Meet Dr. Emily Bruno, Your Lead Physician

Lanby Team

1. What motivated you to develop your own style of practicing medicine? 

I have not had the most conventional career path toward medicine. My “first” career was in public service, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer then as a U.S. State Department diplomat. In those capacities, I prioritized addressing root causes of global problems, whether it was conflict stabilization in Darfur or development efforts in Ethiopia. When I pivoted to preventive medicine, I found myself doing the same on both individual and population health levels - screenings for recently-arrived refugees in one role, co-leading a COVID-19 hotel isolation clinic in another. As a next step in my career, I wanted to find a space that valued sustainability over stopgaps in an intentional, patient-centered way. The stars aligned when I was introduced to The Lanby!

2. What aspect of your job at The Lanby surprised you the most?

I have seen patients in  intense settings: a Haitian orphanage, street clinics in Tijuana, floating operating rooms in Madagascar, migrant shelters in San Diego. I had the chance to work with amazing people and patients in all of those places, but due to the nature of those environments, the continuum of care that is so critical to improving health outcomes was not always there. My personal approach to care involves a more holistic, continuous approach to address all aspects of health and wellbeing. This is precisely what The Lanby offers and why I’m thrilled to be a part of the team.  

3. What issue in healthcare is top of mind for you right now?

COVID-19 has taken a toll on our physical and mental health. Many people, myself included, were reducing social contact even before mandated isolation began, for a variety of reasons: work, choice, trauma, grief, city living - all compounded by the pandemic. I became interested in this issue of social isolation and loneliness (SIL), especially in the context of social determinants of health and of ways of optimizing total health. I came across a number of studies showing that people experiencing SIL run an increased risk of anxiety and depression, but a recent NEJM article (podcast here) went beyond that, citing evidence of a direct association between SIL and poor cardiovascular outcomes, as well as increased diabetes risk, susceptibility to viruses, and even negative effects on biologic markers (like C-reactive protein and fibrinogen), perpetuating the downward spiral of prolonged inflammation and illness progression.

This is exactly the type of cross-cutting issue that our Care Team is built to address - investigating the interplay between all aspects of health, from nutrition to gut and hormone health to stress management to chronic disease. 

4. How does wellness factor into your own life? 

I believe in putting your money where your mouth is, something that extends to my brand of wellness. 

When I came home from a State Department assignment in Sudan in 2008 with a pack of four feral dogs and a street cat, I became passionate about animal rights, which led me to become vegan. I have grown even more passionate about veganism since then, seeing how this lifestyle impacts everything from individual and population health, to animal welfare, to climate change. I love the idea of being part of this revolution and jump at the chance to talk about it whenever I can.

Same with physical activity. My mother tells a story about dropping me off for my first day of first grade, and I apparently sprinted out of the car into school. I think I have not stopped running ever since, and exercise is key to keeping my head in check. Distance racing is a particular passion (just qualified for the 2023 NYC Marathon!), but over the years I have been equally addicted to ballet, soccer, Pilates, yoga, jump rope, you name it. So when I talk to friends, patients, or even perfect strangers about the effects of exercise on total health and wellbeing, know that I am 100% practicing what I am preaching. 

5. Why The Lanby? 

The Lanby's brand of integrative primary care appealed to the advocate in me. I have a strong desire to form meaningful relationships and find concrete answers, rather than temporary solutions. I'm proud to be a part of the journey with our patients in this way.

Care Philosophy
Mental health
Industry