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Job Opportunities for the Integrative and Functional Medicine Community.

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

Lisa McDonald 07/31/2018

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.

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4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of an Integrative and Functional Medicine Conference

Lisa McDonald 06/28/2018

A conference in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine can be a valuable experience in more ways than one.  Of course you’ll walk away with incredible education that will transform your patients’ health, and your own. But you can get even more than medical education.

Attending large gatherings with like-minded individuals with shared goals results in forming new relationships, not feeling isolated, and opportunities to exchange key leanings.  You have an opportunity to pick the brains from experts in the field and possibly even find a mentor or collaborator.

Here are 4 Tips to optimize the Integrative and Functional Medicine conference experience and get the most from your investment.

  1. Make a Plan

Conferences can be overwhelming, so setting up your conference game plan before will help to maximize the experience, and gain as much knowledge as possible.  You’re making an investment in your career, so formulating a plan will help you get the most out of that investment.  It really can be helpful to review, reflect and strategize in advance.

Prior to the conference you should review the schedule, break out sessions, and read the speakers’ Bios. Look closely at the agenda beforehand and start thinking about how you will take this information back to your practice.

Be determined to take away at least one concept, tool, resource or piece of information from each session that can be applied to your practice. Documenting key takeaways from each session can help you retain and easily refer to this information later.

  1. Stay Organized

Decide how you will document the key information.  Do you prefer writing or typing on a keyboard?  Evernote is an app that has been valuable for organizing my life. It’s great for taking notes at a conference and it’s useful for organizing all the information I gather regularly.

I also keep a notebook with me at all times at conferences.  Sometimes I prefer handwriting because it helps me to process and retain information better.  I have a system of what goes in Evernote, and what goes in my notebook.  Whatever goes in my notebook typically ends up in Evernote, my contacts, or my CMS when I get home.  It may sound like double duty, but it works for me.

Whatever your preference, writing or typing, just make sure you have that system in place before you go. When you’re in the midst of the conference hustle, it can get overwhelming.  You’re moving quickly from session to session, from sun up to sun down. Instead of getting overwhelmed, develop the best method of information taking for you.

You should also think of a system for keeping the names of people you’ve connected with, or promised to follow-up with after the conference.  It can be as simple as adding them into your contacts on your phone as you’re wrapping up a conversation.  Can you connect with them on social media or LinkedIn?  If you promised a follow-up after the conference, put that reminder on your calendar the minute you make the promise.

  1. Orient Yourself

Once you’ve arrived, you should familiarize yourself with the conference space and/or your hotel. The next few days will be a whirlwind, so stick to your game plan and get to know your surroundings.

Try to register early so you can minimize your time standing in line.  This will give you more time to orient yourself with the hotel and conference space. I scope out the hotel soon after I arrive and if you’re at a large conference venue you should grab the map and orient yourself to that space.  I don’t want to make the mistake of being late to a session because I couldn’t find it.

I also identify coffee shops, healthy restaurants, and a good area for a morning run.   Being in this field you already know how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s important to have a plan in place so you can maintain your healthy lifestyle while traveling so you can optimize your learning.

  1. Decide on How to Network

Meeting people can be one of the best experiences at the conference.

I’ve made many meaningful connections from the conferences I’ve attended.  But in order to make those connections, I had to take the initiative to introduce myself, start a conversation at the table, and utilize the conference app or social media.   If you’re an introvert, think of ways to get out of your comfort zone and reach out to people.

Commit to meeting at least three new people to expand your tribe.

I recently spoke with a Functional Medicine physician who took the initiative to create a Whatsapp  group for people he met at conferences.  He’s not in an area with many Integrative or Functional Medicine practitioners, so he created his own tribe.   He now has people from all over the world in this group – Dubai, South Africa, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina and the US.  This physician said he sits at different tables during a conference and is as social as possible.  He remarked on what a great collaboration this group has been and the value that has come from it.

The conference mobile app and social media can also be great ways to connect.  You can use the app to identify anyone at the conference who lives in your area.  Send them a quick note to say hello and ask to meet up at a break or lunch.  You an also join in or initiate conversations on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag for the conference.

Also, I highly recommend attending the scheduled social events. They’re typically a lot of fun and help to build the enthusiasm and energy of a conference.  The relaxed atmosphere may encourage you to mingle.

Distance Conferences

But what if you’re live steaming the conference? Some organizations offer Integrative and Functional Medicine training online.  A study by the World Health Organization found that students in the health professions acquire knowledge and skills through eLearning as well as or better than they do through traditional teaching.

If you’re live streaming the conference you can still take advantage of the conference app and social media, and you should make an even stronger effort to do so.  I’ve seen remote attendees use the hashtag on social media to show where they were while streaming the conference, and commented on certain topics.

The Institute for Functional Medicine has a Facebook group for these conferences, as well as an active chat in the live stream player where attendees can connect.  This chatting can become very active and attendees can download transcripts of the chat if there is any information that is shared that they want to save. Sometimes conversations from the chat move over to the Facebook group.  Technology is making it very easy to connect and collaborate!

