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Job Opportunities for the Integrative and Functional Medicine Community.

Five Ways to Jump-Start Your Career in Integrative and Functional Medicine with Confidence

Lisa McDonald 10/28/2019

Career in Integrative and Functional Medicine

Since I began recruiting in the Integrative and Functional Medicine field more than ten years ago, I’ve seen candidates come and go. Some succeed in finding and flourishing within their ideal personalized medicine career, and some don’t. From these experiences, I’ve noticed one factor in particular that lends itself to a successful career in Integrative and Functional Medicine – confidence. 

One of my regular takeaways from the conferences that I attend is the large number of practitioners who are curious about available jobs in the field but aren’t actually ready to start practicing. When I ask them why, they explain that they need to work with a mentor first. Not only do they not apply for the jobs they truly want because they don’t feel adequately prepared without certification or mentorship, but they’re also hesitant to share what they’re learning within their conventional practice, because their peers see it as nothing more than “voodoo” medicine. 

As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, you don’t necessarily need to be certified to find a job in the Integrative and Functional Medicine field. Instead, what I’m sensing is a lack of confidence. I do understand the hesitation, given the complexities of the medical issues that present themselves in this field, and the ever-increasing amount of information to learn on prevention and managing chronic illnesses. But in order to revolutionize healthcare, we need everyone on board, now. If you’ve committed to getting an education in the field, then you should be committed to practicing and sharing what you learn. How else can we transform the current healthcare system without putting into practice what you’re learning now? 

“How else can we transform the current healthcare system, without putting into practice what you’re learning now?” 

Those of you looking for a career in Integrative and Functional Medicine are leaders in the transformation of our healthcare system from a disease-management system to a health-promotion system. This is important work and work that you can begin now. You don’t have to wait to complete an education program in Integrative and Functional Medicine to start bringing the value of this movement to your patients. Although I do believe you should have the intent to finish a program.  

I’ve spoken to many candidates who were able to start using their training immediately, even in a conventional setting. 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. You can read about some of those examples here

Here are five more ways to increase your confidence and jump-start your career in Integrative and Functional Medicine, starting today.

  1. Stay Connected After the Conference

It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re passionate about something that isn’t mainstream, especially when peers may not fully understand this field. Taking the leap to practice Integrative and Functional Medicine requires the interconnectedness of a tribe to fully grow and prosper in the field. As a practitioner in this field, you are a leader in the transformation of the current healthcare system, and as a result, you need to feel connected to a community. Breaking the destructive barriers of our healthcare system and going outside not only your comfort zone, but also society’s comfort zone requires the strength of a community. I cannot overstress the importance of being around like-minded people. Conferences are an excellent place to do this. The energy found at conferences is valuable and enables you to walk away with beneficial experiences and incredible information 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 opportunities to form new relationships and exchange key learnings. You have the opportunity to pick the brains of experts in the field and possibly even find a mentor or collaborator. 

However, it is vital that you maintain the connectedness when you return to your regular life and job. Some strategies for doing this include:

  • Functional Forum Meetups through Evolution of Medicine are available internationally. You can search for a meetup in your area here: https://meetup.functionalforum.com.
  • When you meet peers at the conference, get their contact information and make an effort to reach out. The conference mobile app, social media, or email are all excellent ways to do this. Send a quick note to say hello and ask to meet up at a break or lunch. You can join in or initiate a conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag for the conference.
  1. Join Support Groups

There are communities designed to help build your skillset when it comes to practicing Integrative and Functional Medicine. Here are a few: 

  • The Institute for Functional MedicineIFM offers a peer-to-peer Functional Medicine Mentorship Program that provides an opportunity for clinicians who have attended programs in IFM’s certification path to enhance their clinical competence by working with an experienced Functional Medicine mentor in group cohort sessions.
  • The University of Arizona Center for Integrative MedicineOnce enrolled in one of their educational programs, you can participate in a community hub for their learners and alumni, in addition to an alumni and associates site that provides a wide range of support, including forums/online discussions, and ongoing educational opportunities.
  • IFM Facebook Group – This is where Functional Medicine clinicians who have taken advanced IFM coursework can share their knowledge, collaborate with one another, and create community. They also maintain an Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) group, Advanced Practice Modules (APM) specific groups that are open for about 6 weeks at a time, and a certification group for each IFMCP exam cohort.
  1. Share What You Learn

Integrative and Functional Medicine is not voodoo medicine. Traditional medical techniques such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, ayurvedic care, and naturopathy have been referred to by skeptics as woo-woo medicine – a derogatory term for healing therapies that have been in practice for thousands of years. However, anyone who has ever been touched by the therapeutic benefits of a traditional healing therapy knows they are not nonsense or quackery. Reports and studies of their efficacy and acceptance are increasingly growing. Not only that, but their benefits are life-changing and their proof is supported by the growing number of people experiencing these benefits, as well as the increasing number of reputable institutions that are researching, practicing, and teaching about them. 

The best way to get rid of the stigma of quackery is to stand confident – this is evidence-based medicine. The more you share and put your knowledge into practice, the stronger the movement, and the more you build your own confidence. The proof is in the outcomes. Therefore, it’s important to share the outcomes you’ve experienced or have learned from research. 

Prestigious institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic for Functional Medicine, which has brought the ideals of Functional Medicine to the forefront, are excellent resources to share from. Cleveland Clinic researchers recently published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open with evidence that functional medicine is associated with improvements in health-related quality of life.

The acceptance of traditional healing therapies is seen at some of the most respected medical centers in the nation that have established Integrative medical center, (e.g., Scripps, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, and Duke University Medical Center). Some of the services listed at these centers are acupuncture, yoga, Healing Touch, Qigong, meditation, massage therapy, Reiki and herbal medicine. In addition, there are 70 highly esteemed academic medical centers and health systems that have Integrative Medicine programs, as outlined here

Participating in the revolution of health care requires you to be ready to explain your conviction and practice your elevator pitch. It’s not easy to explain what I do in this unique field of medicine, but I look forward to it, because I see it as an opportunity to share this movement of hope with others. I have my elevator pitch ready at all times. “I recruit in a specialized field of medicine that is transforming healthcare by allowing practitioners more time with patients and providing cutting-edge resources to address the root cause of an illness and the whole person, rather than just the symptoms. It’s personalized medicine with a patient-centered approach, called Integrative and Functional Medicine.” After my pitch, I’m always asked for more information, and it sparks engaging conversation. I plant the seed and typically end up providing a directory of practitioners in the field or a website where they can get more information. 

  1. Showcase Your Education in the Field

Every time you complete a course in the field, add it to your CV, the template you use for all jobs. Many candidates tell me they keep two different CVs: one with their education in the field, and one without it for conventional jobs. And all too often, they send me the wrong CV, as mentioned in a previous blog post here. I encourage you to keep your education in the field on all CVs. You should customize a CV for each job you are applying for, but that doesn’t mean leaving out the education that shows you have taken the initiative to learn more about how to provide personalized medicine that will make you a better practitioner for all patients. 

