4 Factors to Look for in an Integrative, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine Job: Beyond the Paycheck

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“A good job is more than just a paycheck. A good job fosters independence and discipline, and contributes to the health of the community.” – James H. Douglas, Jr.

Your job in the Integrative, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine field is more than just a paycheck; it’s your life’s purpose. You’ve worked hard to achieve the appropriate Functional Medicine education and training to grow a career in this burgeoning, patient-centered care movement.  You were inspired to join this shift in healthcare that gets to the root of illness and transforms lives. Now it’s time to ensure that your new job is fulfilling that purpose in every sense.

We previously discussed a number of tips when it comes to effective salary negotiations for Functional and Lifestyle Medicine Jobs. These tips will ensure that your salary offer meets your threshold, and that you’re receiving a competitive compensation package, including pay, benefits, hours, etc. Here is a quick refresher when it comes to salary negotiation.

However, when it comes to fulfilling your ultimate purpose within the Functional and Lifestyle Medicine realm, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Here are the factors to consider beyond the paycheck.

The Practice Feels Like Your Community

I’ve written on the importance of finding your community in Integrative and Functional Medicine, but there are smaller groups that exist within your Functional and Lifestyle Medicine community, one of which is your work family. You spend a large percentage of your day at work. Who are the people you’ll be spending that time with? When you’re scheduled for an onsite interview, I recommend asking to meet with the staff and possibly even attend a staff meeting. A staff meeting is a great opportunity to observe the dynamics of the team, how co-workers interact with each other, and what the culture of the practice is like. You can also observe the management style of the medical director and practicing manager. Look for a spirit of collaboration within the team, one of support and respect.  Can you see yourself making a meaningful contribution to this team?

They Practice What They Preach  

Ultimately, you’re teaching your patients lifestyle modifications to achieve optimal health. Does the clinic where you work embody these same practices? Does the clinic environment foster positivity and employ people who understand the importance of movement and proper nutrition?  I’ve worked with practices that provide cooking classes and running clubs that various practitioners in the clinic lead. I’ve even heard examples of staff bringing in food to share when they try new healthy recipes. Also, consider if this opportunity allows balance for pursuing your life’s interests.

They Offer Continued Professional Growth

In medicine, you never stop learning, which is particularly true in Integrative, Functional, and Lifestyle Medicine. Staying abreast of the latest clinical findings and research is critical in this field. How does this practice encourage continuous learning and growth? Do they bring new research to the team meetings? Do they encourage practitioners to stay current with discoveries in their area of expertise and share relevant information with the team? Do they offer CME?  

I also suggest asking about performance reviews and how often they are given. It’s crucial that you have scheduled time to discuss your professional and career development.  

You Are Valued and Trusted

Your paycheck is a major component when it comes to feeling valued, but that can wear off really fast when you don’t feel like you’re appreciated. You may want to ask about the average tenure at your new potential practice, as turnover can be a good indicator of employee morale. In this tight labor market, high turnover is expected of office help and medical assistants, so pay particular attention to the turnover of practitioners and management.  

Also, once practitioners are fully trained, are they given autonomy? Hand in hand with being valued and trusted is giving practitioners the room they need to grow and flourish, trusting that they are making rational and informed decisions. Being trusted allows for the opportunity to engage in meaningful work that allows you to learn and grow.  

Yes, salary negotiations are paramount. You need to be paid for the skilled and meaningful work that you are doing. However, keeping the full scope of your position in mind is crucial to a meaningful overall work experience, and isn’t that really why you chose this field? Looking back with satisfaction at the end of your work day or your overall work career is priceless.

At Integrated Connections we provide unparalleled service because of our depth of knowledge of the Integrative, Functional, and Lifestyle Medicine field. Our strength lies in utilizing this knowledge and our connections within this realm. We’re the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Functional Medicine career placements. We connect the right people to the right jobs. Sign up for our monthly jobs announcement and newsletter. Explore our Integrated Connections Academy for eCourses designed to support professionals customize their CV and Cover Letter and Master an Interview in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine.  You can also connect with me on LinkedIn or follow Integrated Connections on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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