What are Integrative Medicine Consults?
The Northwestern Medicine Osher Center for Integrative Health is one of the leading centers of integrative medicine in the nation.
The Northwestern Medicine Osher Center for Integrative Health doctors have completed fellowship-training in integrative medicine, as well as additional training in functional medicine and innovative treatment strategies.
An integrative medicine consultation is a time for exploration of your primary concerns and an in-depth review of your whole health history. During the consultation, you and your doctor develop a customized health and wellness plan to best fulfill your health needs. Your ongoing care will be coordinated among the Osher Center team of practitioners, and may be communicated to any other providers on your healthcare team.
Why seek an integrative medicine consultation?
- Patients new to complementary medicine seeking guidance
- Patients with complicated medical problems interested in reducing medications, avoiding side effects or supplementing care
- Patients who have not achieved full relief of symptoms with conventional medicine
- Patients seeking a preventive, holistic approach to health
- Patients with an interest in preventing hereditary conditions
Common conditions addressed in an integrative medicine consultation include:
- Chronic pain and fibromyalgia
- Chronic fatigue
- Stress-related conditions
- Optimal aging strategies
- Perimenopause/menopause (including bioidentical hormone therapy)
- Thyroid and adrenal hormone concerns
- Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Autoimmune disease
- Cancer-related side effects and supportive care
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hypertension and high cholesterol
- Recurrent infections or chronic inflammation
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Mood disorders (anxiety and depression)
Your first visit
During this visit, you and your doctor begin to outline how you can best work together to fulfill your health needs. Our goal is to assess your health concerns, and then address all possible factors that might be contributing to any health issues, and determine the root cause of your condition.
Your integrative medicine doctor will meet with you, take a detailed personal and family history, and go over your medications, supplements, diet and lifestyle. Recommendations at this time might include further investigations, labs, functional medicine testing, genomics or imaging, and therapies that span complementary and conventional Western medicine approaches.
What to bring
- Your Personal and Family History Form (Please download and complete before your visit, or arrive 30 minutes early)
- Pertinent past medical records and diagnostic test results
- All your medications and supplements in the original bottles (If possible, we appreciate a typed list of these items)
- Your questions, concerns and goals for your visit
- A support person is always welcome (if you wish)
When instituting lifestyle changes, having regular follow-up visits supports success. These appointments allow for discussion of your experiences in trying new therapies or lifestyle changes, review of specialized testing results, and a deeper exploration of mind-body techniques, nutrition and personal issues. Your doctor will help determine the appropriate timing for your return visit.
Integrative consultant / Primary care collaboration
Please note: Dr. Ring is an integrative medicine specialist and does not serve as a primary care doctor. As such, all patients are asked to have a primary care or similar physician to provide for their ongoing healthcare needs.
Our office may assist you in locating a primary care provider either within the Osher Center for Integrative Health or at an affiliated office if you do not already have one. We are happy to provide documentation of your visits with us to your primary care provider in order to facilitate coordinated and collaborative care.