It is imperative that you include all of this information when communicating about a potential job in Functional Medicine. It takes significant time, energy, money, and dedication to complete these courses, and it provides candidates with more expertise in the field. These are all things that potential employers need to know about when making hiring decisions. If it turns out that you’re neck in neck with another candidate, it is this sort of initiative and dedication that may set you apart from the competition and edge you out over the others.

I also suggest adding any education in your field to your LinkedIn profile as well. I can’t stress enough how important your digital presence is, in addition to your traditional CV. In this day and age, through the use of social media, employment, and a number of other platforms, we can easily be found through an Internet search. So it’s important to ensure that your online presence is accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive, and that it builds credibility. 

  1. Tune in and Keep up with Medical Podcasts 

Medical podcasts are a great way to stay engaged in this emerging field and keep on top of the latest research. Not only that, but they also allow for flexibility, do not cost a thing, and are so convenient. You can listen while commuting, walking, making dinner, or folding laundry. A number of your patients may already be listening to these podcasts, or maybe it’s a podcast you want to share with them or peers in your forum/meetup. The following are podcasts I hear about regularly in my interviews:

These are my main takeaways when it comes to jump-starting your career in Integrative and Functional Medicine with confidence. By keeping these things in mind, you can make sure that you’re among the candidates that succeed within the Functional Medicine movement.

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. Learn more at www.integratedconnects.com.

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Jobs in Functional Medicine: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Lisa McDonald 09/23/2019

Jobs in Functional Medicine

Since I started the Integrated and Functional Connections Job Board in 2015, historically, the number of jobs in functional medicine has declined during the summer months. However, this summer we saw the number of opportunities posted increase. Not only that, but the opportunities ran the gamut, from private practices to health systems to supplemental companies, with an array of roles, including providers, practitioners, and management. 

As the Functional Medicine movement continues to grow, with opportunities and a record number of careers in the Functional Medicine field, the number of trained practitioners is also growing. I remember when I started recruiting in this field ten years ago, and it was very difficult to source experienced Integrative and Functional Medicine providers. Most of my days were spent trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. Today I’m spending a significant amount of time reviewing CVs and conducting interviews to present the most qualified candidates to my clients. And even though the number of opportunities is growing, there are still more candidates seeking jobs than there are opportunities available.  

As the landscape becomes increasingly competitive within this field, candidates should understand that it’s more important than ever to put your best foot forward when it comes to finding a job in Functional Medicine. Here are a few tips to do just that:

Don’t Ghost Recruiters

“Ghosting” is when you suddenly end all communication without warning. My first experiences with candidates failing to show for an interview happened this summer. I understand that it’s a strong market and there is a shortage of primary care providers, but we’re still a relatively small field, and you always want to leave a good impression whenever you present yourself. When you ghost recruiters, it can burn very important bridges that you may want to come back to some day. Rescheduling the time or day of a call is understandable, especially given the demand for patient care and our busy lives. But not showing up at all and ignoring follow-up communication is definitely not advised. 

Include Education or Experience in the Field in your CV

A trend I continue to notice is candidates leaving out their course work in Integrative and Functional Medicine from their resumes. Some list that they are a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine but do not list the courses they’ve taken up to this point. I’ve reviewed CVs of candidates who have completed all of the coursework and their case report and are ready to sit for Certification, but have left all of this information off their CV. When asked about it, they stated that they weren’t yet IFMCP (certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine), so they didn’t include it. It is imperative that you include all of this information when communicating about a potential job in Functional Medicine. It takes significant time, energy, money, and dedication to complete these courses, and it provides candidates with more expertise in the field. These are all things that potential employers need to know about when making hiring decisions. If it turns out that you’re neck in neck with another candidate, it is this sort of initiative and dedication that may set you apart from the competition and edge you out over the others.

If you’re pursuing a Fellowship or Board Certification in Integrative Medicine, this is also very pertinent information to include, and you’ll want to indicate the dates on which you started or complete the program. Every employer I work with values this information in assessing you as a viable candidate. 

Proofread Your Cover Letter and CV

Putting your best foot forward also means submitting a complete and error-free CV. I’ve received a number of cover letters over the years that were addressed to a different employer and tailored to a different job. I’ve also seen CVs containing objectives that were directed to an entirely different role than the one for which they applied. Candidates have submitted CVs that were not current, or that omitted an Integrative and Functional Medicine practice employer. Any practice experience conveys to potential employers that you are able to hit the ground running and often warrant employers taking a second look at you. Therefore, it is crucial that you not only include any relevant information in regard to practice experience in the field, but also review your CV to ensure that it’s current and tailored to the position that you’re interested in. 

Candidates can do this by customizing the cover letter as to why they are interested in this role and why they are the perfect candidate for this practice. Employers actually read cover letters and objectives. It’s a chance to share your mini-story and another opportunity to market yourself and ensure that your skills and experience are seen. In a brief and succinct way, explain why this job is a perfect fit for what you’re looking for and how you will add value to their team.

Your CV is your best marketing tool when seeking a new opportunity, so it’s important to make sure it is easy to read, free of grammatical errors, 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. For more information on resume and CV mistakes that you want to avoid, check out our previous blog post here

Not Preparing for the Interview

When it comes to interviewing in this field, the way you present yourself and the impression you make during the interview have a big impact on whether or not the hiring manager feels you’re a good fit for their medical practice. From not adequately researching the employer, to not being prepared to share your career story, there are a number of things that you need to keep in mind when preparing for your interview. Check them out in our blog post here

Consider Every Interaction

Every interaction that you have with a potential employer is important. From the moment you apply, all the way up to the interview – any and all interactions convey who you are and whether or not you may be a good fit. This means that all communication, both written and verbal, creates lasting impressions. Because as they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. 

So what is the best way to make a favorable and lasting impression? Adept communication, both written and verbal. It’s important to note that many of my clients use patient portals. This makes written communication just as crucial as spoken communication. Being able to demonstrate proficient written communication is key. Spoken communication also demonstrates how candidates would communicate with patients and staff. Being able to convey that you are a masterful communicator in every sense of the word is imperative to making every interaction a positive one. 

By sharing these experiences and suggestions with you, it is my hope that you’re able to put your best foot forward when it comes to your career in Integrative and Functional Medicine and securing the job of your dreams. We also offer bi-monthly email notifications with the latest job opportunities and career tips in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Sign up here for our monthly jobs announcement eBlast and newsletter.

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Five Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your Functional Medicine Job Interview

Lisa McDonald 06/24/2019

Functional Medicine Job Interview

Through the many interviews I’ve conducted over the last 10 years of recruiting in Integrative and Functional Medicine, I continue to see these five mistakes that candidates make. When it comes to interviewing in this field, the way you present yourself and the impression you make during the interview have a big impact on whether or not the hiring manager feels you’re a fit for their medical practice. Here are the five mistakes you don’t want to make at your next Functional Medicine job interview.