It’s partly up to you to make a conference great.  Prepare beforehand, stay organized, stay connected, and you’ll be glad you made the investment in the conference and your career.

For more tips and resources to grow your career in Integrative and Functional Medicine, visit me on Instagram @lisapmcdonald. 

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5 Resume Mistakes You Want to Avoid

Lisa McDonald 05/08/2018

I’ve worked in Human Resources for over 20 years in four different industries. In my career I’ve seen the same mistakes repeated on resumes across all industries. But in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine I’m seeing a mistake I rarely experienced in manufacturing, sales, or in the financial industry.

Let’s start with the common mistakes made industry wide.

1. Errors: Typos, Bad Grammar, Incorrect Information.
Sometimes a resume stands out for the wrong reason. It seems obvious but it happens regularly. A CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos.

This is your first contact with an employer, and if you have errors on your resume, it could be your last. Make sure you use spell check and if you don’t have a trusted peer to review your resume, there are professional resources where you can find help. If you want to make sure the grammar is correct and everything flows you can hire professionals through platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.

And make sure your contact information is correct or you may miss an important message. On many occasions, I’ve tried to call someone and the number was wrong. Or I receive a reply to my sourcing email 2 months later because the candidate didn’t check that mailbox regularly. Your resume should have an email address you check regularly.

2. Your resume format is too complicated.
I’ve seen candidates get caught up in creating a unique resume in hopes it will stand out, but if you’re not a graphic designer looking for a job this attempt can back fire. A hiring manager will start to lose interest if the resume is hard to read or they can’t easily identify that you have the basic qualifications for the position, which encourages them to take a closer look.

There’s no need to use a lot of different fonts or colors. Keep it organized, simple and easy to read. In our field, they want to see your experience, credentials and education. They aren’t looking for the state of the art resume; they’re looking for a candidate who is educated and passionate about state of the art medicine.

3. Generic Resume.
One size does not fit all. You should write the resume specifically for the position to show the employer why you’re the right person for their role. Remember, it’s just a quick glance over your resume at first. You want to capture their attention so they will take the time to dive deeper to determine if you are the right fit. You need to tailor the resume for each position you’re applying.

One easy fix for this is starting off with an objective or summary statement. Don’t just say you’re looking for a job in Integrative and Functional Medicine, show them why they should hire you. Their job posting states what they are looking for so look through that closely, as well as the employer’s website. Now you can write a summary as an introduction about yourself detailing your skills and experience that make you a perfect fit for their position.

If you’re applying for a job at a large organization, they may use recruiting software that searches for keywords in the position. If you don’t have those keywords in your resume, you may not even get a view from a recruiter. It takes more time to customize your resume for the position, but if you’re truly interested in the opportunity it’s worth the time.

If I review a cookie-cutter resume with no customization for the position, my first glance interprets that the candidate isn’t very interested in this position and is just blasting their resume out to all openings.

4. Too Much Personal Information.
Your age, marital status, race, ethnicity, religious or political affiliations don’t belong on a resume. A hiring manager wants to know about your experience, education, skills and credentials. In our field, hobbies can be relevant because they show your passion towards lifestyle medicine – you practice what you preach. But the other personal details are not relevant. Leave out anything that could trigger bias.

And finally, the mistake I’m seeing too often on resumes in Integrative and Functional Medicine.

5. Not Including Your Integrative and Functional Medicine Education.
I mentioned in a previous Blog the importance of including your education in your LinkedIn profile. I also discussed my surprise when I don’t see a candidate include their education in the field on their resume or website.

If you want to gain the attention of the hiring manager, make sure to include your education in the field on your resume and ensure that it will be easy to see. Don’t hide your education deep in your resume or at the bottom.

Getting education in Integrative and Functional Medicine sets you apart and shows your dedication to working in patient-centered care. A hiring manager will give you a closer look when they see this.

In other industries, I noticed candidates never left out advanced education they obtained and it was always in their LinkedIn profile. It’s critical to showcase advanced education in Integrative and Functional Medicine as well. A hiring manager will recognize your credibility in the field and it builds trust with patients.

If you have a website you should include your education in Integrative and Functional Medicine in your Bio. And highlight Certifications, Fellowships and Board Certifications on your landing page. Patients are becoming savvy in vetting their practitioners. They’ll be more confident about choosing you if they see you’ve obtained education in the field from an accredited or reputable institution.

Your Best Marketing Tool Can Open Doors

Your resume is your best marketing tool when seeking a new opportunity. Make sure it is easy to read, targeted to the opportunity, accurate and comprehensive in showcasing all your credentials, experience and education. This one snapshot of your career can open the door to your dream job.

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Your Online Presence – What You Need to Know

Lisa McDonald 04/24/2018

The majority of us have a digital presence.  Through social media, employment, and a number of other platforms we can easily be found through an Internet search.  So whether you’re actively looking, or passively interested in a better opportunity, you need to ensure your online presence is accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive and builds credibility.  One of the first things an employer will do when they’re vetting you is examine your online presence.

