Children's Hospital Colorado

An Integrative Approach to Pediatric Medicine (S2:E22)

Integrative healthcare refers to a, "healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies." Perhaps not surprisingly, this definition describes the approach many pediatricians naturally use when treating children and counseling families.

In integrative pediatrics, pediatricians mindfully combine complementary therapies alongside conventional medicine. For example, a practitioner might prescribe a ketogenic diet for children with certain conditions. These types of treatments are very effective for some children and understanding how to integrate them into a primary care practice can be highly beneficial.

Listen to a pediatric medicine expert explain the concept and benefits of integrative pediatrics

Today's episode of Charting Pediatrics was inspired by our listeners, who would like to know how to incorporate an integrative care approach in their primary care practices. Rachel Workman, MD, runs the Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children's Hospital Colorado, and shares some practical tips you can use while caring for kids and adolescents.

In this episode, our expert will:

  • Define common terms and ideas within integrative medicine, including how they relate to children's medicine
  • Discuss the importance of understanding the whole child when providing patient care
  • Explore physician awareness around integrative pediatrics
  • Reflect on common attitudes and perceptions that physicians have regarding integrative medicine
  • Explain when a pediatric patient should strongly consider integrative care
  • Discuss when a ketogenic diet for children is an appropriate recommendation
  • Explain how patient visits are structured when delivering integrative pediatric care
  • Share tips on counseling young patients and their parents, including on the use of specific dietary supplements for children
  • Share her recommended resources on how to implement integrative pediatrics in your primary care practice
  • Explain how to mitigate exposure to deleterious environmental chemicals
  • Consider common ethical concerns pediatric practitioners have when counseling families who choose integrative medicine

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Workman shared several resources during today's episode, which can be accessed below.

Integrative pediatrics at Children's Colorado

Our pediatric medical experts focus on the whole health of every child, which includes integrating evidence-based, nontraditional therapies when appropriate. The Children's Colorado Primary Care Department, along with our six primary care clinics, provide services for the diagnosis, treatment and management of a variety of pediatric concerns and conditions. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.