1. Not Researching the Employer/Not Doing the Research

When I ask candidates why they’re interested in a certain position, they should be able to explain why this position and practice is aligned with how they want to practice medicine. They should be able to discuss what they will bring to the practice, and how the opportunity will allow them to continue their own professional growth. They need to be able to explain how their education and skills would be of value to the practice, as well as identify key things they can contribute to this specific organization. If they haven’t taken the time to review the practice and do their research, I don’t feel like they are really vested in exploring this opportunity to the fullest. Being prepared for an interview shows initiative, which is a critical skill set to have within this field. 

First impressions are lasting impressions, so make sure you do your due diligence preparing for your interview and doing your research. Click here to read one of my previous blog posts for more tips on being prepared for your Functional and Integrative Medicine job interview. 

2. Not Prepared to Share Your Career Story

One of the biggest mistakes that I consistently see is when candidates miss out on the opportunity to comprehensively present themselves to their interviewer with a compelling story that highlights their path and the circumstances that led them to Integrative and Functional Medicine, and how that relates to them being the perfect candidate for this opportunity. This story is called your career story, and as outlined in our previous blog post, crafting a compelling career story for your Functional Medicine job interview is crucial. The essence of your entire interview revolves around your career story. Providing an accurate, succinct, and compelling history of your path to Integrative and Functional Medicine is so important. However, I’ve found that many candidates are unprepared for this aspect of the interview and end up rambling or not conveying the type of information that is best suited to this situation. Especially in this field of medicine, explaining how you came to the decision to practice personalized, patient-centered medicine and what initiative you took to get there is something that your interviewer is definitely interested in knowing. 

I’d like to add that some thought needs to be given to your career history even if you’re not interviewing for a job. There is power in reflecting upon our personal career history and looking at the stepping stones that led us to where we are. We can better determine the next steps when we reflect on the past and learn from where we’ve been. It helps us to determine where we don’t want to be, and where we will be our best self. 

You can learn more about crafting a compelling career story here

3. Negative Talk

Refrain from saying negative things about co-workers and employers. Just frame your reason for wanting to leave in a way that relates to your career goal, professional development, and life purpose. I’ve seen interviews take a nose dive because the candidate started to focus on the toxic environment they were in, and it was difficult to redirect them from complaining toward a positive, engaging conversation in which they could showcase the qualities that made them a great fit for the job. I realize that many candidates are leaving a conventional setting where patients are getting sicker, and they are faced with unrealistic expectations for seeing a large number of patients each day. But that can be briefly explained and then have the focus switch to what they are looking for in a new job and what they have to offer instead. Once immersed in negative talk, it’s tough to pull out and it reflects negatively on you. It’s also important to show how well you can work with others and respond to conflicts in the workplace, rather than getting sucked into them. If candidates bad-mouth employers or co-workers in an interview, it doesn’t successfully convey their ability to overcome challenges in the workplace.

4. Not Keeping the Focus on Integrative and Functional Medicine Education

When interviewing for an Integrative and Functional Medicine job, understanding the importance of relating answers to this particular field is crucial, especially when it comes to your education. As mentioned in a previous blog post outlining the four resume mistakes to avoid, if you want to gain the attention of the hiring manager in the Integrative and Functional Medicine realm, make sure to include in your resume your education within the field in a manner that is easy to identify. Don’t hide your education deep in your resume or at the bottom. Getting an education specifically in this field sets you apart and shows your dedication to working in patient-centered care. A hiring manager will always give you a closer look when they see evidence of this.

In addition to previous educational pursuits, it’s also important to outline what continuing education you plan on participating in to further your growth in the field. I often have to dig to find out what initiative candidates have taken to acquire their Functional Medicine education and how they continue to learn and stay abreast of the latest research (listening to podcasts, reading books, etc.).

5. Not Conveying Initiative

Quality of initiative will always be at the top of my list when it comes to Integrative and Functional Medicine job seekers. As mentioned in this previous blog post, initiative shows ambition, which is very attractive to potential employers. Therefore, it’s important to illustrate and convey this during the interview process. If you’re in a conventional setting wanting to get out, you should be prepared to give examples of how you implement your Functional Medicine knowledge in your current practice. Even though you may be limited in time and scope of what you can do, any initiative you take says a lot about your dedication to practicing this medicine. It’s important to start 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. 

If you are currently practicing in the field, make sure you’re also ready to share how you are doing that and the successful outcomes you’re having. Be prepared to discuss how you came to the decision to practice in the field, what education you have obtained, how you are currently taking a patient-centered, whole-person approach to care, and what setting you would envision being the perfect fit for you. When I ask, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” there should be some mention of the Integrative and Functional Medicine setting you see yourself in. 

This sort of experience is valued in this field, and it sets you apart from other candidates.

By sharing these experiences and suggestions with you, it is my hope that you’re able to secure the Integrative and Functional Medicine job that you’ve had your eye on. Your ideal job within the Integrative and Functional Medicine realm is out there. Let us help you identify it and secure it. We offer bi-monthly email notifications with the latest job opportunities and career tips in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Sign up here for our monthly jobs announcement eBlast and newsletter.

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Interested in a Career in Integrative, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine? Here’s How to Get Started

Lisa McDonald 05/31/2019

Career in Integrative, Functional Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine

As the field of Integrative, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine continues to gain prevalence in today’s healthcare landscape, I regularly receive inquiries from practitioners who are interested in pursuing a career in the field. After working in this realm for quite some time, I can tell you that a career path in this field is definitely worth your consideration.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Integrative and Functional Medicine field has become increasingly popular, not only for patients but for healthcare practitioners as well. This is due to a number of reasonsfrom conventional medicine burnout to the increasingly competitive compensation, to an overall more rewarding and transformative work experience for practitioners because this field of medicine actually gets patients better. The increasing number of providers and patients that are choosing the patient-centered care of Integrative and Functional Medicine has resulted in rapidly expanding opportunities within the field.

As Thomas Edison once said, “ The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine that focuses on the cause and prevention of disease, here are a few suggestions for getting started:

1. Acquire the Right Education

The first step when setting off on your career journey in this field of Medicine is finding the proper education. When choosing your training program, make sure that you choose a program that suits your needs and resonates with you. To help you with your search for organizations that provide training in this field, you can check out my comprehensive list here. These organizations provide quality education in patient-centered care that empowers individuals to achieve optimal health.

Some of the organizations listed even offer free e-courses or other free resources, which can be a great way to determine if a program is the right fit for you. Here are a few:

Institute for Functional Medicine:

Introduction to Functional Medicine

Introduction to Functional Nutrition

Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine:

Free Online Validated Wellbeing Assessment Survey

Free Online Course: Environmental Health: An Integrative Approach

Free Online Integrative Approaches to Pain Management

Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine:

E-Learning Center that includes free courses

National Center for Integrative Primary Healthcare

Free Online Repository of Resources

American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Monthly live webinars

2. Use Your Knowledge Immediately

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to wait to complete an education program in Integrative and Functional Medicine to start bringing the value of this movement to your patients. I’ve spoken to many candidates who were able to start using their training immediately, even in a conventional setting. Once empowered with life-changing information about Functional Medicine, it’s possible to play a significant role in transforming health – right in your own back yard. I’ve seen primary care providers and specialists bring the benefits of Functional Medicine to conventional medicine in brilliant ways. You can read about some of those examples here.

