Kulia Moldagalieva: "The clinic is my mission"
Before opening her own physical and mental health clinic for children and adults in Almaty, Kulia Moldagalieva had time to visit 30 countries and underwent internships at the world's leading medical institutions. As a schoolgirl, she dreamed of becoming a cardiac surgeon, but later, in her senior year at university she consciously chose family medicine. The founder of the Uki Clinic, which today employs internationally renowned specialists, has never regretted her decision. As well as the fact that she confidently puts her boldest aspirations and plans into practice in her homeland - in Kazakhstan.
-Kulia, what is the mission of your clinic, and how does it resonate with its name? As you know, uki, translated from the Kazakh language, is an owl - a bird that is an integral part of the age-old traditions of nomads.
-A person's mental health directly affects his or her physical state. And, of course, the emotional state of the parents, in one way or another, affects the children.
Most people today ask themselves, what is health? According to the WHO definition, health is a state of complete physical, spiritual and social well-being, not just the absence of disease or physical defects. Therefore, it is impossible to deny the connection between our emotional state and physical health.
As for the owl, it is no accident that it is a mysterious character of fairy tales and legends of many peoples of the world. The Nomadic owl is a sacred bird, the meeting with which in nature is considered a good omen, promising success in any business. Kazakhs still use the feathers of an owl as a talisman. Steppe people decorated with them, including hats of children, besiks (cradles). Our ancestors believed that such a talisman would protect from the evil eye, and the baby's sleep would be healthy and strong. The Kazakhs also have an expression "ukileu", a literal translation of which means "to protect yourself with an owl".
- How did you come to the decision to open a clinic? In addition to your credentials as a general practitioner, you also hold the PCC Professional Certified Coach credential, an interesting combination…
-For me, medicine is the foundation, the foundation. And yet, my way of finding help for other people was not so easy, and I didn't come to coaching therapy right away.
When I was 18 years old, I became interested in neuro-linguistic programming, and I even had to go to Altai, Russia, to do it. All this happened before NLP became, as they say in such cases, mainstream here in Kazakhstan. As a result, my newfangled hobby was just as quickly over as it began. However, I must admit that NLP has a lot of great therapeutic moments, which are quite effective in working with certain phobias. That's why I wouldn't call that period of time hopelessly lost for me.
Later on, I was introduced to theta haling, which, to be honest, I don't practice today. But it was also useful to go through it, as well as reiki techniques, numerology. At the moment I am studying human design. It's very interesting to me because there is a scientific basis to it.
I came to coaching as a medical student, but first as a client, which I recommend to everyone today. And this lasted for me for about half a year. After that, in parallel with my studies at medical school, I began to study at a fairly well-known international coaching university.
For me, the key thing about coaching is that there is no violence or pressure. This is a partnership, although there is also the technique of challenges, and without it, by the way, it is practically impossible to help some people. After receiving my certificate, I began practicing almost immediately. And I began to do it, of course, on whom, considering that I was surrounded by doctors 24/7, and at that time I was doing my internship. Of course, my earliest clients were groupniki and then medical workers. The latter had a lot going on in their bodies because of their endless duty, and they definitely needed coaching therapy. At first my session cost a cup of coffee, then a thousand tenge, and later five thousand tenge. Now the rates are completely different…
After seeing good results, I decided to do my own upgrade. After completing the online training that coincided with the pandemic, I received my PCC Professional Certified Coach certificate in Moscow.
Coaching has its own gradations: ACC, PCC, and MCC. For example, to get to the ACC level, you need 100 hours of practice in addition to the basic requirements. The PCC level requires 500 hours of practice and a lot more. To become an MCC you need 2500 hours of practice on top of everything else. I have already gained those hours. There are still some formalities and steps to go through in order to officially get the status of a master.
As a coaching specialist, people come to me mostly by recommendation. They come and say, “You helped so-and-so, that's why I came to you for help!”
I do this kind of therapy because I constantly feel a strong need for it. In addition to wanting to help people, I also need coaching to support the entrepreneur in me! So that brings us to the question of how the decision to open my own clinic came about. Yes, yes...it came from my coaching initiation.
I don't give up coaching, even when there are certain difficulties in my life. Even then I don't stop working with clients. For me, coaching is first and foremost a matter of the soul. And the clinic is my mission, which is connected with a sense of duty in a good sense of the word. I see how my professional medical skills help people, and I see great results from coaching therapy. When these things work together, you get "candy" at the end”.
- Where do you get your ideas for the clinic? Who helps you?
- I have had the opportunity to visit different continents and, at the same time, to immerse myself in a specific medical environment. Whether it was an internship or participation in various conferences and trainings, I always found something valuable that later came in handy and is applied today in our center. This irrepressibility, constant search for something new, when at age 27 it turns out that already traveled through several dozen countries, it certainly was handed down to me (laughs) from the distant nomadic ancestors.
I am very proud of my partner, concurrently our chief physician Dmitry Alexandrovich Kireev, and I consider it a huge success that he is now on our team. My mother and sister go to him and I myself once put my now four-year-old son in the hands of this wonderful doctor and recommend him to everyone I know.
Dmitriy is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), he is a famous family doctor and pediatrician in Kazakhstan. Guided by the principles of evidence-based medicine, the doctor shows excellent results in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health of children and adults.
Our clinic also employs other specialists of high professional level. They include general practitioners, pediatricians, neurologists, a psychologist who works with both adults and children, a speech pathologist, an allergist, and others. In the near future, we plan to have an emotional intelligence trainer on our team for our young patients.
- Tell us about your clinic development plans …
-I see them in movement and development, and also in scaling. The fact is that our doctors are very often approached for help by patients from different regions of the country. This fact gave me the idea to open branches of our clinic in other Kazakhstani cities as well.
I've already been contacted by colleagues from Korea to go into Kazakhstan with telemedicine. By the way, I had my first serious medical internship in that country, so to this day I continue to keep in touch with the leading Korean medical institutions. And these are just the first steps of our clinic towards international cooperation.
Author: Gaziza Gabi
Photo: from the personal archive of the author @kuliya