One of the most common stories I hear when working with clients is the huge variation they’ve experienced in working with other doctors.
Some clients have been lucky — they have a local doctor who takes plenty of time with each consultation, listens carefully to what they have to say, and sends them away feeling confident that their health is being taken care of.
Sadly, the more common story is that patients feel rushed in and out of their consultation and don’t feel like the doctor is really listening to them.
By the time it’s all over, they still feel confused about why they feel so unwell.
To be fair, many doctors would love to listen to you but the current medical model doesn’t allow them enough time. This is why so many MDs and DOs are getting trained in Functional Medicine and changing their practice model: to allow for the time that is necessary to get to the bottom of health issues and make true impactful change in their patient’s lives.
The way that I practice medicine allows me to have the time needed to really listen and work WITH my clients.
That’s why I want to take some time to explain what it’s like to work with me, an online naturopathic doctor who also specializes in functional medicine and bloodwork analysis.
Starting a new health program with a new doctor can feel like a big commitment, and I want my clients to have a great experience. Your health is one of the most important factors in your quality of life, and working together to optimize it should be easy, interesting and hopefully even fun.
“Dr. Shields did for me what my mainstream doctor could not and I finally feel normal again! For at least two years, I had been feeling excessively fatigued. No amount of sleep could keep my mind and body alert throughout the day. For two years I tried to address this concern with my former doctor. I requested a panel of blood tests, but the doctor discouraged it, saying it was a waste of money. She merely told me to get more sleep.
I went to Dr. Shields because she recognizes the value of blood tests and knows how to read them. In one visit, Dr. Shields identified the source of my fatigue and confirmed it with two simple tests. In two weeks, the fatigue nearly vanished with the help of a supplement. Not only did the blood tests reveal the source of my fatigue, but also caught two other issues before they became a problem.
I continue to work with Dr. Shields to monitor my health. It is easy and convenient to work with her over Skype, telephone, and email. It is very difficult to find a doctor as good as she is. I highly recommend Dr. Shields if you want to regain and maintain your health.”
— Julia, Oregon, USA
Each consultation lasts up to a full hour. Depending on the package you choose, we may have these calls every month, quarter, or year.
Calls are conducted on Zoom, and the same doctor-patient confidentiality rules apply online. I take confidentiality very seriously — everything that we discuss is strictly confidential and your health documents are treated with the highest security standards.
When we get started, the most important thing is to establish a baseline for your health as it currently stands, so that we can accurately track the changes that happen in your body as we implement treatments and start experimenting with what works for your unique situation.
In our first session together, we do a head-to-toe review of your health, covering all the key areas:
- Brain function
- Foreseeable obstacles
This conversation includes an in-depth review of your first blood test, including your Wellness Score out of 100, your disease risk calculations, an assessment of your diet, and an analysis of the speed that your body is aging (the age of your cells, called Pheno Age).
All this information gives me the data I need to create your Custom Health Plan. These recommendations are intended to address the underlying causes of any existing health issues, as well as to help you reach any specific goals you might have.
After your first session, I’ll send your Custom Health Plan with a set of recommendations around your diet, exercise and supplementation, as well as some other lifestyle adjustments that will help you start progressing towards your goals.
Each following consultation will consist of a few key components:
- Checking in on the progress you’ve made since our last conversation
- Troubleshooting any challenges or problems that came up
- Assessing how each strategy is working for you
- Adjusting the plan when something isn’t working (or when you’ve reached a goal and are ready to tackle the next one!)
Some health issues change quickly, while others can take a bit longer depending on when they started and the severity you’re experiencing. But no matter where you’re starting from, my goal is that you start seeing progress, even if slow and steady, within thirty days of our first consultation.
The majority of people I work with end up seeing me on a regular basis to monitor their health from year to year. Over time, we’ll develop a strong relationship that will help you to transform your health and achieve the quality of life and sense of wellbeing that you’ve been hoping for.
“One year after starting Naturopathic care with Dr. Shields, I can truthfully say that this decision has been one of the best and most important I have ever made. Through Dr. Shields’s attentive and thorough care, my health and well-being have improved much more than I ever could have anticipated.