I’ve also noticed that a large majority of the clients I recruit for are open to candidates who have just started training in the field, as long as the passion and dedication are there. Especially in a field that is still gaining traction, the motto is often “hire character and train skill.” They’re aware that skills and knowledge can be taught, whereas initiative, character, personality, and emotional intelligence cannot.

3. Find a Tribe

While you are getting an education and practicing within the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine, it is imperative that you find a tribe. While the recognition and acceptance of this field within the traditional medical community as a whole is growing, there still tends to be a great deal of skepticism around Functional Medicine. This can lead to a feeling of isolation in a conventional healthcare setting. To combat this, it is important that we strengthen ourselves as a community and come together in order to bring power to our movement. Success within the Integrative and Functional Medicine field requires the interconnectedness of a tribe to fully grow and prosper. Connecting yourself with others in the Integrative and Functional Medicine realm will not only help bring power to the movement, but it will also help you grow your skills as a practitioner and assist you in your career. You can do this via social media, conferences, and networking events like Functional Forum Meetups. For more information on finding your tribe, click here.

4. Find a Job

It’s a great time to get started in this field!  I started Integrated Connections 10 years ago, and each year there is an increasing number of opportunities on our career platform. The number of positions in smaller practices continues to grow, as do opportunities with large health systems. You can find some of these amazing opportunities on our job board at https://integratedconnects.com.

This movement has already helped so many individuals and will help so many more. I’m proud to call myself a part of it and can’t wait to see it continue to flourish. The time for Functional and Integrative Medicine is now, and we would love to have you join us! Are you up for the task?

Integrated Connections is the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. We are the official “connector” in the field and actively seek to promote all the available opportunities. Our goal is to connect you to the best opportunity for your skills and aspirations. Learn more at www.integratedconnects.com.

 

 

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Hiring for Your Functional Medicine Practice? Here are 3 Tips to Help You Attract Quality Practitioners

Lisa McDonald 05/01/2019

Remove term: Functional Medicine Practitioner Functional Medicine Practitioner

As a Functional Medicine clinic, being able to attract quality staff is one of the most critical, yet often overlooked components to ensuring that you’re a thriving and successful operation. As the leading Integrative and Functional Medicine healthcare staffing firm, we believe that following certain guidelines in hiring a Functional Medicine practitioner results in not only attracting top-notch candidates but also helps to create a thriving practice overall. Just as it is important for potential job candidates to put their best foot forward during the interview process, it is essential for clinics to also consider what they are doing to draw in providers that align with their vision. Here are our top three factors to consider:

1. Culture

Creating an environment that practitioners want to come to and work in is essential. However, this is something that must be created with purpose and intention. We’ve found that there are a number of things that a Functional Medicine clinic can commit themselves to doing in order to create a thriving and attractive company culture, including creating a mission statement and a vision, as well as establishing regular employee meetings where everyone has a voice and the latest research and findings in the field are shared. All of these things foster a healthy learning environment that is collaborative and supportive. It comes down to recognizing that everyone on the team is valued, has something to offer and is actually heard. How do you show your employees that you are invested in their development and appreciate their contribution? As mentioned in a previous blog post that outlines 4 factors that candidates need to consider in an Integrative, Functional, and Lifestyle Medicine job, practitioners in this field are innately, by the nature of this field, looking for more than just a paycheck.

2. Branding

Your culture establishes your overall brand, and your brand is critical in the recruiting process. Your Integrative and Functional Medicine clinic’s reputation is essentially one of the best assets you have to market your medical practice and one of the greatest marketing tools in our field. Due to the fact that our field is still relatively small, it’s easy for a practice’s reputation to become known within a community – whether good or bad.

Creating a positive image will help you attract quality candidates and patients because you can be sure that before they consider an opportunity with your organization, candidates will indeed research your reputation. Your employer brand tells a story about who you are, how you approach personalized medicine, and what makes your practice an ideal place to work. Therefore, a strong and well-defined employer brand makes it easier to recruit. Along the same lines, a negative employer brand can be detrimental to your recruiting efforts. According to Talentnow, 84 percent of job seekers say the reputation of a company is important. It goes on to say that a clearly defined employer brand can help screen out candidates that aren’t a good fit for your practice. After a Google search and website review, the candidate may determine that they aren’t a good fit for your organization, saving you time and turnover cost.

When creating an employer brand, it’s critical to give some thought as to how you will develop your brand in attracting patients as well as candidates. Some ideas include investing in a quality website, social media marketing, and blogging. Along these same lines, it’s also advised to pay attention to your online reviews, responding quickly and authentically to all kinds of reviews both good and bad. You may also want to consider an employee referral program where current employees can be your best sales representatives.

Most of all, it’s important to realize that everything that you as an entity put out there is contributing to your brand statement, whether you want it to or not. This affects how you are being perceived by candidates and by patients. Each candidate that you contact, speak with, and interview is an important interaction that can affect not only your brand but also your overall level of success.

3. Organized Recruiting Process

The importance of an organized recruiting process is priceless when it comes to attracting quality providers. And it all starts with the job posting. Crafting a thorough and compelling Functional Medicine job board posting is of the utmost importance. Not only does the job posting need to look good, but it’s also imperative to respond in a timely manner to candidate inquiries.

Another important aspect of recruiting is the interview. The interview process is paramount to building an effective and successful Integrative and Functional Medicine practice, and employers need to approach the situation with preparation and care, just as an employee would. Check out our previous blog post regarding interview mistakes employers make in the Integrative and Functional Medicine field. Preparing for the interview, setting realistic expectations, and making the process as efficient as possible are just a few of the factors that need to be considered.

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.  

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Interview Mistakes Employers Make in the Integrative and Functional Medicine Field

Lisa McDonald 04/02/2019

Functional Medicine Field

Being the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine Field career placements, I’ve seen my fair share of candidates make or break it within the interview process. But I’ve also seen employers fumble with this crucial element of the hiring process as well. The interview process is paramount to building an effective and successful Integrative and Functional Medicine practice, and employers need to approach the situation with preparation and care, just as an employee would.

Here are some of the more troublesome mistakes I’ve seen, as well as what to do instead.

  1. Failure to Prepare

You can’t optimize an interview without adequately preparing. This applies to employees and employers both. Employers must have pre-researched and pre-prepared questions ready. Craft questions targeted to the role, and that require candidates to give specific answers demonstrating how they would handle a situation, such as a complex medical issue. This is where behavioral interview questions can be of great value.  Developing the questions prior and reviewing them with the hiring team ensures consistency and remaining compliant with EEOC regulations.

On-site interviews are a critical aspect of the hiring process and require ample planning. This includes meeting with your staff to review candidate resumes and discussing the interview schedule and the questions. Assign different questions to each interviewer so the same question isn’t repeated. This will also help to gain different perspectives. It’s critical to be discerning about who on the staff will participate in the hiring and interview process. They should be top performers who reflect the culture of your practice and understand the importance of the candidate experience in this process. It’s also crucial that those who are involved understand the questions that are non-compliant.  

