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Earlier on in my career as an internal medicine physician, I began to feel dissatisfied with the status quo. I sensed there was something wrong in the delivery of medical care. The 15 minute double booked office appointments only added to my angst and dissatisfaction. Questions plagued me such as:
- How come my patients kept coming back time after time with the same complaints?
- How come I was only resorting to pills to help them feel better?
- How come I didn’t have enough time to educate them about lifestyle modifications?
- How come those patients diagnosed with a chronic illness like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease suddenly had these ailments become the forefront of their existence spending time going from one doctor to another, filling one prescription after the other?
- How come as time went on I saw the light in the eyes of a lot of my patients dim; there was almost a sense of resignation. Their lives had become, one doctor visit after the other, after the other.
In 2005, I left the sizeable multispecialty group I was working for in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago and went into private practice with two other business partners. Perhaps I could create a better model of healthcare delivery.
I saw my mission as not only treating acute illness but teaching my patients living with chronic diseases about taking simple small steps toward healthier living.
In my time in private practice, I decided to pursue training as a professional coach. I found there was power in guiding people toward possibility, so they see the answers for themselves while holding them accountable for the results they produce. Writing about the power of coaching still lights me up and gives me goosebumps.
I wanted to promote lifestyle interventions, but could not find a model I could incorporate that entirely resonated with the kind of care I was looking to deliver to my patients. Unfortunately, the practice was not going well. There was high overhead while insurance reimbursements were low.
Finally in 2010, after paying back the business loan we had taken out to start the practice, I made a decision to leave. I have been working in hospital medicine since then. Over the last eight years, I have continued to provide health information on my blog and have published and uodated a book for patients on how to live with type 2 diabetes. But those questions have continued to plague me.
I’ve contemplated going back into private practice, but I wanted to make sure that I created a structure that would support not only my patients but also me.
As a cancer survivor, it is my responsibility to create a space that promotes my healing; where I can thrive and continue to serve my patients.
Well, I am happy to share that I have found that structure in functional medicine. So this is the beginning of my journey into functional medicine, and I am excited to share this with you.
- In this video blog, I share what I understand functional medicine to be
As always I welcome your comments as well as suggestions for topics you may be interested in learning more about.
To your health and wellbeing,