If you're looking for a new physician, you really have your choice of specialties. You can choose a physician who specializes in internal medicine or one who practices family medicine. However, there is another specialty to consider, too: integrative medicine. Doctors who focus on integrative medicine take a multi-disciplinary approach, working both western medicine and alternative medicine into their protocols. So, what are the advantages of working with such a physician?
You form a closer relationship with your doctor.
Do you ever feel like you're rushed in and out of your doctor's office as if they are too busy to spend more than a few minutes with you? This is less likely to be an issue with an integrative medical practitioner. Integrative medicine is very patient-focused, which means physicians typically spend plenty of time getting to know their patients. You're more likely to feel understood, listened to, and humanized by an integrative medicine physician.
You have access to multiple types of care under one roof.
If you are already relying on alternative medicine in addition to western medicine, you may be driving to several different practitioners. When you instead choose to see an integrative medicine physician, you can get all of that care under one roof. Instead of separately planning to see an acupuncturist and chiropractor, you can receive such care right alongside your standard medical care. Plus, you'll know this care is being provided by reputable practitioners with proper medical oversight.
You'll enjoy better preventative care.
Western medicine is notorious for neglecting preventative care and focusing too heavily on solving problems once they arise. Alternative medicine, on the other hand, tends to take a more prevention-centered approach. So, seeing an integrative medicine doctor gives you access to better preventative care. These doctors are more likely, for example, to recommend chiropractic care to prevent back injuries, rather than just wait for you to develop a back injury. They may recommend lifestyle changes to ward off various illnesses, rather than just prescribing a medication once you do become ill. You'll receive treatment for any ailments you do develop, of course, but there's more focus on preventing ailments in the first place.
Integrative medicine physicians can make great primary care doctors for patients of all ages and backgrounds. If there is one accepting new patients in your area, then you'd be wise to call them up, ask some questions, and consider using their services.
For more information on integrative medicine, contact a professional near you.