Mark Gunderson, MD: Age Management Institute

Mark Gunderson, MD - Medical Director, Age Management InstituteMedical Director

How did you first get into your profession?

My lifelong interest in fitness, diet, nutrition, supplementation, the process of aging and disease management led me to this field. Previously as an ER physician, I would see these patients literally on their deathbed, and I recognized that there was a significant need for a more preventive approach to treating patients.

What do you like most and least about your industry?

I like the patient contact, absolutely, and also trying to get motivated adults to achieve their health goals. I do wish the pharmaceutical industry would stop putting their own profits over science at times.

If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

I like mysteries and solving problems, so a homicide detective would be a very interesting profession to me. Medicine has a little of that, actually, finding the clues and making a diagnosis.

What is a little known fact about yourself?

I’m an amateur astronomer, and really enjoy my unique, 7-inch refractor telescope.

If you were President, what problem or concern would you address first?

We have an obesity crisis, and we need to address it. The government should not be subsidizing bad food, just good food. I would encourage fitness and proper eating- more organic, real food. We are the fattest country in the world, and we have an opportunity to set the example for fitness, nutrition and good health.

What do you wish you would have learned at the beginning of your career?

It wasn’t an interest of mine at the time, but I think business courses should be included in medical education. You need to be a businessman as well to run a successful practice.

What was the toughest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Perhaps the toughest and best lesson to learn is that you do have choices, and you may realize that you have several careers throughout your life. Interests change, and it’s very difficult to know what you want to do for the rest of your life when you’re in your idealistic 20s. When I was in my 20s, I really loved emergency medicine, but it ended up being more of a stress and didn’t allow for balance in my life. So I reinvented myself, found something that I really love, and now I look forward to going to work everyday.