Lifestyle Medicine Specialist
I established my own business and set it up as a new market offering. I provide a service for someone who is not sure of where to go or who to see and provide them with guidance.
I established this model after completing the Bachelor of Complementary Medicine degree. I call it ‘The Wellness Concierge’, and by recognising that clients have individualised wellness goals, I can bring together the right people to create an individualised wellness team.
When you get the right team, the cohesion and synergy of them all working together is going to result in superior health outcomes. Ultimately, we should be working in the best interests for the individual.
I operate as a mobile consultant, so I see the clients where they are comfortable. This may be at their house or my house, meeting at a quiet café or it could even be a walk and talk at a park.
I also do corporate health programs. In this part of the business, I bring in the right providers depending on what the companies are wanting to achieve. It might be certain goals around enhancing employees’ wellbeing, fitness or supporting mental health. I then reach out to my practitioner network and develop a tailored program to what the cooperation wants. I also facilitate within that space, run talks, hold ‘lunch and learn’ workshops and seminars.
I could be doing consultations in the morning, at lunch a ‘lunch and learn’ and then also outside of that I am meeting practitioners, getting to know them, experiencing their therapy and constantly networking. The clients are coming from all walks of life and it’s about finding the right therapy for them but also the right practitioner. People want to work with people they connect with, so it is important to find the right match for the best results.
With technology today you can do a lot of administrative work between clients. I utilise a lot of public transport so, for me, I can work on the bus. My accounting software is in the cloud, I store my patient files in there too, I can review my presentations, listen to podcasts. For me this works because I can get work done between consultations. It also adds variety to my day. Xero accounting software keeps track of all my billings and accounting and keeps me up to date with my submissions to the ATO. There is all this great software you can utilise in your practice.
I really love making a difference in people’s lives. Knowing you’ve supported a client, they’ve had certain outcomes and it has made such a difference in the way they live, that impact is going to be lasting and passed onto the people they know. This is why I love doing the corporate wellness, you can share your knowledge with large groups. I remember I had someone who came to my corporate talks and then I saw her at another talk I did at the same company, and she said in front of the whole group “I implemented all those sleep tips and my sleep has improved out of sight and I have so much energy”, which makes me feel like I am really making a huge difference.
The biggest challenge is focus. There is so much opportunity out there to make a difference and it is the ability to hone in and remain focused on one area. I’m always thinking ‘should I fill that market need or continue on my journey?’ There are lots of distractions because of the huge amount of opportunities available in health and wellness. For people going into complementary medicine it is really unlimited the difference you can start making in health and wellness if you start thinking outside the box. There are endless opportunities available through networking.
It is extremely relevant in that I have a much better understanding of what other healthcare practitioners do, their philosophies and typically how they go about supporting a patient’s health. I am also able to have a more in-depth conversation with practitioners because of my knowledge from the degree.
The technology aspect. I was working full time, studying part time, had a family, it gave me flexibility and I could listen to the lectures when I had time.
I really enjoyed the great resources that the Learning Management System (LMS) has. The support from the tutors was really good, you can ask questions on the LMS and get responses. As well as the webinars, they were really helpful and supportive.
It was really the ultimate flexibility for someone who was looking for a career change and juggling numerous other things.
My career started as a chemical engineer and now I’ve completed a Bachelor of Complementary Medicine and a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). My career is certainly more aligned with what I love and what I’m passionate about. And it makes every day enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like I’m working anymore.
My career ambitions are wanting to support as many people as possible in their wellness journey. I would love to get to the stage of keynote speaking and speaking to large groups as well as building momentum around this collaborative model so that future generations benefit from a collaborative healthcare model.
In the corporate world I did project management and it’s all about getting cross disciplinary teams working for a common goal and that is essentially what we need to do in healthcare.
My tips to students is to get proactive, start networking and making an effort to get out of their comfort zones. I was doing talks at rotary clubs and volunteering to do talks at libraries.
I joined the association ANTA as a student and was attending their events. That was really good in terms of meeting other practitioners.
Also, really concentrate on your area of interest, whatever has drawn you to study, really go deep into that because I think we are needing experts in those niche areas.
Finally, start building a profile through social media.