Dabbling in Functional Medicine = Failed Practice = Failed Patients

This past weekend, I held a private mastermind group at my office in Sugar Land, TX.  I spent two full days teaching the fundamentals of Functional Medicine principles and lab testing.  I also focused on the importance of building a functional medicine niche to separate your practice from the pack of other FM docs.

You see, marketing 101 dictates that you have a USP (unique selling proposition) in your market.  If you are a jack of all trades and master of none, it will be very hard to build a practice and achieve a high level of both patient treatment success and financial success.  Unfortunately, many FM doctors make this mistake, and because of the failed success, they become what I call a “dabbler”.

Why Dabblers Fail…

Dabblers never become successful because they never do enough to get their patients to comply.  Dabblers order the occasional FM lab test, offer their patients the occasional handful of supplements, and jump on nutritional band wagons (i.e. multi level marketing supplement products).  They never focus in on what their patient’s need and worry that their patient can’t afford appropriate testing.

Dabblers fail and give the entire profession a bad reputation because their patients have a false impression that they have tried functional medicine to its full extent and it failed to help them get better.  You know the old saying – “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”  Dabblers do a little of everything poorly.  Don’t be a dabbler.

Why Do I Care What Other Doctors Do?

If you claim to be practicing functional medicine, but the reality is that you are dabbling in functional medicine, you give the profession a bad name and reputation.  We all know that the functional medicine approach is the future of healthcare.  That being said, dive in and get wet.  The more FM principles, lab tests, treatment protocols, etc you do now, the better you become.  As with all things, mastery comes with consistent practice, attention to detail, and experience.

Focus on the Principles First

The video below discusses some of the key principles of FM philosophy.  If you are new to this style of practice, I recommend starting here…

Practice fundamentals you should take away from the video:

  1. Always test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  2. Always test for food and environmental allergy reactions
  3. Always perform a comprehensive physical examination
  4. Always address musculoskeletal conditioning (exercise)
  5. Always consider environmental stress as a source of illness in your patients

Why This Approach Increases Patient Compliance…

Most patients are told to take medications for their problems.  Traditional doctors don’t discuss the origin of a patients problem and hyper focus on treating the symptoms.  When you take the time to educate your patients about this approach, they are relieved.  You see, they are tired of the old model and literally chomping at the bit for a different approach to their condition(s).  By the time your patients end up in your office they have tried multiple medications with little to no success.  When you explain to them that there is a better way, they are relieved and excited to get started with treatment.

Wishing you success,

Dr. O

Dr. Peter Osborne

Dr. Peter Osborne