Episode 77:

Building a functional medicine practice can seem daunting, especially when it seems like nobody is supporting you. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Dr. Nisha Chellam joins us to share how functional medicine practitioners can build a thriving business that changes lives. She shares:

  • Her journey to building a functional medicine practice
  • How FM practitioners can work with traditional doctors
  • How to get over fears of charging your patients
  • Why it’s important to follow your goals
  • What your patients need to know about functional medicine

The Journey to Building a Functional Medicine Practice

Dr. Nisha Chellam began her career as an internist and hospitalist, where she was able to help patients walk out of the hospital often within one or two weeks of admission. But what Nisha began to notice was that these patients often returned to the hospital with the same symptoms–she felt like a failure each time a patient returned. Nisha believed she should be curing the patients and treating the root cause of their problems, so they wouldn’t need to come back.

After becoming semi-retired and working at the VA, Nisha treated a patient suffering from osteoporosis who self-medicated with holistic alternatives and reached osteopenia. It was the first time Nisha saw an alternative to traditional medicine, and she was hooked. This patient sparked her interest in functional medicine, and after years of considering it, Nisha left the world of conventional medicine and founded her functional medicine practice.

Today, Nisha joins the FM Shift to discuss falling in love with medicine again, overcoming fears surrounding charging your patients, and how to educate your patients on functional medicine. She shares her perspective on the cost of healthcare and disease management.

Functional medicine practice

How to Charge Your Patients

When it comes to charging your patients, it can be a challenge to know how to value your services as a functional medicine practitioner. With most insurance companies not covering FM practices, the money you charge can make or break your practice.

But what if your fear of charing is simply a limiting belief?

If health is a priority for your patients, they will be more likely to pay higher fees for their healthcare. So if your patients see results and their lives are changing for the better because of your treatment plans, what’s stopping you from charging a premium price?

After all, FM practitioners get to the root cause of the issue, often helping patients need less medical care or even helping them not need care at all. What’s better health or being cured worth to your patients? What’s not needing traditional medicine worth–or saving themselves from years of conventional, expensive treatments worth? If you believe that your practice is preventing your patients from spending thousands of dollars annually, what’s stopping you from charging your worth?

Educating Your Patients

As a functional medicine practitioner, you’re teaching your patients how to manage their health. It’s important to make sure your patients know that your job is not like a traditional doctor, whose job is to look for and manage diseases. Your job is to help guide your patients to living their healthiest lives and treat the root causes of symptoms. This means that you may not diagnose a patient’s problem because it isn’t your job to diagnose and manage diseases.

Since your job is so different from that of a traditional doctor, it is essential to inform your patients of the differences and encourage them to have a general practitioner in addition to your services. This way, you can avoid legal issues and ensure your patients receive the best medical care on all fronts.

About Nisha Chellam

Dr. Chellam is a “recovering physician.” What does that mean? Medical school is about learning about diseases and managing to slow the progress. What do patients want? Patients want to resolve their condition. A recovered physician moves from medications as the only option to treating illness. Instead, is there a way we can rebuild health and resolve the disease?

Dr. Chellam struggled for years with Migraines and Hashimotos. She was able to resolve these by learning and applying functional medicine. And that is what she practices now. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and board-certified in Integrative and Holistic Medicine. When there is so much information, the goal of the practice is to simplify this information. The power of nutrition is best when we personalize it. Lifestyle changes are challenging. How do we systematize it? We do testing that helps identify your individual needs and optimize your health.

How to Connect with Nisha Chellam:

If you’re looking for more information on creating a successful functional medicine practice, check out Episode #34 of The FM Shift, Empowering Patients Through Functional Medicine, with Alison Gannett. In this episode, Alison talks to us about how FM practitioners can give their patients better care by discovering the root causes of their illnesses.

About The FM Shift

What if functional medicine became as profitable, rewarding, and stress-free as you expected it to be? The business side of functional medicine doesn’t have to be a GRIND. We can help you discover functional medicine sales mastery and make maximum money without patient resistance.

The FM Shift shows you how to easily attract patients who want what you offer and are willing to pay you what you’re worth without waiting for your practice to magically mature.

Get more details here.