Why Your Digital Resume Matters

If I’m working on a search with very specific criteria, I want to ensure that the candidate is the right match before I reach out to present an opportunity.  LinkedIn is a great tool for identifying candidates with a specific skill set.  As a recruiter, LinkedIn also gives me a better understanding of a candidate and where they stand in their career.

A LinkedIn profile is your digital resume. It can be the first digital impression an employer has of you. In addition to education and employment history, you’ll want to include skills and training that you have achieved in Integrative and Functional Medicine.

The skills section in your profile has limited options to choose from that are relevant to Integrative and Functional Medicine.  You need to ensure your profile includes those skills specific to this field. You can easily add key words in your summary and experience sections to do this.

Many practitioners in this field are experts on a specific topic or specialize in a particular treatment.  Including those key words regarding your specialty makes it easy for recruiters AND patients to find you.  Some examples are women’s health, pain management, Lyme, brain health or autoimmune disease.   Get those key words in there!  The right people can find you and it builds your credibility.

Have you completed courses or programs for Health Coaching or Nutrition?  Did you complete a Medical Acupuncture course? Are you trained and skilled in Regenerative Medicine? Any courses on Reversing Brain Disorders?  What about courses in Mind-Body Medicine? Don’t be shy about including all the advanced education you’re getting in this field.

You should update your resume and LinkedIn profile regularly. You’re building an active portfolio.  Get into the habit of updating your portfolio following any course, publication or notable achievement.

I also recommend getting recommendations from peers and employers on LinkedIn.  These testimonials carry more weight in my mind because they are not anonymous, as they sometimes are on websites. Endorsements and recommendations can really help build a stronger profile.

And finally, don’t leave out any awards, publications or major achievements. Were you recognized as a contributor or “Best of” in your community?  Include books you have written or contributed to, relevant published research papers or articles in media.

I’m always surprised when I review a candidate’s CV and it includes a Certification they have achieved from a reputable program, but it’s not on their LinkedIn profile. That is vital information you want available to prospective employers, patients and peers.   Examples of some of these programs are Certification in Functional Medicine, Fellowship or Board Certification in Integrative Medicine, Certification from Nutrition or Health Coaching programs. Those are significant achievements that give you credibility.

Showcase all of your education, experience, skills, awards and notable publications. Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful marketing tool that establishes a professional and credible online presence.

Managing Your Online Reputation

CareerBuilder estimates 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. When it comes to social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, think before you post.  It’s important to understand your privacy settings, but even if your privacy is tightened up, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Ask yourself if it’s worth the career risk before posting.

Give some thought before you comment to a blog, forum, anything online.  Make sure it is thoughtful and intelligent.  You’re leaving footprints that can be damaging to your credibility and reputation.  Keep in mind that whatever you share could come back to haunt you.

Videos are becoming increasingly popular and viewed as king of content.  You Tube is now the second largest search engine on the web.  Videos can be a great way to showcase your strengths. You can demonstrate knowledge, speaking skills and personality.

Your online presence communicates what you’re passionate about and that can be a positive influence when an employer is screening you.  They may recognize one of your passions as a great fit for their culture.

The first place we look to search for information on anything, including people, is online. Take the time to Google yourself to ensure you have a professional presence on every platform.  What is your digital footprint online?

Building Your Personal Brand

Your online presence creates your personal brand and can be a powerful asset. The brand you build around yourself can be one of the most important ways to advance your career.  We’re in a digital world and the need for an online presence will continue to grow in importance. It lets people know who you are, and showcases your experience and talent.  Take the time to make it work for you, it’s time well spent.

 

 

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Why Get an Education in Integrative and Functional Medicine?

Lisa McDonald 04/05/2018

Getting an education in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine is no easy feat.  In addition to the cost of the courses and time involved in studies, there is lost time from work and possibly expenses incurred from travel to attend courses.

So why get an education in the field? 

It Makes You a Better Clinician

Conventional medicine only allows the clinician enough time to treat symptoms and takes a one-size-fits all approach. It doesn’t provide the time or education necessary to support optimal health.  Integrative and Functional Medicine takes a personalized approach, providing the tools to get to the root cause of the illness and educating the patient on how to achieve optimal health.  Conventional medicine excels when it comes to surgeries, acute or emergency care, but fails to treat chronic illness. 

Dr. Yoon Hang John Kim, Director of Integrative Medicine at University of Kansas Medical Center, completed a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine with University of Arizona and is also board certified in Medical Acupuncture.  When I asked Dr. Kim what value he found from his education and training he stated, “Studying Integrative and Functional Medicine is one thing every clinician can do to improve their ability to address the growing complexity of our patients needs.”

