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 Vikram Raya MD, Founder and CEO, Vitology Institute.
What can you tell us about your practice?
VR: Vitology Institute is a cutting edge virtual clinic that helps people all over the world achieve higher levels of health, vitality, and excelerate human optimization. My background is in Cardiology and I’ve leveraged that knowledge with functional medicine and then paired that with biohacking and knowledge of supplements as well as peak physical performance in order to create a unified approach to taking individuals who are healthy and make them extraordinary.
What surprised you the most when you started your practice?
VR: What surprised me the most was that people aren’t willing to invest money into their own health and vitality but won’t hesitate to spend the money on a vacation or insignificant tangibles. People are used to spending money on their homes, furniture, travels, kids education, but spending a lot of money on your health is not mainstream in our society and it baffles me because our health is our highest currency of life.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome as you built your practice? How did you overcome it?
VR: Getting the word out that I had something different to offer and convincing people to pay out of pocket for something they are used to paying with their insurance. Insurance covers people who are sick and I had to compel, convince and persuade folks to pay cash for health and wellness.
I overcame these challenges by mastering the art of marketing and having great testimonials of people who trusted me, went through our programs and have been successful and are now the healthiest they have ever been.
What advice would you give to other practitioners considering launching their own practice?
VR: Try to model success by finding someone who has a similar business model as you. If you do a functional medicine or wellness practice, consider a hybrid approach where you accept some insurance and some cash. Also, really learn about marketing because marketing is really the lifeblood of your practice.
What excites you most about the field of functional medicine?
VR: I’m excited because functional medicine is like the past and the future of medicine. It’s the past because this is what medicine was in the ancient times where we would treat the root cause of the problems.
It’s the future of medicine because with cutting edge lab testing, supplements, DNA personalized medicine, technology, we are able to rapidly take individuals from low levels of health to literally feeling the healthiest they have ever been and felt in their whole life in a span of less than 3-6 months.
Where do you see your practice 5 years from now?
VR: My practice 5 years from now will continue to be the leader in human optimization, vitality, longevity, and biohacking.