Michelle Murphy, ARNP, is the founder and one of the skilled, compassionate clinicians at Peak Performance & Prevention (affectionately known as P3), a wellness clinic located in Puyallup, Washington.
Michelle grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, raised by a single mother who put herself through law school while Michelle was still in elementary school. Michelle grew up with a strong appreciation for independence and education. She had a love for the outdoors, and through that love, she obtained her undergraduate degree in environmental science. She believed her future would be in the field of biology.
During her term as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa, she spearheaded two projects in her small village, Kintieri, to support women’s access to birth control and help the village elders with a small animal husbandry project to increase protein access for a population that faced severe malnourishment and the highest infant mortality rate on the planet.
Between these two life experiences, she realized her passion for improving the human condition. She changed her course, and when she returned stateside, she started her studies in family medicine.
It wasn’t until nearly a decade into her career that she discovered functional medicine. She was facing “burnout” and discontent with the demand for how many patients had to be seen to make a living which left little time for helping patients, learning about advancements in research, or providing the level of care she expected to provide. Functional medicine is the practice of applying the investigative work of biology, physiology, and advanced diagnostics with teaching and supporting the patient to be in the driver seat of their own biology. It is “root cause medicine.”
With this new love for medicine, she faced the problem: how to make time to support each patient within a system that doesn’t pay clinicians to teach and reverse disease but rather to suppress symptoms. The game is stacked in favor of disease, not in the reversal of disease. Michelle knew there was a better way, and she learned from her patients that they were willing to take on a new adventure and risk with her.
In 2016, Michelle sold her home and in 2017 took what equity she had and started P3.
The Goal: redesign the game that is stacked against the clinician and the patient.
The P3 Model allows the patient to invest in their own health and assign the clinician as a teammate, and together they have the freedom to reach goals that include the reversal of heart disease, autoimmunity, diabetes, and infertility. This grand experiment has been more successful than Michelle or her original patients could have imagined. Michelle only expected to carry 200 patients, and within six months, that number had been exceeded. People were calling and asking to be placed on a growing waitlist. This momentum was generated by the success of those original patients and “word of mouth.”
P3 has doubled in size of staff and patients enrolled every year since 2017. And we credit our patient outcomes for this growth.
Michelle is a mother of two active and happy teenagers, Liam and Rowan. She is also an avid endurance triathlete and cyclist. If you don’t see her at the office or the pool cheering at her daughter’s swim meets, you will likely find her at the gym or on her bike.