Dr. Kim continued to explain specifically how education in the field addresses this complexity, “Integrative and Functional Medicine can help to address the limitations of our current biomedical system. There is a rising epidemic of treatment resistant conditions including functional illnesses (IBS, CFS, Fibromyalgia), lifestyle illness (diabetes and obesity), autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and addiction. The determinants of these conditions are often complex which include genetic, biopsychosocial, and environmental issues.  Our medical training did not adequately train us for these conditions as our educational model stems from linear infectious disease model in early 20th century. Studying Integrative and Functional Medicine is crucial for those wanting to be the most effective clinician he/she can be.”

Unfortunately the system isn’t designed to educate on prevention or reversing chronic illness. For example, Physicians do not get adequate training in medical school on diet and nutrition and instead of prevention are taught an approach that focuses on medication and surgery.  

It’s Not a Trend

Over 100 years ago Thomas Edison stated “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”  That future is now.

Some people may refer to it as a trend, but Integrative and Functional Medicine has taken off in prestigious institutions like the Cleveland Clinic, which has an Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine Center as well as a Center for Functional Medicine.

The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health has over 70 members from highly esteemed academic medical centers.  The Consortium has a vision for “A transformed healthcare system promoting integrative medicine and health for all.”  Some of their members include Harvard, Yale, Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  The government is catching on, and so are employers.

Employers are launching Functional Medicine clinics on their campuses and it’s evident from our job board that the number of Integrative and Functional Medicine private practices continues to grow.

Invest in Yourself – It Will Pay Off

Do you want to burnout on the conventional medicine treadmill? Or practice medicine that will provide a purpose filled life in which you are making a tremendous difference in the lives of others?

There are incredible benefits to working in a field in which your contribution is valued and gives you more options.

The number of job opportunities continues to increase.  When I first started a job board for the field about 3 years ago I launched with only 4 job postings.  In a short time we’ve had as many as 40 jobs posted in one month.

And you can still get value by taking your education back to a conventional setting.  Knowledge never goes wasted.  You have tools and skills you can share with patients in ANY setting.  I interviewed a Surgeon and Physician Assistant who provided examples of how they took their education from the field back to their conventional setting.

Your knowledge will benefit you personally too. Many of the candidates I interview got started in the field because they were trying to find health solutions for themself or a family member. Conventional medicine failed them so they looked for answers elsewhere and started researching the field.  Once they saw improvement in their personal situation they knew they had to practice medicine this way.

Getting education in the field puts you ahead of the pack, leading the movement to transform healthcare. Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”  Taking that first step towards education in Integrative and Functional Medicine is one of the smartest moves you can make.

It will make you a better clinician, give you a purpose-filled life, and provide more options in your career and life.   It’s one of the smartest investments you can make.

For a comprehensive listing of jobs in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine, or more information on our placement and consulting services, visit www.integratedconnects.com.

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Finding Your Tribe in Integrative and Functional Medicine

Lisa McDonald 03/20/2018

Finding Your Tribe in Integrative and Functional Medicine

Being part of a tribe is instinctual; we’ve seen it as far back as the days of the cavemen when survival depended upon it. But the need for a tribe isn’t just about physical survival. Connectedness and knowing we are not alone is a fundamental human need, as Abraham Maslow noted.

The Strength of the Integrative and Functional Medicine Community

Taking the leap to practice Integrative and Functional Medicine requires the interconnectedness of a tribe to fully grow and prosper in the field. And breaking the destructive barriers of our healthcare system requires the strength of a community. The community of Integrative and Functional Medicine is rooted deep in the shared value of providing patient-centered care that transforms health.

When I interview candidates, especially those who are new to the field, they often ask if I know where they can find this community support. Many feel isolated in a conventional setting and sometimes even shunned by peers.

Where Can You Find Your Community?

One resource I provide regularly is the Functional Forum, a Meetup for practitioners to connect locally and learn about the latest developments in the field. The regular monthly meetings create a ritual for this purposeful tribe.

Another resource I recommend is identifying Facebook Groups suited to the practitioner. Recently a Facebook Group for Functional and Integrative Medicine Physician Assistants/Nurse Practitioners caught my attention. This group has steady growth with increasing engagement. Members share information on where they get CME in the field, feedback from conferences, resources for supplements and diagnostic testing, and many have found practitioners in their local area to meet in person.

I reached out to the Group Administrator, Meg McElroy, MS, PA-C, to learn more about her success with this group. Before this Facebook Group Meg recognized the need to find a tribe in the field. She reached out to the PALEO f(x) conference in Austin, Texas so she could volunteer, experience the “behind-the-scenes” work involved in the event, and be around like-minded individuals.  After being accepted as a volunteer, they vetted Meg and conference organizers asked her to be Speaker Support in the VIP room. Through this role Meg was able meet some of the leading figures in Integrative and Functional Medicine (i.e. Dr. David Perlmutter, Chris Kresser, and more). This experience and participating in the conference reinforced Meg’s understanding of how important it is to feel connected to others in the field.

In October of 2017 Meg was at the Detox Module with The Institute for Functional Medicine conference and on the last day of the conference she was chatting with other providers about the need for PA/NP’s to connect in the field. At that moment she created the Facebook Group and her first members signed up on-the-spot. Meg stated, “Functional Medicine is relation based medicine, it makes sense to build relationships with your colleagues as well.”

