when her husband called her and told her he was going to apply for a job in the Gooi region - the two of them had discussed that place a long time ago. Gabrielle then got her current job in the Haga Hospital in The Hague, where she has gained a lot of knowledge.
That is where her interest in technology came in again, because one of the things that struck her was the huge gap between the incorporation of technology in healthcare. Technology enables the doctor to get an overall picture of the patient's health. In 2019 she therefore starts CatalyzIT, supporting administrators and healthcare professionals in the effective deployment of communication and decision support technology, advising healthtech startups and companies and providing online training for aspiring professionals on perception and expectation with each other, this two-way traffic is crucial in the valuable contact between doctor and patient. Her mission: a data-driven doctor who has insight into the patient's entire health situation and thus makes the best decisions for and with the patient.
Health an 8, happiness a 10
As a dedicated doctor, you spend a large part of the day sitting down, and you don't get much exercise, admits Gabriëlle. That is why she got herself an indoor trainer and tries to get some exercise on it every day. This does not always work, although sport is one of her passions. This is reflected in her holidays: instead of sun, sea and sand, the family goes on active holidays. In addition, Gabrielle eats healthy, lots of vegetables, and drinks a lot of tea. As a doctor, you often compensate for days, Gabriëlle explains. On days that she works in the hospital, she drinks less water; especially now that face masks are mandatory. She makes up for it the next day, as well as for sleep. If she has had less sleep because of a night shift, she tries to get that rest at a later time. Still, she gives her health an 8, because she listens to her body. She gives her happiness a full 10, the second of this season! And then she concludes with a good tip, which applies to everyone, not just to people in the office: become aware of your own strength so that you can move forward. And be more open to each other, so that we can mean more to each other. And in this interview, we have heard that Gabrielle certainly does that, and can therefore be an excellent doctor.
Watch the episode on Youtube this afternoon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTsjbI2Zjcxwo8Tyc_7_FQ?app=desktop or listen to Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/72j2FSBuqOenNtGqY6KRXh?si=zlnYmYdzTmqQtUF5J3GUCA