  1. Make a Bad Impression

The interview process is not only an opportunity for employers to gather first impressions of candidates, but also a chance for potential candidates to gather an impression of their possible future practice. What impression are they getting from your practice? Keep in mind the candidate is watching every interaction, especially when they’re onsite. They’ll observe how patients are treated and how the staff treat each other.  You’ll also want to give thought to how you’ll sell your practice to them. This is your opportunity to promote your practice and get the candidate excited about working there. The candidate will have already reviewed your website, but what else do you want them to know about this opportunity? How will this role provide job satisfaction and contribute to their professional development? How can they continue to grow in your organization?   

To attract quality candidates, the practice must give off a quality vibe. Does your practice feel organized and welcoming? You can achieve this by making sure your hiring team is prepared, that you have an organized interview schedule and you share it with the candidate ahead of time. In order to make a good impression, it’s important to spend time organizing the interview process start to finish.

  1. Setting Unrealistic Expectations

One of the most notable mistakes I have noticed within my ten years in this field is employers having unrealistic expectations. Naturally, they want someone with practice experience in the field, as well as certifications or fellowships; however, the reality is that the Integrative, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine field is relatively small. Therefore, once you determine they have the passion and dedication to practice in the field, it’s most important to interview for character, personality, and emotional intelligence. My motto is to “hire character and train skill.” You can always teach new skills, but you can’t teach personality, passion, emotional intelligence, or initiative. As mentioned in a previous blog post outlining four ways to land a Functional Medicine Practitioner Job, initiative will always be at the top of our list when it comes to Integrative and Functional Medicine job seekers. And being able to discern if a candidate possesses genuine initiative is key.

Along with setting realistic expectations, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Make sure you have a short list of your most essential requirements. You can’t attract what you want if you don’t know what you want. As mentioned in another previous blog post, Four Tips for Creating Your Integrative and Functional Medicine Job Posting, effectively communicating the tasks, responsibilities, and requirements of the position is crucial. One of the most basic ways to ensure that you attract the candidate who best aligns with your opening is to accurately detail the nature of the position and what your basic requirements are. If you’re unsure what your basic requirements are, I recommend checking out this resource for creating an effective job posting. I also suggest tempering this by casting a wide net. You don’t want to exclude candidates who have demonstrated initiative and dedication to becoming an excellent provider in the field, merely because their practical experience may be lacking.

  1. Dragging out the Process

The candidate will perceive how you handle the interview process as an indication of the type of employer you will be. Your reputation as an employer is at stake. It’s important to explain the selection process to candidates who are progressing so they know what to expect. This is especially important if they are a viable candidate, you want to keep them engaged. I’ve seen candidates accept other opportunities because an employer was taking too long to make a decision, or did not keep them in the loop as to where they were in the process. If they’re a top contender, keep the communication flowing and don’t drag out the hiring decision. You may lose them. It’s also important to your reputation to follow up with the candidates who are not selected. I’ve found candidates truly appreciate the feedback as to why. Just make sure to provide feedback that is objective and compliant.

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.  

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

Lisa McDonald 02/26/2019

lifestyle medicine

“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.

  1. The Practice Feels Like Your Tribe

I’ve written on the importance of finding your tribe in Integrative and Functional Medicine, but there are smaller clans 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?

  1. 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.

  1. 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.  

  1. 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. Learn more at www.integratedconnects.com.

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Salary Negotiating for Functional Medicine Jobs

Lisa McDonald 01/30/2019

Functional Medicine Jobs

When it comes to Integrative and Functional Medicine jobs, there are a number of things to keep in mind to ensure fair and adequate pay. After all, demand is rising for Integrative and Functional Medicine jobs, and with that comes the need to navigate Functional Medicine-specific salary negotiations.  As a recruiter within the realm of Integrative and Functional Medicine for the past ten years, I’ve not only seen trends in hiring and compensation, but have also managed to come across a number of behaviors during the interview process that do not lend themselves to successful salary negotiations. Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Competitive Compensation

When I first started recruiting in this field, it was difficult for practices in Integrative and Functional Medicine to compete with conventional salaries. Times have definitely changed. This salary gap has now started to close, and now functional medicine jobs compete with conventional salaries, making it possible to spend more time with patients, transform health, and love what you do while maintaining the same salary and better quality of life. All of the opportunities that I’ve recruited for within the last few years have offered very competitive compensation and benefits packages.

So how do you go about ensuring that you’re getting adequately paid within such a booming industry? Here are three tips when it comes to effective salary negotiations for Functional Medicine Jobs.

  1. Define Your Requirements

The last few months, I’ve been busy recruiting and conducting a number of interviews.  When I ask a candidate for their salary requirement, the flow of the interview often takes a negative turn. And I completely understand why – candidates don’t want to make a deliberately low estimate of themselves, nor do they want to take themselves out of consideration. It’s a delicate balance.

The Integrative and Functional Medicine staffing clients I work with want the salary offer to be commensurate with experience, and some offer bonus and productivity incentives. Therefore, they can’t provide an exact starting salary. If this is the case, I try to ensure the candidate’s salary requirement is within the range so I don’t waste their time, or my clients’. I know that some career consultants will recommend that a candidate state they are open, based upon the position and overall compensation package. But I disagree with this advice if you’re asked for a salary requirement.  There is a lot of time and energy that goes into the interview process, and it’s not smart to waste anyone’s time. You want to ensure you are within the range before proceeding.

  1. Understand the Total Compensation Package

Understanding the total compensation package is important in determining your requirement. If an employer doesn’t offer medical or dental benefits, or it’s a contract position, that will impact your threshold. The recruiter should present that information to you so you can take it all into consideration. You’ll also want to take into consideration the trade-off benefits. What are you willing or not willing to give up if you can wake up every day loving what you do, practicing medicine the way it was intended, and transforming people’s lives?  

As mentioned before, the good news is that all the jobs I’m recruiting for offer compensation that is competitive with conventional salaries within the medical profession.  

  1. Prepare  

So you’ve determined the position meets your requirements, you’ve progressed through the interview process, and the employer is going to extend an offer. Just as you prepared for your interviews, you’ll want to prepare for the salary negotiations. This will allow for a much better and mutually beneficial conversation. When the employer sees that you’ve taken their position into consideration as well as your own, they will be much more open to negotiate. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

What is your threshold?

What is your worth? What immediate value do you bring to the practice?

Can you hit the ground running?  Think about this from the perspective of the employer. The employer will lose revenue when you first start and are being trained. And depending on what your knowledge and experience is in the field, it can be a big hit to their bottom line. Are there metrics in place that allow increase in salary based on performance?

What immediate value do you bring to the practice?

By keeping all of these aspects of salary negotiation in mind, you will be coming to the negotiating table with the information and confidence needed to ensure a positive salary negotiation experience for your new Integrative and Functional Medicine Job.

Integrated and Functional Connections is the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. We are the official “connector” in the field and actively seek to promote all available opportunities. Our goal is to connect you to the best opportunity for your skills and aspirations. Learn more at www.integratedconnects.com.