Meg accepts NP/PA’s with a passion to practice in the field, as well as students, because she believes that students are where the change is going to happen. There is no outreach or marketing to grow the group, yet it averages 10 new members per week with 450 members participating now.

Meg stated, “My goal for the group is to show NP/PA’s out there that they’re not alone. To share in the wins and the struggles of being a provider in the field. There can be struggles, but we see miracles all the time. “

In addition to Meetups and Facebook Groups, conferences can be a great way to connect with practitioners in the field… IF you make the effort. I know some of us cringe when we hear the word “networking”, but the truth is you have to make the effort to grow connections.

Initiate conversations at your table, use the conference apps to find practitioners who live in your area, ask attendees if they want to meet up at a break or lunch.

Why Finding a Tribe is Critical to Success

Practicing in this field is no small undertaking. You are embarking on a journey to create a major change in our world. Some of the most transformative shifts in our country broke through the conventional barriers from the collective action of people working towards a common goal, without any initiation from the government, i.e. women’s suffrage and the abolishment of slavery,

An Integrative/Functional Medicine practitioner is often the last resort for a patient. These patients typically present with complex health issues that can be difficult to solve. Playing the medical detective alone can be daunting if you’re not part of a community that offers support, resources, guidance and a sense of belonging.

The Integrative and Functional Medicine collective action is the catalyst for the movement towards patient-centered care. Let’s keep our tribe growing.

How have you found a tribe?

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What were the Hiring Trends in Integrative and Functional Medicine in 2017?

Lisa McDonald 01/22/2018

The Integrated and Functional Connections (IFC) portal provides a unique vantage point from which we can take the temperature of the field, just by looking at the recruitment taking place.

IFC connects professionals in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine to career opportunities. 2017 was a great year for the field and the demand for this specialized care continues.

More and more, patients want to be treated by doctors who provide this holistic care. They are fueling the demand for patient-focused practices.

2017 started off briskly with 40 job postings in the 1st quarter alone. The majority of the postings were in private practices. Still, there were openings in health systems, academia and nutritional supplement companies. This heavy demand continued throughout the year.

The Western region of the country had the highest number of opportunities, with the Northeast close behind. The states with the most job postings were California and Texas. And there were international postings in Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

The highest number of postings were for Physicians (MD/DO) with Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant positions coming in second.

We also saw postings for Nutritionists, Health Coaches, RN’s, Administration Staff, Sales, Telemedicine and opportunities to purchase practices.

Employers are Recognizing the Benefits of Integrative and Functional Medicine on Premises

Innovative employers are finding that personalized healthcare is a real value-add. As a result, employers have upped their hiring for Functional and Integrative Medicine support on site. These specialized hirings are a definite influence on the upwards trends in Integrative and Functional Medicine job openings.

Corporate wellness centers empower employees with the resources and education needed to take greater ownership of their health.

Examples of corporate hiring in the field include Whole Foods, which posted for a provider in their Austin, TX Medical and Wellness Center. And LeadHealth, which designs healthcare solutions tailored to a workforce’s needs. Right now, they’re hiring for a Physician for one of their Functional Medicine clinics located on an employer campus.

A particularly noteworthy example of a prominent health system’s recruiting effort is The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, which continues to hire in response to patient demand. They are currently seeking a Physician and an Advanced Practice Provider.

What’s in store for 2018?

We’re advocates of the patient-centered medicine movement. To make hiring for it as seamless as possible, we plan to keep improving our platform and make it hyper-informative and hyper-useful. It exists to connect the right people to the right jobs that will help to transform how we deal with health in this country. Nothing less.

Visit our portal for a comprehensive listing of job opportunities in this groundbreaking field and sign up to receive our monthly job alerts at http://integratedconnects.com.

 

 

 

 

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Integrative and Functional Medicine Fall Jobs Update

Lisa McDonald 12/15/2017

The job opportunities in Integrative and Functional Medicine continue to spread across the US and internationally.

In the months of September, October and November we saw opportunities in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IL, MA, MO, NY, NC, PA, TX, VA, WI and Washington DC. California had the highest number of job postings at 6, with Texas close behind at 5.

We also saw a new international posting, this time in Dubai.

As the field continues to emerge we were excited to see another large employer post a provider opportunity at their Integrative/Lifestyle Medicine employee clinic. An employer who recognizes the incredible value in controlling healthcare costs with this field of medicine.

In addition to a practice sale, clinical positions, and a wellness coordinator role, we also had 2 more health systems post provider opportunities in Texas and Wisconsin.

You can find the November jobs announcement email here, and to see a current listing of ALL opportunities visit Integrated and Functional Connections.

On the Integrated and Functional Connections website you can:

  • Subscribe for the monthly jobs alert email
  • Review a current listing of job opportunities in the field
  • Submit your confidential information for our recruitment efforts

The trends we saw this Fall are indicators that 2018 will be another great year for Integrative and Functional Medicine.

