What is General & Integrative Medicine?
“I often describe my practice of medicine as general, because it is the best descriptive term that expresses my ability to address a multitude of medical issues, from minor injuries and illnesses to more complex issues and disease processes. This is the medicine I was trained to practice, and for which I am Board-Certified.”
“However, I practice a combination of both General and Integrative Medicine. I combine my knowledge of both general Western approaches to disease management with non-Western approaches. This is my choice, because I believe it is the most complete way to practice medicine.”
Integrative vs. Conventional?
Conventional medicine is that branch of medicine that takes a broad, scientifically-based view to medical problems from a Western point-of-view. It does not necessarily address the whole person, and its emphasis is on treating disease, not prevention. Under this reductionist system, things are more black and white, a single-problem single-solution approach with no concept of self-healing. The patient is seen as a passive recipient of the treatments. It rejects therapies and medical systems that do not fit into its scientific model.
In contrast, Integrative Medicine is grounded in the following:
- Complementary and inclusive of a variety of therapies
- Holistic (mind, body and spirit are seen as connected)
- Treats the whole person (not just the disease)
- Patient has active role in healing
- Identifies multiple factors (individuals and problems are recognized as complex, requiring multi-dimensional solutions)
- A natural, non-toxic therapies focus
- The body’s ability to heal itself
“People and problems are complex systems with a multitude of simultaneous factors that may be influencing a disease process. Sure, we can just focus on the factor at hand, but my goal is to improve overall health and well-being, not just one aspect of health. That is why I have embraced Integrative Medicine as my mode of practicing medicine. It offers me more tools to bring to the table to help each patient achieve optimum health, particularly those with more complex issues that have failed to find a solution within the conventional Western model. “