We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Nell Smircina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Nell, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
By the end of my career, I’d feel completely fulfilled if I was well known in the medical community as the industry disruptor who was able to help expand integrative medicine and bring acupuncture into the standard of care. I want thriving practices which deliver impactful results for patients, while seeing the needle move in our healthcare system toward a more integrative approach to address patients’ needs. If I can have a meaningful part of this process when it comes to public policy and legislation, as well as being a role model for practitioners, I’d be thrilled.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I established the first comprehensive primarily men’s health center in Beverly Hills. PIQUE Health is an integrative practice offering concierge options for those highly driven individuals who want to age optimally and experience PIQUE Health. As PIQUE is primarily referral based practice, no the journey was not easy! For a long time, every bit of growth depended on me individually. It really took a lot of trial and error for me to settle into the best patient demographic for me, and know where I can make the most meaningful impact. My two specialties within my practice focus on 1) Post-Surgical Recovery, a subject I researched extensively in my doctoral program, and 2) Men’s Health. Men are an often neglected population when it comes to health, especially preventative health. However, men too experience a very real physiological shift in middle age called Andropause, and there are many solutions beyond testosterone supplementation to help men feel like themselves again. I love working with high powered executives and business owners who are willing to put the same focus toward their health that they put toward their career or other aspects of their lives. I get how challenging it can be to constantly be leading a high performance lifestyle, and to keep that up, you need proper recovery and lifestyle techniques. I always say, “I’m just the guide; my patient should feel empowered to be the hero in their own story”. I’ve always been someone who is very involved in the integrative medicine industry, and fully believe acupuncture is an important part of health care. My passion for growing awareness around the efficacy of acupuncture was the “why” behind PIQUE. Beverly Hills is already an established brand by itself, so growing my practice here allowed for a great launching pad. I coach students and practitioners around practice growth and personal development, and always focus on knowing the value of your time and what you bring to the table. I make sure I practice that every day. Having this mindset allows for so many opportunities, and I have the flexibility to do the pro-bono work I love as well. I love working with veterans, and was integrative in helping my masters program create a strong relationship with the VA here in Los Angeles. My biggest lessons along the way are about the importance of relationships. I’ve seen this firsthand, not just with referrals, but opportunities that manifest because I’m involved in my industry and community. Beverly Hills is a surprisingly close knit community and I’ve been involved with the Chamber of Commerce, as well as different schools in the LA area. I stay heavily involved with my professional industry, and much of my consulting work comes from extensions of those personal relationships. We often get caught up in not knowing how one direct relationship can affect us and our business, but that one connection may know someone who knows someone. Anything can lead to interesting opportunities. I’m most proud of how hyper focused I’ve become with my “why”. I want acupuncture in the standard of care, and knowing how important that is for patients and for our healthcare system makes decision making easy. Whenever I have to make a decision for my business, the first question is, “does this align with my why?”. If it doesn’t, it’s a non starter. It took some time for me to realize the importance of making decisions not based on circumstance, but based on my why. I’m aware of and constantly focused on the impact I want to have beyond my practice, but even wanting to be out of the clinic is going to create opportunities for amazing practitioners to come in and work at PIQUE. It’s important for me to create opportunities for skilled practitioners, and having trusted providers under my wing allows me time to work on awareness around acupuncture and integrative medicine. I currently serve as the President of CSOMA, California’s oldest acupuncture association, and I hope to join another progressive health related board within the next year. Let’s improve healthcare for our country!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since living in Beverly Hills, I’m really attracted to the area and what a community it is. I’m fortunate to know many of the owners of different businesses in the area. I spend a ton of time on Cannon and Beverly, and before COVID, that’s where most of my meetings would be. So we’d spend a lot of time near home! I’d be sure to get coffee at Alfreds or Chocolatta. The owners of Chocolatta I know through the chamber, and there’s no way you’ll go in there without having something absolutely delicious. Delicious as in best chocolate you’ve ever had delicious. My favorite for a quick coffee or matcha is Lazy Daisy Cafe on Robertson. Owners there are amazing too. When they were on Wilshire they served as my office outside of my office because they were just a half a block away. Now they’re on Robertson and I walk from home on the weekends and pick up matcha to go and enjoy the beautiful homes while walking my dog. I’d love to have anyone visiting really get a great look at the neighborhood that is Beverly Hills, and beautiful homes are part of that. Maybe a run in the flats? That being said, no one is coming to town without brunch or drinks on the Waldorf rooftop or Mama Shelter in Hollywood. You have to take advantage of the amazing weather and views LA has to offer, especially when you have someone visiting from out of town. Late dinner or post dinner drinks, my personal favorite is El Carmen. Dark, small, kind of a hole in the wall on 3rd, but as a lover of Mexican food and tequila, this is my go to. Anyone visiting would have to come along! Not to get too touristy, but people from out of town can’t miss a walk along the ocean…preferably from Pacific Palisades to Venice. Different views, vibes and people in an hour walk. Any needs are met. Beautiful weather? Views? Drinks? Fried oreos? Street art? Tanned body builders? That stroll has it all.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Must dedicate this shout out to Derrick Miller, my partner and best friend, who pushes me harder than anyone to be the best version of myself. I’ve never wanted to surround myself with yes people. I love when I have to think critically and make an informed decision, so giving transparent and constructive feedback is the most supportive thing you can do for someone like me. He does this daily, as well as being that person I can just word vomit to with zero judgement.
Instagram: bewellwithdrnell, pique_health
Other: Be Well with Dr. Nell Podcast available on all podcast platforms or at bewellwithdrnell.com