What makes these improvements even more remarkable is that I have actually never ‘seen’ Dr. Shields. Since I live in Italy and she is in Portugal, all of out visits have been through Skype. Initially, I was skeptical that the visits would be impersonal or missing ‘something’ since she would not be able to examine in person.
On the contrary, I found that being in the comfort of my own home, combined with Dr. Shields’s comprehensive approach and diligence in working for my better health, has resulted in the most personal and effective medical care that I have ever experienced.”
— Sally, Rome, Italy
How Is This Different to Traditional Medicine?
I’ve written extensively about the differences between naturopathic doctors and conventional doctors here, but the short version is that we offer complementary — not competitive — types of medicine.
Conventional medicine is absolutely your best bet when it comes to emergency procedures and dealing with certain acute illnesses. But if you want to manage your recovery, or prevent an illness from developing altogether, naturopathic medicine is going to be the better option.
Because the two types of medicine function best when they work in tandem, I actually require all my patients to have a local doctor before we begin working together.
Due to the laws of working virtually as a health consultant, I do not prescribe pharmaceutical medications or refill current prescriptions, and there are times when it may be appropriate for you to follow up with your local doctor while we are working together (such as those emergencies, acute illnesses, or when you need a physical exam).
But in our naturopathic consultations, we will be focusing on things that your GP does not have time to delve into — diet, lifestyle changes, fitness, supplements, uncovering the underlying cause of your health issues, and optimizing your health with both short-term and long-term strategies.
“I started working with Dr. Alexis just before my 49th birthday. I was active and in generally good health, but just not feeling quite the energy I needed to maintain the active lifestyle I desired. I had acquired that “middle” that is so typical for women my age and, despite my attempts at managing it all with diet and exercise, I was unable to lose the 15 pounds that had crept up on me over the past few years.
My family doctor said I should probably just “get used to that new number” on the scale since I was not obese or unhealthy but was approaching that big 5-0. While my family doctor is fairly progressive and I have been with him for years, I did not like that solution at all!
Dr. Alexis started her magic with an extensive questionnaire and the most comprehensive lab work I have ever seen. Our first appointment was a full hour of focused time over Skype where she asked so many questions. She is skilled at driving out the hidden details with multiple questions that reveal so much more than I observe.
Dr. Alexis and my family doctor have worked very well together sharing labs and applying whatever possible to my health insurance. My family doctor is managing my thyroid condition and has been able to adjust my medication based on some of the additional labs that Dr. Alexis ordered. At the same time, she is managing my supplements and dietary support.
Inside of 10 months, I am sleeping better and no longer taking medication for asthma or depression. I have lost 25 pounds and 2.5 inches from my waist, along with 3 inches from my hips! I have dropped my BMI nearly 4 points and am feeling better than I have in 20 years! Alexis has done all of this with me over Skype and with so much care and compassion.
No observation I send to her is passed over and she is quick to follow up on my email questions and concerns between Skype appointments. This has been an amazing journey and Alexis has been beside me the entire way. We continue to tweak things here and there and we will continue to work together as my needs change throughout my life!”
— Sondra, Illinois, USA
Will We Be A Good Fit To Work Together?
While I do everything I can to empower my clients, ultimately, you’re the one that has to implement the plan we develop together. So if you believe that you’ve already tried everything and that you’re never going to be able to change, I might not be the right doctor for you.
But if your health is a big priority for you, if you like the idea of experimenting with your health and putting your health data into action, and if you’re motivated to make changes, then yes! I think we would be a great fit.
But what if I’m time-poor?
My clients are mostly super-busy professionals, they have families, and very little time to spare. My job is to find the lowest hanging fruit that will have the biggest impact on your health as possible — with as little time required as possible. I try to match my recommendations to the amount of time you have so that your Custom Health Plan will actually work for you.
“Like most people, my goals in life are to stay healthy and maintain high energy. The moment I spoke to Dr. Alexis Shields I knew I found someone who could help me massively. The help she has given me and some of my friends since then has been immense.”
— Nigel, Dubai, UAE, CEO of the deVere Group
But what if I don’t understand the science?
You don’t need to be ‘science-y’ to enjoy this process and get a lot of benefit from it — we can get as geeky or non-geeky with your data as you like.
