Western modern medicine, or allopathic medicine, plays a crucial role in our health care system today. It is extremely valuable to have an MD and ND work in cooperation to address all aspects of health and to help educate and promote valuable lifestyle changes.
Integrated medicine has evolved from the practice of modern medicine and is able to better address the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the ‘traditional and conventional’ disease-focused model to a more patient-focused approach, integrated medicine then addresses the whole person, not just the isolated set of symptoms. Integrated medicine allows for MDs to address the underlying cause of disease, while supporting the relationship between patient and practitioner in a therapeutic and empowering partnership.
This model of medicine allows for integrated medicine doctors to spend more time with their patients, listen to their histories, and assess the interactions between environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors that can influence chronic disease states. In this regard, integrated medicine truly supports the unique individual expression of health and vitality.
The current system of healthcare practiced by most physicians is centered around “acute care,” or diagnosis and treatment of illness at the time that it presents. Most physicians are then prescribing drugs, treatment or surgery that aims to fix the immediate and urgent problem. Unfortunately, the “acute care” approach does not take into account people’s unique genetic makeup, individual lifestyle factors, or environmental influences that may have a direct effect on their current state of health. This is where integrated medicine is different and bridges the gap between “acute care” and “patient-focused preventative care.” In the integrated medicine model, the doctors are trained to understand the origins, prevention and treatment of chronic disease.
Hallmarks of an integrated medicine approach include:
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