 

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Tips for Hiring Support Staff for Integrative and Functional Medicine Practices

Lisa McDonald 09/19/2017

An empty staff position can have a dramatic impact on a practice, especially with a smaller staff as is common in Integrative/Functional Medicine.

Before you start your search, make sure you have an effective recruitment strategy in place.

Create a job description

The job description will outline the key responsibilities of the position. Defining the needs of the position is critical to recruiting candidates and managing employee performance. You should include the customer skills and knowledge required for the specifics of your practice approach and demographics.

Determine hours, compensation and benefits

Benefits can play a critical role in the decision to apply for or accept a position. In addition to health insurance, think about PTO (paid time off), disability and life insurance. Also, a flexible schedule is a magnet for many candidates, if you can offer it, do.

If your practice does not offer health insurance you can look into Health Sharing program such as Liberty HealthShare or My Academy of Health Excellence which are exempt from the requirements of the ACA mandate to purchase health insurance, so there is no penalty and they can be less expensive.

To ensure your compensation is competitive, you can research salary information in your area using websites such as Salary.com and PayScale and Glassdoor.

Strategize a recruitment process

Develop interview questions that identify the key qualities you want for this position. Utilize questions that ask for specific examples of how a situation was handled. Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior. And make sure you keep the interview legal.

Define what your ideal candidate would be like, but be open-minded. I’m an advocate of hiring character and training skill. New skills can be taught, but you can’t teach personality, emotional intelligence, or purpose.

Who will be involved in interviewing candidates? There should be a minimum of two people to vet a candidate. What will the interview process look like? A phone interview first, then onsite interview?

Once your presentation and questions are prepared, review them and the interview process with the hiring team to ensure you have a professional representation of your practice. A first impression can be a last impression, which goes for candidates and employers.

Remember to conduct a background and reference checks when you’re ready to make an offer.

Create a job posting

The job description can be helpful in drafting the posting, and be sure to include key information regarding pay and hours to help screen candidates. Providing details about the schedule, qualifications, responsibilities, benefits and compensation will help reduce the number of unqualified applicants.

This is your marketing tool – highlight that your practice is Integrative and Functional Medicine, that you offer patient-centered care and the type of culture that creates in your office. You want candidates who have a passion for working in an office that educates and promotes health.

Now you’re ready to hire, but where do you find candidates?

The Medical Assistant 

Medical Assistants (MA’s) are valuable to a practice and in addition to clinical responsibilities their duties can be tailored to the specific needs of the practice. MA’s in an Integrative/Functional Medicine practice will require more knowledge than in a conventional practice. While they are not licensed to make independent medical assessment or give advice, an MA in an Integrative/Functional Medicine office will need to understand the basics of nutrition, become familiar with Functional Medicine labs and understand the protocol for your office and the patient-centered approach.

In addition to regular clinical duties, MA’s can help manage supplement inventories, tee up specialty labs and support marketing efforts. The MA will be one of the first people to greet your patients. Their professionalism, enthusiasm and knowledge will be one of the first impressions your patients will have of your practice.

Where to find Medical Assistants

College or university career centers can be great resources. Most states have an education program in place for a MA. Develop relationships with community colleges or vocations schools in your area that have programs. Consider having MA students rotate through your practice to identify suitable candidates.

Find an accredited medical assistant school in your area and contact the directors for information about their placements services and candidates.

Additionally, you can use job boards. Free sites include Craigslist and Indeed. Both of these sites are frequently used to source MA’s. If you’re having difficulty finding the right candidate it may be worth utilizing sites that require fees, i.e Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter and Monster.

Strategic Hiring for a Practice Manager

Seeking a candidate with previous practice management experience and at least some college education is encouraged considering your practice manager will be handling a variety of responsibilities to include managing office personnel, staffing, billing, collections, marketing etc. To be successful in an Integrative/Functional Medicine practice they must have a passion for health and wellness.

Finding the right practice manager is essential to the success of your practice. Some traits to look for during the interview process: professionalism, outstanding communication skills, even-tempered, friendly, empathetic and conscientious. They must have the ability to handle a stressful environment and possess leadership skills.   The practice manager influences the atmosphere and relationship of your team.

Where to find Practice Managers?

There are organizations that train practice managers and provide resources for professional development.   Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is one of those organizations and has a job board with both local and state affiliates.

In addition, the job boards mentioned previously can also be great places to source.

It can be difficult to find a practice manager with experience in Integrative and Functional Medicine, but hiring a candidate with proven practice management experience, emotional intelligence, a passion for patient-centered care and root cause medicine will go a long way to having an incredibly strong practice and a person who will thrive in the role.

Recruiting Beyond Job Boards

Online job boards are known for generating a number of applicants, but “social hiring” (leveraging social media sites to recruit) and networking are other ways to find support staff, especially for practices in Integrative and Functional Medicine.

Social Media

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be great recruiting tools. Each platform has its own culture so you will want to customize how you share your message. For example, LinkedIn has a much more professional tone than Facebook.

