Build Your Healthcare Team

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Most people spend more time looking for their next car than they do looking for their doctor. -Cleveland Clinic

One of the most important and proactive steps that you can take in your healthcare journey is assembling a healthcare team that will nourish and support all aspects of your health – with you at the center. Oftentimes, we think of healthcare providers as only the standard western medicine practitioners: like doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other providers typically found in a traditional health system or network. These providers are key players on your healthcare team, and they are critical to your success. However, to tip the scales most in your favor, you’ll need to focus on more than just western medicine treatments and protocols. This means incorporating evidence-based practices and lifestyle modifications that will benefit all aspects of your health and well-being. Just as doctors and nurses support our physical health, a wide range of experts in other aspects of healthcare are available to support an integrative approach to health and healing.

Is your healthcare team meeting all of your healthcare needs?

Explore the below areas of healthcare to familiarize yourself with some of the types of practitioners that support holistic health. Then, answer the below questions to help you identify your health and wellness priorities and the practitioners that can help you address them.

Which aspect(s) of my healthcare do I need or want to address?

What professionals or expert practitioners exist to help me in addressing these healthcare needs?

How do I locate them? What are the organizations that credential this type of practitioner?

Resources to help you locate many of the types of providers fond below can be found on the Healthcare Resources page. 

TIP: Download and complete the My Integrative Healthcare Team reference sheet, developed by the Caring Ambassadors Program. Keep this helpful reference document with your medical records.

  • Primary care physician (family medicine, general practitioner, internist, OB/GYN)
  • Specialty physician (the healthcare provider specially trained to treat your long-term disease)
  • Nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant
  • Pharmacisit
  • Dentist
  • Doctor of Oriental Medicine
  • Chiropractor
  • Ayurvedic practitioner
  • Homeopathic practitioner (usually a licensed medical doctor or healthcare provider)
  • Naturopathic physician
  • Traditional naturopath
  • Registered dietitian (R.D.)
  • Certified nutrition specialist (CNS)
  • Certified personal trainer
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Exercise instructor (yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, swimming, etc.)
  • Licensed therapist
  • Social worker
  • Meditative movement instructor (tai chi, qi gong, yoga)
  • Licensed acupuncturist
  • Licensed massage therapist
  • Licensed counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Social worker
  • Arts therapist (dance, art, music therapy)
  • Occupational therapist
  • Social worker
  • Case manager
  • In-home health aide
  • Support group leader
  • Spiritual or religious leader

It is very important to inform each of your healthcare providers about all of the treatment approaches you are using. This is particularly important if you choose an integrative medicine approach that involves healthcare providers or treatments from several different medical providers.

What if I’m not happy with my Healthcare Provider?

A good relationship with your healthcare provider can make a huge difference in everything from your diagnosis to the treatment and management of your disease to the healing process. It is always your right to get a second opinion or switch healthcare providers at any point throughout your care. Remember, the best healthcare team you can assemble will always have YOU as an active member in the center. Learn more about getting a second opinion.