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Russ Canfield, MD
As an integrative family physician, I am aware of the physical and biological elements that influence health such as diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements, as well as the internal, felt dimensions of mental, emotional and spiritual health. Both those dimensions exist for us on the individual level, but also on the collective levels of family, community and even the biosphere as a whole. Our physical environment is becoming increasingly toxic and our culture increasingly stressful.
In my successful application essay to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, I wrote about my commitment to both the art and the science of medicine. I saw how conventional medicine focused on the physical aspects of physical illness, but didn’t seem to appreciate that one’s inner emotions, attitudes and intentions also play a vital role in the cause and cure of physical illness. I became convinced that the healing partnership between patient and physician, acknowledging the patient’s goals and concerns, was as important as the doctor’s knowledge base in anatomy, physiology and pathology. I learned and identified with the “Biopsychosocial Model,” which recognizes not just the physical side of health and disease, but also the psychological, social, and environmental aspects of health.
At the University of New Mexico, I did my residency training in Family Medicine because I was interested in learning all aspects of medicine. I couldn’t see how the body could be divided into specialties. Clearly, the various organ systems are interrelated, and it is important to see the whole. Through my formal post-graduate training from the Institute for Functional Medicine, I have refined my understanding of how genetics, environment and lifestyle interact as a total system. I now diagnose and treat illnesses based on patterns of imbalance and dysfunction, rather than treating the symptoms of the illness specifically. Functional Medicine goes beyond the quick fix of masking symptoms with medication; rather, it treats the unique individual who has the disease.
After ten years of experience in working with patients of all ages, and specializing in this integral, 360° approach to health and well-being, I tend to recommend a foundation of naturopathic therapies and, when indicated, complement them with powerful conventional medical treatments.
I have earned and maintain board certification from both the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. I have further formal training in mindfulness meditation and in transpersonal studies from Naropa University, and am a Certified Diabetes Educator. I am deeply committed to teaching and I take the time to educate my patients. In the past, I was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UNM School of Medicine, teaching this holistic approach to medical students and residents. I have written for and have been quoted in newspapers and magazines including Natural Health.
During an office visit, we will likely discuss your health concerns on multiple levels and from different perspectives. Some treatments may serve to immediately control the concerning medical symptoms while other strategies may serve to balance both body and mind in a detoxifying and replenishing way. I am accepting new patients who are looking for a holistic primary care physician or just want a 360° Medicine consultation.