One thing that I love is showing people how interesting it can be to follow their own health stats, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a statistician or biologist to make sense of it all.
(And if you are science-y — great. Let’s talk nerdy.)
“Dr. Shields was extremely thorough in her assessment and recommendations, explaining to me the physiological reasons for my condition as well as detailing a number of natural ways to prevent and cure my chronic ear pain. Her holistic approach and expansive knowledge left me feeling well cared for. I would recommend her services to anyone looking to truly understand their body and learn how to stay healthy, naturally.”
— Rachelle, Chiang Mai, Thailand
But I have this embarrassing thing…
Before our initial meeting, you will complete a comprehensive health review online. This will give you a chance to put in the details of health issues that you are uncomfortable speaking about.
I see it as my job to make people feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations and to not feel judged. You won’t need to lead the conversation about things that are uncomfortable and I will do everything I can to make you feel at ease (and believe me, I’ve seen it all. You are not the only one with your condition.)
“In one visit, Dr. Shields diagnosed and began successfully treating a condition that has caused a lot of suffering for most of my life. The relief that she has given me is priceless. She is gentle, patient, positive, non-judgmental and full of knowledge. She is the primary doctor our family sees and I recommend her to everyone I know.”
— Stephanie, Oregon, USA
But I’m scared about what I’ll find…
The best way to alleviate the stress and anxiety of the unknown is to monitor your health from year to year. This allows you to catch things in the early stage when the solutions are much easier to implement and have a higher likelihood of success.
But, with that said, sometimes there are pressing health issues that are uncovered during our consultations.
I am here to help you to take action so that you no longer are too afraid to actually assess the situation and come up with a plan.
If an illness is discovered that needs further workup with your local physician or a specialist I will refer you to them.
Should that happen, I often continue to be part of the team in order to provide ongoing support in your treatment, and to ensure that no other areas of your health are compromised while your focus is on the more urgent issue.
“Standard healthcare practices failed me. I had a lot of symptoms but could not figure out what was going on in my body. When I told my doctors about them they would say, “Okay, but let’s first try this medication.” They did not address why I was in constant pain, felt fatigued, lacked energy, and was frequently out of breath. It seemed that they had a specific protocol to follow, addressing issues according to a prearranged checklist no matter what my main concerns were.
So, like a lot of people, I decided to step out of the box and turn to the internet. In my search, Dr. Alexis Shields’s website came up. Reading through the pages of her site I could tell that she would be the right fit for me. And I was right!
Dr. Shields digs deep to assess what problems you are having and the goals that you want to reach. Right from the start, she addressed the most pressing issues I needed for me to FEEL better. This gave me the incentive to start losing the weight I needed to lose. Now I have energy and I am in much less pain! We worked together to find the cause of my symptoms by choosing the RIGHT lab tests. Some of the lab tests she suggested were not part of my standard medical yearly checkup. But the additional tests were primarily responsible for diagnosing my health issues correctly. I am still a work in progress but I was never going to get better with standard medical care.
I now follow an individualized eating plan and coupled with supplements and lifestyle changes my body has responded in ways that I never thought possible. This is the way medicine should be practiced. Isn’t this what health and wellness should be about? This is a simple and effective approach! I highly recommend using Dr. Shields.
I would never have believed it if someone had told me beforehand that the best medical care I would ever receive would be from using an online naturopathic doctor namely, Dr. Alexis Shields. I am so grateful that I found her.”
— Desiree, Virginia, USA
Helping my patients discover the joys of optimal health is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
A lot of doctors get a bad rap for not practicing what they preach, but my own journey through chronic illness has given me a huge appreciation for the difference your health makes to your quality of life.
That’s why I don’t recommend things that I either haven’t tried or wouldn’t do myself. I am constantly working on my own health and experimenting, learning and searching for the best strategies to optimize health in a data-driven way.
A lot of my clients end up coming to me because they feel their doctors have given up on them.
I have never given up on a client, and never will.
If they are willing to put in the work and keep going, I will keep going until we figure it out. I truly believe that good health is the greatest gift life has to offer, and I’m here to help you get it.
If you would like to explore working together, click here to find out how it works.