USA medicine. An insider’s experience – By Alex A. Mayer, MBA-HSA
I have worked 30 years in healthcare with executive business positions with several major traditional medicine companies and I have to admit that my experience has not been impressive relative to patient satisfaction or outcomes. I have always heard terms such as integrative, preventive, functional, nutritional and regenerative medicine, but didn’t appreciate the extent of what it meant until I decided to downsize my career and join Bellissimo Medical in Weston, Florida in November 2018.
Although traditional medicine is effective in certain areas such as surgery, rehabilitation, ER, imaging, pathology, etc., I have learned very quickly that it lags severely behind integrative functional medicine in many aspects. Interestingly, they are both practiced by licensed medical professionals. Both are evidence based, employ advanced diagnostic tests and may use prescription medications, however; the fundamental difference is that traditional medicine focuses on treating (turning-off) symptoms as opposed to integrative functional medicine that seeks to treat the whole person (body, mind, spirit and environment) to cure ailments. This type of innovative medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a system-oriented approach in order to identify and fix imbalances in the body.
I am astonished by the stories of happy patients. Here is a partial generalized list of the differences I noticed, all determining important factors for positive outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Functional Medicine Traditional Medicine
History Form Lifestyle/ environment Disease, family history
nutrition/ sleep, quality of life
Labs Narrow optimal ranges, Normal/conventional ranges
predictive labs disease detection (sick patient)
Visits 45 to 60 minutes 7 to 10 minutes
Cost Less expensive (cure disease) More expensive (manage symptoms)
Medications Natural (less side effects) Chemical-synthetic (more side effects)
Treatment Underlying issue, disease cure Symptoms, disease management
Service/attention Personalized/ no waiting Standardized/ as available
Fortunately, medicine is gradually changing. Unhappy patients with traditional medicine outcomes are desperately looking for effective value-based alternatives. I’m glad I found meaning in my new role, but I wish I would have appreciated these differences earlier in my career.
Author – Alex A. Mayer, MBA-HSA has a Master of Business Administration with a Specialty in Healthcare Administration. Call today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989. Bellissimo Medical, LLC is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, Weston FL 33331. For more information visit www.bellissimomedical.com