Dr. Rita's Religious Beliefs
Dr. Hancock was raised in the Catholic Church, and for the past fifteen years has attended various Methodist churches with her husband Ed (a Methodist minister's son) and with their children Lindsey and Cory.
She believes in the equality of the Trinity, in salvation through Jesus Christ, that we are saved by His grace and not our own works, and that God really doesn't care how much we weigh. He cares that we care how much we weigh, and He wants us to be released from bondage to food and live life more abundantly and serve Him with greater physical stamina.
Her Personal Weight Loss Experience
Dr. Rita knows first hand what it is like to overcome obesity.
Being Italian, she had access to the world's most delicious food when she was
growing up. Unfortunately, she ate too much of it. By the time Rita was 17 and
was 5'1" tall, she weighed 207 pounds and wore size 20 jeans
Prior to leaving for Cornell University to study nutrition, Rita
lost 75 pounds. And she did it by including occasional treats in her overall low-calorie diet, and by eating less and exercising more.
At Cornell, Rita minored in nutrition, participated in
original nutrition research, and completed a thesis on the control of body
weight. Through these studies, she was mentored by a world-leader in obesity
Apart from temporary fluctuations in her weight related to
having children, Rita has now maintained her weight loss for 25 years.
Her Medical Practice
Dr. Rita is a board-certified Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation specialist with a subspecialty board certification in Pain
Management. She has been in full time practice in Norman,
Oklahoma for ten years.
Though she performs electrodiagnostic nerve testing,
spinal steroid injections, and other high-tech diagnostic procedures and treatments
to alleviate her patients' back pain, her favorite treatment is unusual for a
medical doctor to offer: Dr. Hancock practices osteopathic style spinal
manipulation on her patients to reduce their need for addictive pain pills.
She also counsels her patients on weight loss and on improving
their relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Her Medical Training
After completing her nutrition studies as an undergraduate
at Cornell University, Rita attended medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo,
where she was awarded a research fellowship to study gastroenterology
(digestive diseases) at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
She was also awarded the prestigious National Institute of Health's Medical
Student Research Training Fellowship, which allowed her to continue her studies
in nutrition for two years at the Center for Human Nutrition in Dallas, Texas.
Upon graduating from medical school, Dr. Hancock completed
an internship in internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in
Dallas, and went on to her residency in rehabilitation medicine at Parkland
Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and to subspecialty board-certification in pain