It can be difficult to determine who will be your holistic partner, especially if you are relatively new to the field of so called “alternative medicine.” Here are some pointers and advice on how to create a relationship with the doctor who will be best for your specific needs.
First of all, does the doctor that you like have professional relationships with other reputable practitioners?
One of the best ways to find the good holistic practitioners in your area is through a personal referral. What do your friends with more experience in the world of holistic medicine say about the person that you have chosen? Will this doctor allow you to consider second opinions or does (s)he frown upon this? Also, alternative and holistic medicine does not mean that a practitioner is devoid of technical certification.
Are there any hospitals that have trusted this person with previous patients?
What is your personal feeling about the doctor?
The relationship between doctor and patient must be one of trust and mutual respect. No matter how established a doctor may be, if you do not believe in the treatment plans or the philosophy of that person, it will be difficult for you to maintain any program that is given to you from that office.
You also need to determine if your doctor actually considers you as an individual. Do you feel special when you walk through the door, or is the doctor always asking you the same questions over and over again? Are there educational handouts about your condition in the office or does the doctor seem to specialize in cases that have nothing to do with your problems? These are all questions that you should ask before deciding on a medical professional in any field.
Are your fears respected?
As an offshoot of the above questions, are your fears respected when you walk into the office? A doctor that cannot empathize with you will not be able to provide you with treatments that really help you in the long run.
Does the doctor take his or her own advice?
Take a look at the doctor that you are considering. Does this person look like a good example of the lifestyle that you are aiming for? Would you want to attend a doctor that looked overweight or smelled of cigarettes, in the meantime telling you to eat healthy and stop smoking?
What kind of doctor do you need?
Would you be more comfortable with a holistic or a homeopathic doctor? Although many people consider these two disciplines similar, they are actually quite different. You must understand these differences before you can truly commit to a physician as your main source of medical advice.
It may also be true that you will need a holistic doctor for certain conditions and a homeopathic doctor for other situations. Any doctor that has knowledge of the other discipline and respects it should receive a great deal of consideration, especially if they have worked with those people.
Todd Nelson, D.Sc. trained at the International Center for Natural Health and Medicine, graduating with both a Naturopathic Doctor degree and a Doctor of Holistic Health Sciences degree. Aside from heading the Tree of Life Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado as a naturopathic doctor, Todd is also a co-author of 3 books.