This Functional Medicine Doctor is Flipping the Script on Modern Health Care

To remedy this, AnshulGuptaMD spent the next 20 years developing a model of solution-based, patient-centered care in his own practice. After witnessing higher levels of compliance, miraculous healing, and a renewed sense of purpose within his practice, AnshulGuptaMD began sharing his method of care with other practitioners and patients who were also looking for better solutions. Functional Medicine Doctor New York
We sat down with AnshulGuptaMD to ask a few questions about his approach as a functional medicine doctor, and to learn about his new startup, AnshulGuptaMD — an app and software platform launched in 2019 which aims to become the ZocDoc of integrative medicine.
What made you want to practice medicine?
As a medical student, I cherished the opportunity to study the art of medicine. Like countless others, I was motivated by a desire to help people and to assist in alleviating pain and suffering. I deeply wished to make a difference — and to make my own life meaningful.
I was astounded at how little healing was actually being accomplished.
In medical school, role models were few, and the uncaring attitude of some specialists toward patients was shocking. I did my residency in Family Medicine, perhaps the most humane area of modern medicine, but I still found treatment options and modalities limited — and limiting.
What, in your mind, are some of the main limitations of conventional medicine?
As we enter a new millennium, we see the incredible advances brought about by medical technology. But, despite great breakthroughs, many people feel abandoned by conventional medicine. When someone is diagnosed with a disease pattern — such as chronic fatigue syndrome or low back pain — this person inevitably faces a sea of x-rays, lab tests, referrals, and consultations.
As I listened to my patients over the years, I discovered a whole new realm of treatment options not considered viable in my world of university medical centers. These “alternative” modalities consisted mostly of hands-on, non-invasive techniques and benign remedies seldom in conflict with conventional medicine. Nevertheless, they were at odds with its practitioners.
A new avenue was desperately needed. Everywhere, I encountered patient dissatisfaction, problem patching, fragmentation of therapies, skyrocketing costs, and compromised services within the managed care system. Meanwhile, what we call alternative or complementary medicine had exploded into a 27-billion-dollar industry — a figure comparable to the combined out-of-pocket expenditures of all U.S. physician services. Still, patients were left without a true alternative. That is, these treatment options merely perpetuated the same limited problem-oriented approach.
Nonetheless, people were flocking to unconventional types of health care, with or without a physician’s blessing. Why? I knew I needed to educate myself beyond what I had learned in medical school. So I began reading books, attending seminars, and conversing with naturopaths, chiropractors, and acupuncturists about more holistic possibilities.
What, in your mind, are the limitations of alternative medicine?
Alternative medicine, in combination with conventional allopathic care, has no doubt brought comfort, healing, and good health to millions around the globe. Nevertheless, alternative integrative health systems are not always a true alternative.
Many health care approaches may utilize holistic treatment options, but they often encompass the same philosophical approach to patient care: the problem-oriented approach.
For medicine to be a true alternative, physicians need to consider a new paradigm in patient care; to redefine health challenges as wellness solutions, and to provide partnership models within the patient-doctor relationship.
In your experience, which approach to medicine offers the greatest chance of healing?
I know of no better way to promote healthier living than by lifestyle modification. Yet too often, doctors are recruited to patch problems rather than to act as partners in helping our patients make significant, healthy lifestyle changes.
So, the most important component of any approach is to encourage patients to become proactive, to take responsibility and to assist in developing their own optimal health plans.
That’s the main thing we want to accomplish with AnshulGuptaMD. On a regular schedule, patients can review their progress with their primary care physician and discuss goals as they plan the next step.
This system applies medical technological advances appropriately and to the fullest while building upon doctor-patient relationships of trust to provide the most appropriate choices.

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