Meetups

Functional Forum Meetups are a fantastic way to network and learn more about Integrative and Functional practitioners in your community. These Meetups are held regularly and are free to the local community. I’ve spoken to a number of practitioners who have connected to opportunities and built referrals by attending their local Functional Forum Meetup.

If you’re hiring practitioners for your practice we make it super easy!  

Visit Integrated and Functional Connections to explore our job platform connecting employers and practitioners in the Integrative and Functional Medicine field across the nation.

 

 

 

 

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Job Searching? Begin now, where you are.

Lisa McDonald 05/24/2017

As a recruiter in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine, I’m fortunate to regularly speak with providers in the field and hear their stories.

In addition to hiring interviews, I speak with many practitioners at conferences. At the last AFMCP conference – offered by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) – I spoke with a few practitioners who were eager to practice Functional Medicine, but were frustrated that there weren’t opportunities in their geographical area yet.

There doesn’t need to be any frustration. Just start with where you are.

Once empowered with life-changing information about Functional Medicine, it’s possible to play a significant role in transforming health – right in your own backyard.

I’ve seen primary care providers and specialists bring the benefits of Functional Medicine to conventional medicine in brilliant ways.

The Surgeon

In obtaining a professional reference for a candidate trained in Functional Medicine, I asked the hospital administrator in what setting she thought the surgeon would work best and she replied, “in a setting he can treat the whole person”. Given that he was a surgeon, this response surprised me so I asked the administrator to elaborate.

“If a patient was referred to him for a procedure, he would not evaluate just the procedure, he would take into account everything. He would look at labs and address other things, like the thyroid. His focus was on the whole patient. He doesn’t just look at the presenting problem; he looks at the overall person. We were not familiar with or expect that here, but that was the way he practiced. We had no problem with it. The patients really liked him. He was our best surgical specialist.“

Not only did that surgeon provide invaluable care to his patients, but an entire health system became aware of the power of Functional Medicine and a whole-person approach.

The Physician Assistant

A physician assistant working in a conventional practice and seeing up to 24 patients a day, found impactful ways to bring Functional Medicine to his patients. Obviously he is limited in the time he has with patients – but he developed ways to get information into their hands so that they could begin their own healing process.

He took advantage of the information he got from taking IFM courses, and created handouts for his patients. What he didn’t have time to tell them in person about nutrition and lifestyle, he provided in careful documents for them to take home and delve into. The number of handouts he creates consistently increases, as does the patients’ interest.

The takeaway here? He hasn’t promoted himself at all, but now has a growing list of patients waiting to see him. Patients are telling their friends and family about their great outcomes and Integrative Medicine practitioners are sending him referrals. He’s only been in practice 18 months.

Patients are eager for this information and seeking a better approach.

The other nine providers on staff refer to him regularly because they are also seeing the great outcomes from his knowledge in Functional Medicine. What a great impact this physician assistant is having in his community and in his practice. It depends upon passion.

More Primary Care Examples

A family medicine physician utilizes his Functional Medicine training to provide wellness seminars at lunch for staff and in the evenings for patients.

A nurse practitioner developed a 6-week wellness program she offers in conjunction with a physician. They both completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine. Their wellness program is always filled, just based upon word of mouth.

There is no better way than to lead by example. Being empowered with knowledge that is life-changing can have an impact no matter what situation you are in. One just has to be open to the possibilities.

Emergency Physician

An emergency physician who is on track for certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine started providing Functional Medicine consults when not working at the hospital. Those consults grew into a Functional Medicine part-time practice.   This part-time practice is on track to become a thriving full-time practice. No marketing expenditures were needed.

The reality is: the moment you are in is just perfect and the only failure would be not to try, not to get educated, not to share this life-saving information. Start from where you are.

The job opportunities have continued to grow in the field rapidly (as I wrote about here) but you don’t have to wait for the right job in the right place. You can begin now, where you are. There are solutions.

The surgeon had an incredible impact in an unlikely environment. And ultimately an astonishing payoff. He recently accepted a position practicing Functional Medicine full time at a new practice that opened up in his area.

All the providers who are getting education in Integrative and Functional Medicine are on the right track. Starting with the education gets you going. And anytime you take an opportunity to use your training to educate, you are gaining valuable experience that a future employer will appreciate.

Patient demand for Integrative and Functional Medicine continues to grow. We need educated providers to respond to this demand.

Start where you are. Use your education. Do what you can.

 

You can find our May jobs announcement in Integrative and Functional Medicine here.

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A Review of Integrative and Functional Medicine Jobs in 2016, with a peek into 2017.

Lisa McDonald 01/10/2017

2016 was an incredible year for Integrative and Functional Medicine career opportunities. Patients’ health is improving with Functional Medicine approaches, so more people are seeking out such patient-focused care. At Integrated and Functional Connections (IFC), we are seeing the demand for this care grow significantly.

2016 saw an increasing number of opportunities throughout the year. The 2nd quarter of the year had the most jobs openings with over 50 positions posted. The Western region of the country had the highest number of opportunities, with the Southeast a close runner up, followed by the Northeast.

