Melissa Mason, DNP, RN, APRN, FNP-C

Dr. Melissa Mason, a family nurse practitioner, has long been a wellness enthusiast. She was drawn to nursing, in part, due to the holistic nature of the nursing model of care. She recognizes individuals as multifaceted and complex, taking into account the mind, body, and spirit when addressing patients’ health and well-being. “My main objective is to educate patients, providing them with the tools necessary to make empowered decisions and take control of their health. I also want to impart a sense of genuine caring and compassion to bring patients comfort and provide the best possible healthcare experience.

 

Dr. Mason began her functional medicine journey in 2011, after witnessing so many patients being failed by the conventional medical system, herself included. She was inspired by her friend and mentor, a functional medicine practitioner in Louisiana, who provided her with education and resources relating to functional medicine. Thereafter, she began conducting her own research and used this knowledge to help several patients, friends, and colleagues achieve their wellness goals through individualized diet, exercise, stress management, and nutraceutical plans. “Although lifestyle modifications are considered first-line therapy for many diseases in conventional medicine, these crucial elements are often not addressed or are glossed over. We are failing our patients when we do not identify and treat the root causes of their illnesses–that’s where functional medicine comes in.

 

As a family nurse practitioner, Dr. Mason is committed to improving health and wellbeing of both women and men across the lifespan. She takes a special interest in women’s health, including well-woman exams, hormone balance, fertility issues, body image, and more. “Women’s health issues don’t end here,” Dr. Mason explains, “but include a wide spectrum of illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, or cardiac disease, to name a few.” Her desire to improve the lives of women is fueled both by her own experiences, as well as witnessing women struggle, often disproportionately, within the healthcare system. “So many women come to me with physical complaints and have been told that there is nothing wrong or, even worse, that it’s all in their head. For example, in my previous practice, I encountered several female patients who had been diagnosed with anxiety when they actually had arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation or supraventricular tachycardia.” Of concern, a study by Pope and colleagues (2000) found that women under the age of 55 who presented to the emergency room with chest pain or other heart symptoms were seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed and sent home than their male counterparts; however, no matter your gender, “I am here to listen and hear you, respect you, and partner with you. Together, we will develop a plan to help you live a satisfying and vibrant life.

 

Dr. Mason grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and obtained her undergraduate nursing degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Shortly after, she moved to Austin, Texas and began her nursing career as a medical-surgical/telemetry registered nurse at the University Medical Center at Brackenridge. She later worked in outpatient endoscopy, home health, diabetes and endocrinology, and cardiac electrophysiology. She went back to school to become a nurse practitioner and obtained both her Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky, graduating summa cum laude. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, with memberships being offered by invitation only to those demonstrating academic excellence. She is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing as an advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority. She is in the process of obtaining her functional medicine certification.

Mason and colleagues receiving their Frontier Nursing University blankets. It is the school’s tradition to provide family nurse practitioners with blankets to give to a patient in need.

For fun, Dr. Mason loves spending time with her family and friends. She and her husband have two pugs, Sookie and Mo, whom they often walk along Town Lake or downtown Austin. They enjoy playing video games together and hosting board game nights at their home. Dr. Mason is a voracious reader and is also interested in mindfulness, green living, human rights activism, and ketogenic cooking.

Dr. Mason enjoying quality time with her grandmother and brother

Dr. Mason’s wedding celebration

 

 

Dr. Mason and Sookie

I’m incredibly excited to join the Oubre Medical team and look forward to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals!” –Dr. Mason

 

Reference

Pope, J. H., Aufderheide, T. P., Ruthazer, R., Woolard, R. H., Feldman, J.A., Beshansky, J. R., … Selker, H. P. (2000). Missed diagnosis of acute cardiac ischemia in the emergency department. New England Journal of Medicine, 342(16), 1163-1170. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200004203421603