Why is Integrative Medicine Better Than Allopathic ("Regular") Medicine?
How long is your typical visit with your family doctor? 10-15 minutes? Do you wish you could spend more time discussing your problems with a professional and getting to the root cause? As a concierge doctor, I provide every patient with the time needed to do just this. I systematically address every single thing that is bothering you and provide treatment with integrative medicine. I will always be available for questions - email, text, or call at any time.
You may be wondering what "integrative medicine" is and how does this help you? Integrative medicine means that we use our "western" (allopathic) skills to diagnose and treat medical issues through dietary manipulation and supplements - called integratives. These are often the precursors to pharmaceuticals and have no side effects. We also use nutritional supplements, hormones, and only as a last resort do we use traditional pharmaceuticals.
Integrative medicine gives you the choice of how you will be treated and puts you, the patient; in charge of your health.
The short answer: treat the root-cause of your medical issues.
You see, due to the western health care system model, primary-care doctors have to see a stunning number of patients in the course of their workday. As a result, the amount of time spent working on your medical issues is very, very short.
In 2012, an article in the Annals of Family Medicine reported that the average primary-care physician has about 2,300 patients under his/her care! Another survey done in 2013 by the American Academy of Family Physicians, revealed even worse figures but once the numbers are crunched down, the average time a primary-care physician spends with a patient is a mere 22 minutes. Remember; this includes "full history and physicals" as well as follow-up visits.
Have you ever had a doctor visit that lasted no more than 10 or 15 minutes? Have you ever experienced a visit when the physician walks into the room while shuffling through your file to refresh their memory about the details of your case? You are the exception if this never happened to you as this is the situation in (unfortunately) too many cases.
So let's consider what is really happening. The physician did not have time to prepare for your visit which is why he/she is going through your file; probably for the first time since your last visit. He/she asks you what is different since you last spoke, what were the effects of that prescription drug you were put on; then he/she really only has a few minutes to think, analyze the latest developments, process the information, look it up if need be, and then decide on a course of action.
Through no fault of their own, doctors are forced to make snap decisions which your health and well being depend upon. If you have a complex medical issue(s), it is all but impossible in such a short period of time to really delve into your issue and find out what the root-cause is. Your doctor is not to blame, the health care system model is.
This is why I chose the concierge physician model. This allows me to maintain a patient base that is a mere fraction of that of "regular" doctor. I schedule your appointment with me for a full 90-120 minutes. Before your visit, I ask you to fill-out my personalized questionnaire which allows me to frame your medical issues and determine which specific blood work will provide me the data I need to analyze and drill down to the root-cause. Once I receive the results of your tests, I generally spend a solid 2 hours to analyze and read up-to-the minute research on what is the root-cause and treatment of your conditions. I'm really prepared for you when I get the privilege of seeing you.
By the time we sit down together, I have already had hours to consider the problems and several days to ponder and research if necessary. Remember, my goal is to find out what is responsible for your conditions because only then can I tailor a treatment that will solve them, as opposed to merely applying a patch that will only help you live with them.
The traditional healthcare model does not allow the time to get to the bottom of the issues. Other doctors focus their attention on finding the most appropriate drug to treat the symptoms, not on addressing the root-cause.
When you choose to become a patient of mine, you have access to me at all time, literally. You can contact me by phone, text message, and email. You always speak to me directly, not to a receptionist or a nurse. You get answers from me and me only. I do not keep a tab on the number of emails or phone calls. Sounds hard to believe? This is what the concierge model allows me to do.
I'm sure your family doctor is wonderful, but to do what I do, a great deal of extra training and time is required. The beauty of it all is I do not replace your family or primary-care doctor, I work with him/her so you get the best of both worlds.
Aha, this is where the line between Functional and Integrative Medicine blurs a little. Functional Medicine doctors seek out the root cause of disease and, like Integrative Medicine doctors, treat people as one entity; not as a collection of un-related organs requiring a myriad of specialists. The treatment modalities between the two specialties tend to be the same or quite similar. Functional doctors used to use diagnostic terms that were not recognized by allopathic (western) medical doctors but those days are coming to an end with (as an example) the embracement of intestinal hyperpermeability (leaky gut) and the linking connection of the "gut" to the brain by all specialties of medicine.
In a word, yes. The two terms are used interchangeably. However, note that some non- M.D. or D.O. "holistic" practitioners have adopted the term integrated; so always check your doctor's credentials and board certifications.
Integrative (or functional) medicine should not be confused with holistic or alternative medicine. Many non-medical school trained practitioners use these monikers. There is most certainly a place for Acupuncturists, Chiropractors and other holistic, ("treating the whole"), alternative practitioners in our broken healthcare system. However, be aware that the training and knowledge base for these practitioners is quite different than that of a Functional Internist.
Choose carefully who you entrust your health and well being to; this is one of the most important decisions of your entire life.
What Are The Typical Problems Functional Medicine Doctors Treat?
We tend to treat problems that other doctors write off as "normal aging" such as loss of energy, diminished cognition, and abnormal sleeping patterns. We don't use a one-size-fits-all formula to treat people, as everyone requires highly personalized regimens.
I treat a wide variety of conditions, from "adrenal fatigue"-correctly termed HPA axis dysfunction- to leaky gut to autoimmune illness, cardiovascular disease and all sorts of inflammatory conditions. As a well-known hormone specialist, many patients seek me out for weight loss and hormone replacement therapy. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Why don't we chat if you think I might be able to help you feel better, wean from pharmaceuticals, look younger, and feel younger?