Most of the positions were in private practices but there were a growing number of opportunities this year in health systems, academia and in larger organizations. Those larger organizations, in fact, counted for almost one third of the postings.

Physician opportunities were posted the most with Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant positions coming in second.

This year we had new postings for Nutritionists and Health Coaches, as well as Administration, Sales and Telemedicine positions.  We also had a posting for a Genetic Consultant and our first international listing in New Zealand.

One of the big events in 2016 was the growth of The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine in response to patient demand. There are 2,000 patients on the waiting list. The renowned Clinic’s Functional Medicine Center notably added a Physician and two Advanced Practice Providers to the staff, and with this expansion, had to move into a larger 18,000 square foot space at the end of the year.

What’s Ahead?

2017 started off with a new opportunity for a Functional Medicine Advanced Practice Provider in a workplace Functional Medicine clinic.

Functional Medicine right in the workplace is an exciting trend and a perk that’s tailor-made for today’s employees.

More developments you can expect to see in 2017 are on the Integrated and Functional Connections’ website, and they include:

  • More opportunities to connect (i.e. office shares)
  • Resources to help candidates apply for jobs and interview well
  • HR resources for practices
  • Special international postings

IFC looks forward to the continued growth of the Integrative and Functional Medicine movement in 2017.

Visit our website for a comprehensive listing of job opportunities in the field and to sign up to receive our monthly job alerts at http://integratedconnects.com.

If you didn’t get a chance to see our December jobs announcement eblast, you can find it here.

Integrated and Functional Connections connects the right people to the right jobs.

 

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A New Career Direction For The Burned Out Physician

Lisa McDonald 08/26/2016

I was recently interviewed by Dr. Heather Fork for her niche blog: Doctor’s Crossing.   Dr. Fork was interested in the Functional Medicine opportunities available for physicians. I was excited to share the good news about an increasing number of opportunities in the field . . . from smaller practices to large health systems.

She herself has spoken about the appeal of working in Functional Medicine. Her article: “Functional Medicine – Could It Be For You” is worth a read. And when Dr. Fork gave the IFM’s foundational course (Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice) a favorable review – I wasn’t at all surprised.

Functional Medicine is the way to go if you want to get off the dead end, tedious track of traditional practice management AND experience what you always wanted to do from the start of your medical career – help to heal your patients.

A quote from one physician at the most recent AFMCP conference was IFM “keeps the art of medicine alive.” I hope that any doctor experiencing burnout will find Functional Medicine, the path that will renew his or her passion in medicine again.

The art of medicine. When was the last time you heard that expression? Never?

Well, Functional Medicine’s time has come. It’s holistic. Nurturing. And good for what ails you – the weariness of working one degree removed, or more, from your patients.

If you’re really ready to get off the treadmill but haven’t started the training yet, connect with me and I can share the opportunities that will get you there.

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New Career Platform for Integrative and Functional Medicine

Lisa McDonald 04/19/2016 0

It’s an exciting time in Integrative and Functional Medicine. Finding a job or a practitioner just got easier.

A new collaboration between The Institute for Functional Medicine and Integrated Connections has led to the creation of Integrated and Functional Connections, a centralized platform that offers a robust career platform for recruitment, as well as posting and searching for opportunities in the field. The press release regarding the collaboration can be found here.

This new platform makes it easy for employers to fill Integrative and Functional Medicine jobs, and for practitioners and professionals to find them. The platform serves as the only Connector for careers in the field nationally, and will enable jobs to fill more quickly to support the growth and movement of this medicine.

Practitioners can apply for professional opportunities, sign-up for a monthly jobs alert announcement, and submit a confidential CV to be considered for employer searches. Employers can post jobs and learn about customized recruitment services.

Integrated and Functional Connections connects the right people to the right jobs.

 

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Patient Demand is Mainstreaming Integrative & Functional Medicine

Lisa McDonald 12/17/2013

As the “un-recruiter” for Integrative and Functional Medicine providers, I am regularly asked what I see happening in the industry. For several years I’ve waited and can finally report I’m seeing an increasing number of opportunities as the field grows.

Society is mainstreaming Integrative and Functional Medicine.
I see this bandwagon rolling along nicely now. This growth is in response to the demand of the patients who are not getting their health care needs met through the conventional model of medicine.

Integrative and Functional Medicine is breaking through the conventional barriers as a growing number of providers and patients are choosing patient-centered care.

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5 Reasons to Hire an Integrative Medicine Physician

Lisa McDonald 09/05/2013

This post was written by Poorvi Shah, DO, Integrative Medicine Physician

1. Public Demand.

Now more than ever, patients desire an integrative medicine approach to their condition. They want to find the root cause of their illness.  With all of the literature on whole living, nutrition, and integrative therapies, the consumer demand for integrative services is at its highest. This demand has warranted large institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Duke University, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and the University of Calfornia, San Francisco to establish integrative medicine clinics.

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