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Craft a Compelling Career Story for Your Functional Medicine Practitioner Job Interview

Lisa McDonald 12/19/2018

Functional Medicine Practitioner Job

When it comes to securing a Functional Medicine practitioner job, we all know that the interview process plays a critical role. At a time when public demand is mainstreaming Integrative and Functional Medicine and the number of opportunities within the field are consistently on the rise, being able to adequately demonstrate your skills and expertise is crucial.

This is where we come in. At Integrated and Functional Connections, we’re the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. I’ve been doing this since 2009, and I’ve seen my fair share of Functional Medicine candidates either make or break it within the interview process.

Crafting Your Career Story

During the interview process, the essence of the entire conversation revolves around your career story. So what exactly is your career story? According to Glassdoor.com, it’s the story of how you got to be where you are today, why you want to work for the company you’re interviewing with, and why you’re perfect for the job. Providing an accurate, succinct, and compelling history of your path to Integrative and Functional Medicine is crucial, and we find too many candidates struggling in this area. I’ve found that many candidates are unprepared and end up rambling or not conveying the type of information that is best suited to this situation. To avoid this scenario, here are my suggestions for crafting a compelling career story.

Start at the Beginning

When I interview a candidate, I have a list of basic questions I ask everyone, but the power of the conversation comes from the candidate’s story. And a story must start at the beginning. I want to understand how they became involved in Integrative and Functional Medicine and how their path led them to a conversation with me about a new job opportunity.

By starting at the beginning of the story, you can learn a lot about the practitioner’s dedication and passion for the field, and whether they have the much-needed initiative to truly make their mark in the realm of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Demonstrating initiative is at the top of the list when it comes to landing the Functional Medicine practitioner job of your dreams. Describe how you became interested in Integrative Medicine, include personal stories of how this type of medicine became your passion. It may also include experiences at different jobs, which for the interviewer eventually unfolds into how you currently approach patient care and how you will perform in the future.

Preparation

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” And I couldn’t agree more. I often speak on the importance of adequately preparing for an interview. Another important aspect of interview preparation is thinking about your career story. Create an outline of it so that you are prepared to give a succinct, personal account of it.

Set Yourself Apart with Stories

Be prepared with a brief yet compelling story of how your experiences and education make you the best person for the job. Provide examples in your career story of how you handled previous situations, as these are the best predictors for how you’ll perform in future situations. Providing examples in your career story will also make you more memorable to the interviewer. Offering a poignant or heartwarming story about how you came to be in the interview will help establish an emotional connection, which can potentially differentiate you from your competitors.

Organization

In general, when conveying your career story, organization of your story is imperative. As mentioned above, start at the beginning, and then proceed sequentially so as to avoid confusion and to make your story as meaningful as possible. Carefully consider which important moments within your story are key and definitely need to be included. I often recommend the moments when you knew you needed to practice medicine differently and when you realized that you aligned most with the Integrative and Functional Medicine approach. Highlight these key moments and eliminate others so as to stay on topic and avoid rambling. Otherwise, you risk losing the attention of the interviewer and potentially losing power within your story.  

Real-Life Examples

I’ve heard stories from practitioners of how they were unable to address the root cause of their patient’s illness in a 15-minute visit. As a result, they felt like they were simply a pill-mill and not actually helping anybody get better.

I’ve heard personal accounts from providers who found that Functional Medicine was the answer to their own health issue, or a family member’s, and once they discovered this approach they knew they could no longer practice in the conventional way.

I’ve talked to practitioners who were bringing their Functional Medicine education to their current practice but realized they needed the camaraderie and support of like-minded practitioners to address complex medical issues.

By sharing these experiences and suggestions with you, it is my hope that you’re able to secure the Integrative and Functional Medicine job that you’ve had your eye on. Your ideal job within the Integrative and Functional Medicine realm is out there. Let us help you identify it and secure it. We offer bi-monthly email notifications about the latest job opportunities and career tips in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Sign up here for our monthly jobs announcement eBlast and newsletter.

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Four Ways to Help You Land a Functional Medicine Practitioner Job

Lisa McDonald 11/27/2018

Functional Medicine Practitioner Job

So you’re ready to get a Functional Medicine practitioner job. First of all, congratulations! Integrative and Functional Medicine careers are not only highly rewarding, but demand within the Functional Medicine realm is continually increasing. Fueling this demand is the fact that more and more patients want to be treated by doctors who provide patient-focused holistic care.

Practicing in this field is no small undertaking, however, due to the fact that you are embarking on a journey that will create a major shift in how we view healthcare. It’s for this reason that we at Integrated and Functional Connections—the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements—strive to make your job search as smooth and seamless as possible.

We’ve compiled these four simple tips for landing the Functional Medicine practitioner job that you’ve been dreaming about.

1. Initiative

“Employers and business leaders need people who can think for themselves—who can take initiative and be the solution to problems.” – Steven Covey.

We couldn’t agree more, which is why the quality of initiative will always be at the top of our list when it comes to Integrative and Functional Medicine job seekers. How do you convey this initiative?

Education – Acquiring an appropriate Functional Medicine education puts you ahead of the pack, leading the movement to transform healthcare. Taking that first step toward 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. Hands down, it is one of the smartest investments you can make.

Attending Conferences – In addition to schooling, showing initiative also involves attending Integrative and Functional Medicine conferences. A conference in this field can be a very valuable experience. Not only will you walk away with incredible insights that will transform your patients’ health, and your own, but attending large gatherings with like-minded individuals will help in creating beneficial relationships. Networking is key when it comes to success within any field, and this rings true for Integrative and Functional Medicine as well.

As a top recruiter within this field, I’ve heard many stories of practitioners who have found jobs just by striking up a conversation with another attendee at a meeting. In addition, Integrated and Functional Connections has a career table at Institute for Functional Medicine conferences and events with the latest jobs announcement and information on jobs we are recruiting for in the field.

Bring the Benefits of Functional Medicine to a Conventional Setting – I’ve spoken with many practitioners who were eager to practice Functional Medicine, but were frustrated that there weren’t opportunities in their geographical area yet. And as I’ve said before, there doesn’t need to be any frustration. Just start where you are. By bringing the benefits of Functional Medicine to your conventional practice, you’re demonstrating excellent initiative and it will make you stand out amongst candidates. It will not only count as experience, but also shows passion, dedication to Integrative and Functional Medicine, and ambition. Start where you are and do what you can.

2. Stay Current

By staying current on the latest research and developments in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine, you keep yourself relevant to the conversation and are a more attractive candidate for a Functional Medicine practitioner job. This isn’t usually too hard a task, as people within this field love what they are learning and understand that it’s a continuous learning process. Many people I’ve interviewed shared podcasts they listen to regularly, books they’re currently reading, and so forth.

3. Shine Up Your Resume

After working in Human Resources for over twenty years, I’ve seen firsthand what a glowing resume can do when it comes to landing your ideal functional medicine practitioner job. I’ve also seen what resume mistakes to avoid including typos, incorrect information, formatting issues, generic vs. too much personal information, etc.

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.

