How do you choose the right functional medicine doctor for you? This is part 2 of the series; go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com so you can check out Part 1 where I discuss the doctor’s experience and diagnostic testing procedures. In part 2 of this series I will cover the importance of Health Coaching and how this improves treatment outcomes. I will also talk about Client Goals and the importance of Communication as it pertains to optimum patient outcomes. Selecting a FM or integrative doctor can be a very confusing proposition these days; it is my hope that this series gives you the confidence to move forward with peace of mind. As a side note; Dr. Mark Hyman has just released a series called Hacking your Healthcare; it’s a video series that can help you make educated decisions about your health; I recommend you check this out: Hacking Your Healthcare
A health coach is an individual trained in functional medicine that helps you implement the treatment plan that has been created by your doctor. Functional medicine treatment programs often require diet modification, lifestyle changes and new mindset on health and wellness. Your health coach supports and guides you through your program so that you achieve your wellness goals. Your coach helps you take your unique treatment plan and put that plan into action! The support, guidance and knowledge of a good health coach can be the difference between success and failure. We utilized health coaching in our office so that our patients get the best results possible. We currently live in a DIY society; but when it comes to lifestyle and personal habit modification; most of us could use some help.
It is very important to clearly establish what your goals are for treatment. This also includes setting realistic expectations for how much change you would like to see within certain timeframes. For example, if you have an autoimmune disease, it would be unrealistic to expect remission within 4 weeks and refuse to follow the treatment plan created by your doctor. Establishing motivating goals within realistic time frames is essential to positive outcomes.
Clear and open communication is essential for a satisfying doctor-health coach-patient relationship. In functional medicine and integrative medicine clinics; open and clear communication is essential. This provides agreed upon expectations from the doctor and the patient and helps prevent misunderstandings and upsets. Effective communication removes assumptions (from the doctor and the patient) so that clear and effective treatment plans can be created and implemented. Make sure you have confidence in what your doctor is telling you and at the same time be completely honest and upfront with your doctor. I can’t tell you how many patients I have seen who do not communicate openly with their primary care physician or specialist out of fear. The fear of what the doctor will think of them, the fear of how the doctor will respond or the fear of the doctor’s ego. This makes for a terrible doctor-patient relationship! Remember this…your doctor is there to help you! If you can’t have an open dialogue with your doctor and if your questions are dismissed or ridiculed, get a new doctor! Remember this, you pay their bills; not the other way around.
Communication is the bond of good interpersonal relationships; and you must have this with your doctor.
I hope this 2-part series has provided you with information that helps you feel more confident in selecting a functional medicine doctor that is right for you.
I wish you success on your quest for health!
If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com
Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.
This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.