Holistic Doctors

Tips for Finding
Holistic Doctors

You know what sort of care you want from holistic doctors, now the trouble is finding them! You want someone who integrates the best of conventional medicine with natural and holistic approaches. A doctor who builds bridges instead of fences or battle-lines.

I believe that without any formal training, there are a number of really good primary care doctors who practice this way already. You may be lucky enough to have a family medicine doctor, pediatrician, gynecologist or internist like this. Their style is to empower you, to practice medicine as a partnership instead of a dictatorship. Maybe they’ve even taken courses in nutritional or herbal medicine, acupuncture, or received training in Mind-Body stress reduction or clinical hypnosis. It’s OK to be skeptical when looking for a doctor. You can ask for references, such as recent patients who may be willing to talk to you about their experience. Think twice about a doctor who tells you that the only dietary supplements that are good for you are the ones s/he sells in that office. You can check with the state medical board to find out if there are any complaints.

Best yet are physicians who have had a formal course of study in Integrative Medicine. This is a residency or fellowship designed to create a new model for health care, based on patient centered, healing oriented medicine, with a full menu of therapeutic options from conventional medicine to alternative treatments. These doctors have been trained in the thinking process of how to weigh evidence where evidence may be non-traditional.

The best of these Integrative Medicine programs is through the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and its affiliated Integrative Family Medicine residencies around the country. It’s my hope that this model of health care will become so widespread that we’ll no longer need a separate training category called Integrative Medicine, it will just be “good medicine” and all doctors can be called “holistic doctors.”

to your health and wellness,



Robert Pendergrast, MD 

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