4. Be Prepared for the Interview

It only takes a few minutes to make an impression, and as the saying goes, “First impressions are lasting impressions.” Within the short amount of time that you’re having your first interview,  your potential employer is already evaluating and forming a lasting opinion about you. Check out the video below for my tips on how to create a favorable impression and be your best self at your next job interview.

Patient demand for Integrative and Functional Medicine continues to grow, and we need educated providers to respond to this demand. Your ideal Functional Medicine practitioner job is out there and we can help you find it and secure it. We offer a bi-monthly eBlast email notification of the latest job opportunities and career tips in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Sign up here for our monthly jobs announcement eBlast and newsletter.

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Four Tips for Creating Your Integrative and Functional Medicine Job Board Posting

Lisa McDonald 10/23/2018

Integrated Connections is the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. We make it easy to hire a Functional Medicine practitioner for your job opening at a time when public demand for Integrative and Functional Medicine is increasing. We do this through the use of our career platform, In fact, we have the most robust job posting service in the field.

However, despite the fact that patient-centered care is becoming the preferred pathway to total health, this field can be difficult to recruit for. Not only do some positions require specialized training and experience that can be difficult to source for, but there is also a smaller pool of candidates to choose from. The number of practitioners getting trained is growing, but still relatively small compared to the chronically ill population, and the entire healthcare workforce, which is experiencing its own shortage.

This is why crafting a thorough and compelling Functional Medicine Job board posting is of the utmost importance. Luckily, we can help you out with that. Here are four tips for creating your Integrative and Functional Medicine Job Board Posting.

  1. Preparation and Pre-Work

Don’t start crafting your post without first doing all of the necessary preparation and pre-work. You should already have a job description created, complete with compensation information. Defining the position responsibilities, pay structure, and what an ideal candidate looks like for you are the critical first steps. This will ensure that you’re attracting the right candidate.

  1. Showcase Your Organization

An organization’s overall culture has a significant impact on a candidate’s decision to apply for and accept a position. In essence, this Integrative Medicine Job Board posting is a marketing tool. Use attractive language that highlights why a practitioner would want to work at your medical practice. What are the benefits of joining your organization? Of course benefits and compensation are important to share, but in a competitive environment, it is also imperative to point out attractive intangibles. What sets your organization apart?

By highlighting your Integrative and Functional Medicine practice in a positive light, as a place that offers patient-centered care resulting in a nurturing culture and supportive environment for staff and patients alike, you will draw quality candidates that align with your culture. Focusing on these types of intangibles has become even more important with the current shortage of primary care physicians. Conventional medicine is offering more competitive salaries to combat this shortage. In fact, the AMA predicts that there will be a shortage of over 100,000 doctors by 2030. Keeping this information in mind, it’s more important than ever to showcase all of the benefits of your organization. Do you provide training or mentoring? Do you tout an environment that encourages growth and learning? Do you schedule regular meetings that foster an environment of collaboration? Do you offer a flexible schedule? Make sure to include this type of information in your posting.

  1. Tap Into the Interconnectedness of the Integrative and Functional Medicine Community

As highlighted in one of our previous blog posts, finding your community, or your tribe, is instinctual and a fundamental human need. This definitely rings true when finding your Integrative and Functional Medicine community. Taking the leap to practice Integrative and Functional Medicine requires the interconnectedness of a tribe in order to fully grow and prosper in the field. You can appeal to this need when crafting your Functional Medicine Job Board posting. You can include links to your website, social media, and a relevant video. Help paint a picture of what a great organization you have and why they would want to join your tribe. How is your online presence? Does it also convey to potential candidates what you want it to?

You can also highlight the support system that they’ll have access to within your practice. Practitioners in this field want more time with their patients. An adequate support system allows them access to resources that enable them to provide the best care for their patients. So include whether you have nutritionists, health coaches, an education platform for patients, any integrative practitioners, or therapies on site.

  1. Cast a Wide Net

It’s important to clearly communicate tasks and responsibilities but also to cast a wide net. I often talk with employers about not setting the bar too high. I understand that they would prefer to hire candidates with certifications/fellowships and practical experience in the field, but the reality is that we are dealing with a smaller pool that is still emerging. My motto is “hire character and train skill.” You can always teach new skills, but you can’t teach personality, passion, emotional intelligence, or purpose.

Effectively communicating the tasks and responsibilities involved in the position is also important. One of the most basic ways to ensure that you attract the candidate that best aligns with your opening is to accurately detail the nature of the open position.

Whatever type of Integrative or Functional Medicine practitioner you’re looking to hire, we have exactly what you need to find them. We offer the most robust and complete service for posting job opportunities for professionals in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Our job posting service includes a monthly jobs alert email to 4,700 providers who have subscribed to our announcements, and the open rate is well above the industry average, at 30+ percent. In addition to the eBlast, we include a link to the job board in the monthly newsletter to the 4,700 providers. Jobs are also promoted on our very active social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

We at Integrated Connections provide unparalleled service because of our depth of knowledge of the field. Our strength lies in utilizing this knowledge and our connections in the field. We connect the right people to the right jobs.

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6 Reasons Why Integrative and Functional Medicine Provides the Best Jobs for Healthcare Practitioners

Lisa McDonald 09/24/2018

Integrative and Functional Medicine

If you’re currently seeking a job as a healthcare practitioner, a career path in Integrative and Functional Medicine is definitely worth your consideration. The Functional Medicine field has become increasingly popular, not only for patients, but for healthcare practitioners as well. With the growing crisis of chronic disease, patient demand is high for a more holistic experience with doctors who get to the root cause of illness and transform health. An increasing number of providers and patients are choosing patient-centered care, which results in rapidly increasing opportunity in Integrative and Functional Medicine jobs.

The growing community of Integrative and Functional Medicine is deeply rooted in the shared value of patient-centered care that transforms health. If you’re looking to truly make a difference in your patients’ life and health, a Functional Medicine job is exactly what you’re looking for. Here are 6 reasons why Integrative and Functional Medicine provides the best jobs for healthcare practitioners.

  1. Work with Like-Minded People

Finding your tribe is an integral part of achieving success in any aspect of work or life. This is particularly true when it comes to Functional Medicine. Being a part of a team that has the same mission and vision gives you the support needed to make authentic change. Having the opportunity to practice medicine the way that medicine was intended, surrounded by like-minded individuals, creates an advantageous work environment for everyone involved, from patient to practitioner.

  1. Competitive Compensation

When I started recruiting in this field 10 years ago, it was difficult for practices in Integrative and Functional Medicine to compete with conventional salaries. Times have definitely changed. Several years ago, I saw this salary gap start to close, and now Functional Medicine jobs compete with conventional salaries. Now you can have more time with patients, transform health, and love what you do while maintaining the same salary and quality of life. All of the opportunities that I’ve recruited for within the last few years have offered very competitive compensation and benefits packages.

  1. Escape Conventional Medicine Burnout

Physician burnout is a stark reality of conventional medicine.  From staggering hours to suicidal ideation, healthcare practitioners are succumbing to the tedious track of traditional practice management. Here is one family physician’s story in an article that I was interviewed for in 2016: “Initially I thought my career fatigue was due to medicine in general. But in reality, it’s the way our current primary care office visit is structured. As a traditional Family Practice doctor, we aren’t allowed the time or supportive resources to make any substantial impact in mind-body-spirit health as a whole.”

