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USA medicine. An insider’s experience – By Alex A. Mayer, MBA-HSA

I have worked 30 years in healthcare with executive business positions with several major traditional medicine companies and I have to admit that my experience has not been impressive relative to patient satisfaction or outcomes. I have always heard terms such as integrative, preventive, functional, nutritional and regenerative medicine, but didn’t appreciate the extent of what it meant until I decided to downsize my career and join Bellissimo Medical in Weston, Florida in November 2018.

Although traditional medicine is effective in certain areas such as surgery, rehabilitation, ER, imaging, pathology, etc., I have learned very quickly that it lags severely behind integrative functional medicine in many aspects. Interestingly, they are both practiced by licensed medical professionals. Both are evidence based, employ advanced diagnostic tests and may use prescription medications, however; the fundamental difference is that traditional medicine focuses on treating (turning-off) symptoms as opposed to integrative functional medicine that seeks to treat the whole person (body, mind, spirit and environment) to cure ailments. This type of innovative medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a system-oriented approach in order to identify and fix imbalances in the body.

I am astonished by the stories of happy patients. Here is a partial generalized list of the differences I noticed, all determining important factors for positive outcomes and patient satisfaction.

                                  Functional Medicine                            Traditional Medicine

History Form           Lifestyle/ environment                      Disease, family history

                                  nutrition/ sleep, quality of life

Labs                          Narrow optimal ranges,                       Normal/conventional ranges

                                   predictive labs                                      disease detection (sick patient)

Visits                         45 to 60 minutes                                  7 to 10 minutes

Cost                           Less expensive (cure disease)            More expensive (manage symptoms)

Medications             Natural (less side effects)                  Chemical-synthetic (more side effects)

Treatment                Underlying issue, disease cure          Symptoms, disease management

Service/attention   Personalized/ no waiting                     Standardized/ as available

Fortunately, medicine is gradually changing. Unhappy patients with traditional medicine outcomes are desperately looking for effective value-based alternatives. I’m glad I found meaning in my new role, but I wish I would have appreciated these differences earlier in my career.   

Author – Alex A. Mayer, MBA-HSA has a Master of Business Administration with a Specialty in Healthcare Administration. Call today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989. Bellissimo Medical, LLC is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, Weston FL 33331. For more information visit

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