Using Modern Medicine Techniques to Treat Patients

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Iris Erguder-Saman, MD, Director, Integrative Medicine, Holy Name Medical Center, who discusses how a patient’s overall health needs to be treated along with using modern medicine techniques.

12/11/2019 #2265






"Doctor Iris Erguder is director of Integrative Medicine, Holy Name Medical Center. Good to see you Doctor. Thank you for having me. So people hear integrative medicine. You say? It is? So integrative medicine is a patient-centered approach. It's combining traditional Western medicine with complementary therapies and wellness practices. It's basically a partnership with the healthcare professional and the patient, where the patient is playing the critical role in their own health. And we are providing education and support to empower them. So play this out for a second You make it sound like... I hate to use the word quarterback. Is the patient the quarterback? The patient is playing the key role. But how do...? Okay. Devil's advocate. How does the patient, or how should the patient, know what he or she needs? I don't mean like, "Doctor, heal me!" Right? That doesn't always work? So it's about really getting a thorough assessment, you know, looking at nutrition, looking at lifestyle, looking at diet, stressors, and really trying to customize a plan that is addressing both their emotional and physical needs. But we're partnering with the patient. It's not, you know, dictating the care. It's let's... how can we work together to make change? So let me play this out for you. Is it fair to say, Doctor, that two different patients, two patients with two different... with the same diagnosis, could be treated differently depending upon his or her lifestyle, et cetera? Really? Yes. Of course. Because everyone's stress is different. Everyone's lifestyle. What kind of work they do. What their eating habits are. If they're active. Are they exercising? It... there's multiple factors that play a role in trying to get them to that path to wellness. Describe a patient. No names obviously. [laughter] There are HIPPA laws. Describe a patient who you've been able to help in this regard. So if I have someone who's overweight, you know, I don't tell them, "Oh, in one month, I want you to lose this many pounds." It's not about aiming to losing the pounds, like on the scale. It's more about, "Okay. How can we partner up together? What things do we have to put in place to try to really customize a plan and a diet or even the exercise...?" And really trying to... really get them to... get them on the right road. So you know, a lot is... sometimes it could be, you know they're not ready to make change. And that's part of assessment. Like, seeing their ability and willingness to make change. And if they're not ready, that's okay, for any particular reason. At that point, providing ongoing education and support to try to empower them. And we set small, manageable goals so that they just get..."