3X4’s new Functional Medicine Practitioner Spotlight series features interviews with practitioners, consultants and functional medicine thought leaders to explore everything functional medicine practitioners need to know about successfully building, managing, and growing their private practice.
The following is an interview we recently had with Rebecca Ryder MD, co-founder and partner at Synergy Integrative Medical Center.
What can you tell us about your practice?
RR: Dr. Linda Long and I founded Synergy Integrative Medicine in 2007 to help men & women feel and function their best, now and for as long as possible into the future. We focus on healthspan, not just lifespan. We are based in Chesapeake, Virginia, and provide in-person and virtual visits to patients in Virginia & North Carolina to optimize their health & wellness.
We specialize in hormone replacement therapy for women & men, functional & personalized medicine, and medical acupuncture.
What surprised you the most when you started your practice?
RR: What surprised me the most when I started this practice was how grateful patients were to simply be heard. And how much they appreciated the time to discuss all their issues, not just one or two. It has been incredibly professionally & personally rewarding to see the wonderful results our patients have experienced using our holistic approach.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome as you built your practice? How did you overcome it?
RR: We haven’t had too many challenges in building the practice, certainly nothing insurmountable. Having a good reputation in the community already in our traditional practice probably helped. Once patients have their first visit with us they understand why we do cash only, no insurance, and that hasn’t been a huge issue. Finding the right staff is critical, and we have been fortunate to have a wonderful team that shares the vision and many of the patients bond with as much as ourselves.
What advice would you give to other practitioners considering launching their own practice?
RR: Don’t undervalue your time, expect to be paid what you’re worth, and be patient. Having some savings to start is always a good idea, as it takes a few years to really build up your practice.
What excites you most about the field of functional medicine?
RR: What excites me most about functional medicine is how cutting edge it is. I learn something new every week and really believe this is the future of health care, not just disease care.
I love being at the forefront of advances that can really make meaningful differences in peoples’ lives.
Where do you see your practice 5 years from now?
RR: Five years from now we hope to have even more providers helping provide excellent care to our community. We added an infrared sauna last year, and hope to continue adding services and programs to expand our comprehensive approach to optimum patient health & wellness.