Functional medicine jobs are the way to go if you desire the healthcare experience that you wanted from the start of your medical career—the ability to help heal your patients. There are incredible benefits mentally, physically, and spiritually when it comes to working in a field in which your contribution is valued and gives you more options.

  1. Collaboration

When it comes to functional medicine jobs, the collaboration among practitioners is unlike any other field of medicine. An integrative medicine practitioner is often the last resort for a patient dealing with complex health issues. These issues can be difficult to solve and often require intense medical detective work. Dealing with such complex conditions that traditional medicine has been unable to remedy creates a spirit of mentorship, support, and collaboration that is truly exceptional.

  1. Rewarding and Transformative

There is nothing like being part of a movement toward a positive outcome. In this case, the positive outcome is more personalized, patient-centered healthcare. Integrative and Functional Medicine is a transformative shift and is the future of healthcare. It follows the principle that the only way to achieve optimal health is through personalized health care that addresses the cause of the illness and the mind, body, spirit, and environmental factors impacting health. According to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), “Functional Medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.”

With reputable institutions like the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine touting the benefits, it is clear that the functional medicine movement is more than a passing fad. It has momentum and credibility. And along with this comes an array of highly rewarding functional medicine jobs. In no other field can you as effectively fulfill your desire to heal, transform healthcare, and give people their health back so that they can live life to the fullest.  

  1. Continuous Learning In a Supportive Environment

If you love learning, then you’ll love a job in the Integrative and Functional Medicine field. You’ll be working in an environment where learning is supported and encouraged, with the opportunity to immediately put into practice what you have learned. It’s cutting-edge medicine that is inspiring to practice. Many of the practices that I have worked with hold regular team meetings where they not only collaborate on difficult cases, but also share relevant information new to the field.

If an Integrative and Functional Medicine job sounds like something you’d be interested in exploring, we’re here to help. Here at Integrated and Functional Connections, we can match you up with the perfect job. Sign up for our monthly job announcements and newsletter. We also provide a job posting service exclusively for functional medicine jobs across the nation.

We’re the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. We are the official “connector” in the field and actively seek to promote all the available opportunities. Our goal is to connect you to the best opportunity for your skills and aspirations. Learn more at www.integratedconnects.com.

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5 Reasons Why Integrated Connections Is the Best Placement Service to Hire an Integrative and Functional Medicine Professional

Lisa McDonald 08/28/2018

When it comes to hiring an Integrative and Functional Medicine practitioner for your medical office or organization, we understand the need to hire only the best and most capable candidates. Whether you’re searching for an Integrative or Functional Medicine Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Health Coach, or Nutritionist, we here at Integrated Connections know that the quality of your practice is equal only to the quality of the professionals within your practice.

Integrated Connections is the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm, specializing exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. We make it easy to hire an Integrative Medicine Practitioner for your job opening at a time when public demand for Integrative and Functional Medicine is increasing and patient-centered care is becoming the preferred pathway to total health. We network with the most knowledgeable and inspiring healthcare providers who are committed to getting to the root cause of illness and transforming people’s health and lives.  

We are THE Connector for both employees and employers in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine and have been since 2009. If you’re looking to hire a Functional Medicine Practitioner, here are four reasons why we’re the best placement service to consider:

  1. The Most Robust Job Posting Platform in the Field

We offer the most robust and complete service for posting job opportunities for professionals in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Our job posting service includes a monthly jobs alert email to 4,700 providers who have subscribed to our announcements, and the open rate is well above the industry average, at 30+ percent. In addition to the eBlast, we include a link to the job board in our monthly newsletter to the 4,700 providers. Jobs are also promoted on our very active social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

We also understand the importance of making sure that the most viable audience looks at our job board regularly; therefore, our website is updated regularly to ensure candidates find our site first when searching for jobs in the Integrative and Functional Medicine field. Due to the fact that we have a dedicated website for career opportunities in the field, candidates who Google jobs in Integrative and Functional Medicine consistently see our site on the first page of Google listings.

Connection is of the utmost importance at Integrated Connections, which is why we provide and update content regularly on the site to support candidates in their search for a career opportunity. We keep candidates engaged and CONNECTED so they view our jobs regularly and get the support they need to find the perfect opportunity, which results in you acquiring the perfect candidate.

  1. Quality Is Key

We ensure a high level of quality in our postings, and because we are a niche job board tailored specifically to the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine only, we attract more credible, engaged, and enthusiastic employers and employees than any other general forum. Our quality postings, career resources, and niche job board enable us to be the best connector and employment support for employers and candidates within this field.

  1. Collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)

Integrated Connections has been at the cusp of the Functional Medicine movement since 2009. As demand for Functional Medicine increases, so does interest in Functional Medicine Practitioners, particularly those trained by IFM. In 2016, Integrated Connections was thrilled to collaborate with the Institute for Functional Medicine, the global leader in Functional Medicine. The partnership between Integrated Connections and IFM is helping to meet this demand and resulted in the creation of this leading platform for matching Functional Medicine clinicians with employment opportunities – Integrated and Functional Connections. This collaboration is instrumental in supporting the growth of this field of medicine and transforming healthcare. Lean more about our partnership with IFM here.

  1. Benefits That Free Job Boards Don’t Offer

Job postings on the Integrated and Functional Connections (IFC) website cost $495 for a 90-day posting or $395 for IFM members. When it comes to our job board, you get what you pay for, which is a lot. We offer benefits that other free job boards don’t have the capability of offering. We offer a jobs eBlast once per month; a dedicated website with top-notch Search Engine Optimization to ensure that we’re at the top of the Google listings for terms regarding hiring within functional medicine; promotions on social media; and job marketing at conferences in collaboration with IFM.

AND, IFM provides links on their homepage to IFC, directing candidates looking for a professional opportunity in the field to our platform.

  1. Recruitment Services

In addition to our robust and unparalleled job posting platform, Integrated & Functional Connections offers recruitment services for larger practices and health systems that need additional support in their recruitment efforts. We provide full-service staffing for the medical community in search of Functional Medicine providers. And while every organization operates under their own unique model, we strive to understand your model so that we can best target your needs and identify the most qualified, suited candidate to fulfill your staffing needs.

We support you throughout the entire recruitment process, from the selection and interview process to offers and salary negotiations. Learn more about our recruitment services and contact us today for a customized recruitment proposal for your search.

If your organization is looking to hire a Functional Medicine Doctor, or if you’re looking for an expert professional in the specialized field of Integrative and Functional Medicine, we have exactly what you need. We provide unparalleled service because of our depth of knowledge of the field. Our strength lies in utilizing this knowledge and our connections in the field.

At Integrated & Functional Connections, we will help you tell the medical world about your job opening so you can source the perfect candidate for your practice. Meet your staffing goals now by posting your new Integrative and Functional Medicine position on our job board at www.integratedconnects.com.

 

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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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