5 Reasons Your Practice Should Hire an Integrative and Functional Medical Practitioner

Integrative and Functional Medicine has become overwhelmingly popular over the last few years due to high demand and patient desire for a more holistic experience with their doctors. The increasing number of positions on our job board and the growing number of esteemed institutions that adopted this approach have proven that Integrative and Functional Medicine is not a trend.

Now more than ever, patients are seeking Integrative and Functional Medicine Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Nutritionists, and Health Coaches. To keep up with your patients’ demands and to stay relevant, we’ve laid out our top five reasons why your practice should hire an Integrative and Functional Medical Practitioner.

  1. Patient Demand

As mentioned above, the demand for Integrative and Functional Medicine has risen over the last few years. People want to work closely with their physicians to find the cause of their medical problems. More and more patients are seeking care that provides more options to achieve optimal health, which includes integrative therapies.

According to a recent interview by the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) with Patricia Christie, a Locum Tenens Physician, “patients everywhere are open to integrative practices.” On traveling around the country offering her integrative practices to patients, Patricia says, “it is so rewarding to have multiple therapies and interventions to offer patients besides simply writing them a prescription for more pills without addressing the root cause of the problem. The patients I work with have been very receptive.”

The demand for this field of medicine is still growing, which is why we encourage your practice to hire an Integrative or Functional Medical Practitioner on staff to give your patients the option for a more holistic approach to their own healthcare.

  1. Personalized Healthcare & Patient-Centered Movement

A common issue for patients of doctors who don’t practice Integrative and Functional Medicine is that their visits don’t feel personalized. It almost seems like an assembly line to patients who want to learn about their entire bodies rather than the isolated area of concern.

Integrative and Functional Medicine practitioners specialize in more personalized visits. This field of medicine utilizes a patient-centered, science-based approach that addresses the underlying causes of disease and empowers patients to transform their health. Integrative and Functional Medicine leans more toward value-based care rather than volume-based care.

With the majority of the population suffering from chronic disease, and how horribly this is taxing our healthcare system, there is no choice but for healthcare to transition to a preventive, personalized approach. Deciding to add a Functional Medical Practitioner to your staff is a significant step towards the patient-centered movement.  These practitioners will bring lifestyle medicine principles that enhance well being. 

An increasing number of patients want to know why they are sick and how to get better. They want to know how to eat properly, take care of themselves on a day-to-day basis, and what exercise is appropriate for their bodies. With prescription drug abuse on the rise in recent years, people are stepping away from pills and asking their doctors about the bigger picture.

Patients who seek this care are engaged in their health transformation, and every practitioner appreciates a motivated and engaged patient.  

Give your patients what they want – a more personalized approach to their healthcare. 

Taking a personalized and patient-centered approach will enable you to achieve better patient satisfaction and stand above the competition.

  1. Patients Want to Live Longer, Healthier Lives

It’s no secret that preventive care is crucial to longevity. And with the increasing visibility and pursuit of biohacking, patients are seeking ways to achieve optimal health and longer lifespans. As we have established advanced technology and become better educated as a population, people are now eager to find different ways to lead healthier lifestyles and to discover the secrets of how to live longer. Integrative and Functional Medicine is the way patients can learn how to attain this knowledge.

Integrative and Functional Medicine closely aligns with preventive care practices. According to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), “Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.” The “how” and “why” are critical to preventive care. The prevention of disease is an important component of Integrative and Functional Medicine, and practitioners in the field are trained in how to educate patients on lifestyle modifications.

This is another strong reason why your practice should hire an Integrative and Functional Medical Practitioner.

  1. Better Overall Care Means Better Outcomes and Better Patient Satisfaction

When your practice brings an Integrative or Functional Medicine physician on board, you’re setting your patients up for success. By giving them the choice to see an Integrative and Functional Medicine doctor, you’re giving patients more options to transform their health. This medicine is well rounded, as we discussed above, and provides a health transformation approach that conventional medicine does not. If you hire an Integrative and Functional Medical Practitioner, your patients will receive better overall care, and in turn, achieve better outcomes.

While conventional practices are limited in the time allotted for patient visits, I’ve spoken to a number of candidates who have found creative ways to bring their knowledge and expertise in the field to their conventional setting. In this blog post, I shared examples of how a Surgeon and Physician Assistant have been able to use their training in Integrative and Functional Medicine to provide better overall care for patients in different conventional settings.

Integrative and Functional Medicine Physician, Dr. John Paul Krueger, has a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine and has taken extensive courses in Functional Medicine with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. Krueger shared with me how his education in the field has influenced better patient satisfaction in the conventional settings he has worked. “My education in Integrative and Functional Medicine has been particularly helpful with vague problems that don’t have pharmaceutical solutions.  My training in the field enables me to blend recommendations for hard to treat symptoms and diagnoses. The healthcare employers with whom I’ve worked find value in the increased patient satisfaction.”

  1. They Bring Knowledge and Expertise to Your Staff

Providers who pursue education in the field have been trained to treat complex medical illnesses. They are often referred to as “medical detectives” who not only get to the source of the illness, but are skilled in providing treatment plans that encompass cutting-edge medicine. 

During candidate interviews, I often hear examples of how practitioners are providing information to their peers to help them diagnose and treat difficult cases. And on a number of occasions I’ve heard from candidate’s professional references that they send their family members to the practitioner because of their training in the field and approach.

Having an Integrative and Functional Medicine practitioner on staff will bring expertise and collaboration to your team that will improve overall outcomes and boost morale. They will be seen as a valuable and needed resource.

Finding an experienced Functional Medicine practitioner can be daunting for small and large practices alike, which is why we’re here to help! At Integrated and Functional Connections, we help you source the perfect candidate for your practice.  You can meet your staffing goals by posting your new Integrative and Functional Medicine position on our job board for the field.  You can also inquire about our recruitment services at www.integratedconnects.com.  

Integrated Connections also provides Human Resources services specifically for the Integrative and Functional Medicine field. In addition to HR compliance, we can provide insight as to how to bring a practitioner from the field into a conventional practice. For more information on our HR services, visit www.lisapmcdonald.com.