Dr. Ann Mitrakul is a native Chicagoan. She received her bachelors degree in psychobiology from Oberlin College in Ohio and her Masters in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work/ University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She was awarded her medical degree by Rush Medical College and completed her residency in Family Medicine at MacNeal Hospital (in affiliation with the University of Chicago). Dr. Mitrakul has been Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine since 2004. She holds a membership in the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Dr. Mitrakul began her professional career at Michael Reese Hospital’s Psychiatric and Psychosomatic Institute. Although she enjoyed her work as an inpatient social worker with an interdisciplinary team, she found she wanted to be able to direct patient care. She began medical school intending to pursue psychiatry as a specialty, but in the end, felt that Family Medicine seemed more in keeping with her sensibilities as a social worker.
The evolution of Dr. Mitrakul’s thoughts about health and wellness began in Social Work school where she came to understand the importance of assessing one’s strengths and evaluating each person in context. She left graduate school with a deep understanding of the values of patient empowerment and self determination.
As she began to practice as a physician, she found that the traditional medical model focused on identifying disease processes and had very little to offer regarding maintaining or regaining wellness. The system encouraged patients to abdicate their power regarding their own health versus joining with their provider to work on optimizing health and well being. It became clear that there was a world of difference between wellness and absence of disease.
Faced with the necessity of recertifying her Family Medicine Boards, Dr. Mitrakul was pressed to seek out other models of healthcare. To this end she pursued education in both integrative and alternative Medicine. She found that unlike the conventional medical approach which is best suited for acute issues and addresses symptoms, integrative and alternative approaches turn toward addressing root cause and optimizing the conditions that would allow the body’s wisdom to heal.
Dr. Mitrakul values working with patients who are invested in maintaining and restoring wellness.