I finally fell in love with being a doctor when I discovered Integrative Medicine Prior to that, I enjoyed being a doctor but I also loved learning about food, meditation indigenous healing practices etc. I felt a disconnect between my profession and my passions. Integrative Medicine allowed me to combine the two.
Integrative Medicine is a board certified speciality in the US which combines the very best of western allopathic medicine with lifestyle medicine, culinary medicine, contemplative medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine & shamanism. Practitioners of Integrative Medicine are expected to prioritize their own health & wellbeing to model best practices. The fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona was developed by the food guru & chef, Dr Andrew Weil. Not surprisingly, it has a very strong emphasis on culinary medicine. Finally, I could feel good about nibbling my own delicious salad instead of the drug company sponsored high sugar lunches. No more lattes on the desk in clinic. Finally, I knew how to recommend a healthy diet but I also even knew how to prescribe specific foods for health related conditions. Salmon for asthma, blueberries for dementia, hops for sleep. I no longer felt like a fraud when taking time in a clinic to explain to a patient how to make the perfect cup of medicinal chamomile tea.
I would love to see Integrative Medicine become part of the undergraduate curriculum in every medical school. In the meantime, I have developed an online elective in integrative medicine for students who are unable to travel or access hospitals this summer. I think this is such an exciting time in medicine.
Nutritank is an amazing community of like minded people who live & breathe culinary medicine.