Working with Multiple Practitioners
Welcome back to the Holistic Health Bites podcast. Today we are talking about working with multiple healthcare practitioners. Everyone wants to be healthy and have access to quality care, but it can be difficult navigating the complex healthcare system and all of the available options. This is actually why I think it’s a great benefit to have a team of practitioners helping manage your health. Working with multiple practitioners allows for the coordination of treatments, a more holistic approach to getting all the different modalities together, more options, more minds working on your case, and improved outcomes. But there are some challenges that come along with this kind of collaboration – like conflicting opinions between medical professionals or difficulty getting everyone on the same page. You might find the information a tad overwhelming and confusing. In today’s episode, we will discuss how you can get the most out of working with multiple healthcare practitioners – from understanding their roles and responsibilities to overcoming potential issues that may arise while coordinating care among them. So let’s get started!
When coordinating treatments among multiple healthcare practitioners, it’s important to consider all the different options that are available. This can include traditional medical interventions like pharmaceutical drugs, medical procedures, or surgeries, as well as other approaches like chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture. And of course, diet and lifestyle play into every health condition. Working with several practitioners who have different specialties and backgrounds allows for a more comprehensive understanding of your health, and the ability to craft a personalized treatment plan that best suits your needs. No single practitioner is going to know everything, be an expert in all things, or have all treatment options available to them. Medical professionals utilize prescriptions and procedures. Alternative practitioners utilize physical adjustments, nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, and nutritional or herbal supplements in place of pharmaceuticals. Depending on your health challenge, you may need some of both worlds. I, of course, am solidly in the camp that everyone needs nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, while only some need pharmaceutical or procedural treatments.
Having multiple healthcare practitioners working together on your health can be incredibly helpful. It gives you access to a variety of minds and opinions, each with their own specialties and backgrounds. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of your health issue or condition, as well as giving you all of the available options for a personalized treatment plan that best suits your individual needs.
Roles & Responsibilities
When working with multiple healthcare practitioners, it is important to understand the roles and responsibilities of each. Each practitioner has their own specialty and expertise. It’s critical to understand what their background, training, and expertise really is so you can understand how they contribute to your health plan – and which portions they really should stay out of. For example, a primary care physician will typically serve as the main point of contact and manage overall medical care. They may refer patients to specialists for more in-depth treatments or additional testing. Specialists such as cardiologists, endocrinologists, and oncologists are experts in specific areas that require specialized knowledge or treatment plans. Most medical professionals, however, do not specialize in nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep quality, or other lifestyle factors. That is where more natural or alternative practitioners come into plan – like chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and nutritionists that offer remedies and advice on how your lifestyle contributes to your condition. Understanding these roles will help ensure you are getting comprehensive care from all practitioners involved in your health plan.
When coordinating care with multiple practitioners, it’s also important to be aware of potential issues that may arise. One common challenge is conflicting opinions – this can happen when each practitioner has their own unique approach or experience in treating a particular condition. It’s important to remember that you are ultimately in control of your health and should make decisions based on what makes you feel comfortable. No one on the team makes the rules for you. They can’t make you take a medication, supplement, diet plan, or undergo any medical procedure that you aren’t in agreement with. You get to say what you do implement. Some practitioners may say they can’t work with you if you choose not to follow their advice – and that’s ok. There are thousands of practitioners that will work with you and help you implement what you want. Find practitioners who aren’t adversarial to your goals.
Another potential issue is difficulty getting everyone on the same page – this can be a challenge when multiple practitioners are involved and communications get scattered. Be sure to keep a list of all your providers, contact information, and notes of what each provider has said during appointments. This will make it easier to keep track of any changes in treatment plans or ensure everyone is on the same page. You will also have references to go back to. You may want to share what your doctor said with your nutritionist – you’ll have your notes to recall that information. Some practitioners will also be willing to collaborate about your situation. Allowing practitioners to communicate directly can help get to a clear, agreeable plan quickly.
Working with multiple practitioners has many benefits and a few challenges. Don’t let the fact that you already have a doctor be the reason you don’t seek out other practitioners who can provide benefits to your health. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a comprehensive and holistic approach to your health. With the right coordination, working with multiple practitioners can be incredibly beneficial to managing your overall health and wellbeing. Each practitioner will conduct their own investigation into your health from a different perspective. They’ll see your case through their unique lens, based on their training, experience, and specialty.
So don’t let that be the reason that you don’t seek out other modalities, other types of practitioners, others of the same specialty…every practitioner will have their own opinions and recommendations.
Schedule a call with me today so we can talk about what this can look like for you.