Greetings. I am Lorena Popp. I am a board-certified internist who addresses each patient as an integrated and unique person while attending to all 12 systems of the human body. I treat men and women, and perform exams specific to women. I also specialize in non-surgical esthetic procedures to help both women and men optimize the natural beauty of their face, while maintaining the essence that defines the character of each patient. These procedures include a range of injectibles, such as botox, fillers, and mesotherapy, as well as Platelet Rich Plasma, colorfully known as “Vampire PRP.” Just imagine getting Vampire PRP from a doctor (me) who was born and raised in Transylvania! This procedure is in my blood!
Regardless of what needs you seek to address, I am dedicated to providing each and every patient with ultimate care. Below you will find a brief synopsis of my medical training and philosophy, and of my life. Both necessarily are deeply intertwined.
I graduated medical school in 2001 from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, with integrated internships at Yale. In 2006, I completed my residency in Internal Medicine at George Washington University. Prior to opening my own private practice, I practiced at Sibley Hospital in DC, and then at Inova in both Alexandria and Fairfax.
I think the relationship between a physician and a patient should be based on trust and respect, with clear expectations that produce mutual satisfaction in the best interests of the patient. To that end, I spend significant face time with my patients. I have no nurse, performing each needed procedure myself so I can develop increasing familiarity with and insight into each patient. I strive to view each patient in all relevant aspects, seeking to maximize their health and wellbeing.
In the “My Life” part of this website, found just to the right, you will see a thumbnail sketch of my early life in Romania. As it happens, the sweet remarks of an elderly Romanian patient's wife is something I treasure as a testament to what I hope to achieve in my medical practice. The wife, also Romanian, wrote a letter to my parents, who recently shared it with me, having translated it into English. Now I will share it with you:
Dear Parents of the Adorable Doctor Lorena Popp,
Your daughter, medical doctor and ... a real sunshine, gave me your coordinates to my exclamation that only true special parents could have brought someone so magical and charming into this world in addition to her qualities as a superb physician.
We met during my husband’s consultation visits at Sibley Hospital. She was the attending in charge and immediately understood the medical condition and pretty much saved my husband’s life, but she also understood the “rest.”
My husband had a terrible blood infection, that ascended from his gallbladder. He’s 90 years old, and has had, from strokes and heart problems to everything that undermines this time at this late stage in life ... But ... he is my husband, very much loved for 30 years, and for me no effort seemed exaggerated and I can appreciate humanity, in addition to the doctor’s duty or knowledge, when it exists. I would therefore like to congratulate you on this amazing child of yours and express my thanks. She is an angel.
Also your daughter tells me that you have left but still are in love with Romania (I allow myself to make an extra remark on this topic) with its wonderful culture and wide horizons in so many aspects of life. Maybe we will meet one day and enjoy a nice conversation (I‘m a philologist and I’m surpassing you a bit in age but not as in a generation).
Please receive these clumsy lines, with good wishes, and once again with a joyous exclamation for your luminous child. It was such a delight to get to know her!
I am not a child, obviously. But I am so happy that I was able to make a difference in their lives, near the end of their lives. This letter reminds me, every time I read it, of why I became a doctor.
A good physician obviously always must strive to get medical judgment and treatment right. That is essential. But it is, in my opinion, also critical to always try to understand ”the rest.” And that is the heart and soul of my medical philosophy.
I have by most measures lived an unusual life, with many varied experiences, challenges, and happy moments that—at least in my view—define and guide my medical practice at least as much as my medical training. I grew up in Romania—the Transylvanian region of Romania, actually, better known for the dramatic fiction of Bram Stoker’s Dracula than anything else. (However, Washington Wizards fans probably also will remember Romania‘s own Gheorghe Muresan, with his massive 7-foot, 7-inch height. I have met him and we share a close mutual friend!)
Because we lived in a mid-sized town near the Hungarian border, I grew up speaking Romanian, Hungarian, and German, later supplemented by English. The cultural environment was extraordinary—a key part of the rich tradition of Eastern Europe.
But there also was danger and drastically cruel oppression. For the first 16 years of my life, my parents and sister and I lived under the iron-fisted rule of the infamous Communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, unanimously viewed as the most brutal of all Soviet satellite leaders. My parents shielded my sister and I from the worst of things, but I remember them urgently insisting that we never tell anyone, not even our best friend, that we listened to American radio at night, because our best friend's father might work for the Secret Police, who might come take our father away, never to be seen again.
During the first half of my teenage years, Romania became a deeply failed state, unable even to produce food for its people. I remember going to what passed for grocery stores, only to find the shelves stocked with one single useless product pawned off on us by Russia, like incredibly gross chips of some kind made out of what supposedly was crabmeat from Cuba. We would, however, happily visit relatives in the country, where the fertile land, laying beyond the government's harsh reach, produced wonderful food. I remember stomping grapes with my bare feet for my relatives to make wine while they roasted whole pigs and prepared a delicious feast.
As conditions in the country deteriorated, my Dad did something brave. An engineer, he was ordered to take a train eastward to the Carpathian Mountains for a work assignment. Instead, however, he took the train in the opposite direction, toward the Hungarian border. He barely made it across the border ahead of the Secret Police, who luckily failed to catch up with him (for being caught would have been the death of him). He continued toward Hungary‘s border with West Germany, where he once again barely made it across, with the Secret Police once again at his heels.
Once my Dad settled in West Germany, we eventually were able to join him (maybe the only civilized policy the Communist Romanian Government ever had!). I had always loved bananas, but hardly ever got to enjoy them—they obviously did not grow in Romania and imported foods like that were impossible to find, at least for ordinary people who were not privileged members of the governing elite. When my Mom and sister and I arrived at our new home in West Germany, and I went into my new room for the first time, I found that my Dad had filled it to the very brim with bananas! I will never forget that wonderful moment.
Happily ensconced in West Germany, I matriculated through medical school there and began the career that brought me here. If you become my patient, I can tell you many stories! And I would love to hear yours!
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