“There is a reason that they call it The Art of Medicine. There is a very big difference between being a doctor and actually doctoring.”

Dr. Tracey Childs has been a Colo-Rectal Surgeon for almost three decades. She just stepped down as Chief of Staff at the esteemed St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California and is now that hospital’s first-ever female Chief of Surgery.

Trailblazing was never part of her plan, and with few women role models in medicine, she charted her own path. Dr. Childs began her career in the field of Public Health and Reproductive Health Policy, after receiving a Master’s Degree in both, and never dreamed she would spend her life as a surgeon “cutting to cure.” But one day she walked through the door of the OR and never looked back. She would thrive on difficult decision making and the constant challenge of learning new skills, and forming incredible bonds with her patients.

At age 50, Dr. Childs was faced with a choice: learn a whole new skill, robotic cancer surgery or stay in her comfort zone and do what she had already mastered. She opted to learn to be the best all over again, in order to provide the best care tor her patients and provide them with the best outcomes.

When Dr. Childs operates, she relies not only on her technical and intellectual skills, but on the soulful ones, which allow her to truly partner with and care for her patients. She replies heavily on the practice of mindfulness and resilience, strategies she shares with her patients to allow them to cope with their difficulties as she copes with the challenges come with caring for them.

Her latest passion projects have sent her to Guatemala and Cambodia to do surgical mission work. And in 2019, she became a grandma to twins, Zoey and Lucy, who have both brought immeasurable pleasure and focus to her life.

Dr. Childs has places to go, people to see and so many things yet to do…including educating us about what’s really going on in our bellies. In her workshops, this heralded Colo-Rectal Surgeon will help us understand what we really need to be doing to keep our stomachs from absorbing all that stress and anxiety we’re feeling. Gut Health is her superpower. And she’s sharing what she knows with us, a community that welcomes her with open arms and minds!