3X4’s new State of Functional Medicine series features interviews with a diverse range of active practitioners and established thought leaders to learn more about why they chose the field of functional medicine, what excites them most about their work, the most common misconceptions they hear from patients, and most importantly — how they see the field evolving in the years ahead as healthcare shifts to be more personalized, proactive, and preventative.
Functional medicine practitioners play a key role in helping patients understand who they are so they can improve their quality of life which is what we’re all about here at 3X4. Our goal with this new series is to celebrate the work these practitioners are doing and inspire others to explore the exciting field of functional medicine.
The following is an interview we have recently had with Valerie LeComte, Functional and Integrative Physician.
Why did you decide to make functional medicine your focus?
VL: During my med school and residency training, I saw for myself all of the way that medicine does and doesn’t work. When I developed some minor health issues, I knew what I would get told by doctors and knew that it wouldn’t help. I started this journey as my own self education to learn and heal. And then knew it was time to start sharing that knowledge with others.
Who have been your greatest mentors in your functional medicine journey?
VL: All of my mentors have been from afar. Probably my biggest is Dr. Aviva Romm. I’m taking her herbalism course and I find her so intelligent and fascinating.
What excites you most about your day to day work?
VL: The ability to really get to know my patients and help them in a way that is difficult with the time constraints of a traditional practice. When they tell me about how their health has permanently been changed because of working together, it truly makes all of this worth it.
What’s the most challenging part of your day to day work?
VL: Running a business! These aren’t skills I learned in medical school. Figuring out how to brand and market myself is a struggle. The business logistics don’t interest me in the same way that medicine and patient care does.
What do patients most commonly get wrong about functional medicine?
VL: I think the biggest problem is that people don’t know that there are even other options when it comes to health problems. That they can branch out if every specialist they see tells them nothing is wrong.
What’s holding the field of functional medicine back?
VL: The lack of evidence for some of it. Would love to see more research. While some things are hard to study, having a scientific basis for some complementary treatments is really important for this to become more mainstream.
What has your experience been with genetic testing?
VL: I actually have very little personal experience with genetic testing.
How do you see the practice of functional medicine evolving in the years ahead?
VL: I think it’s going to become much more common and really is the future of medicine in general. We are realizing that sick care is costly and ineffective. It’s time to focus on prevention and improving our baseline health.
About Dr. Valerie LeComte.
Dr. Valerie LeComte doctor and a wellness exert who has been practicing emergency medicine since 2017. Throughout this time, she has become disenchanted with the way the medical system operates. Her goal now is to work with people that want true change in their life to help facilitate their highest health. Dr. LeComte practices virtual functional medicine and health consulting at her practice, helping people get to the best health of their lives with an integrative approach.