Integrative pediatric physicians shift the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach. Functional and integrative pediatricians address the whole person—not just an isolated set of symptoms. We spend more time with our patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. We focus on the whole body, including physical care, oral care, and mental health.
Conventional medicine tends to look at the constellation of symptoms first, which usually results in a disease diagnosis. Now, let me be clear: Conventional medicine is wonderful. There has never been a better, more advanced age of medicine than today. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a very sick child with a bacterial tooth infection get better with a course of antibiotics. But that is not the whole story. There are many instances where the quick fix is not the best path. In fact, there are many times where chronic symptoms in children result from deeper issues and we need to get to the root cause to allow the body to return to a state of balance.
Conventional healthcare separates doctors and dentists based on their specialties (e.g., neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, oral surgery), effectively arranging medical care into separate silos. In contrast, integrative medicine practitioners aim to be the central hub for patient care. That does not mean that we don’t need oral surgeons—nothing could be farther from the truth. These specialists have a deep understanding of their particular fields and are vital parts of the team. Oral health, for example, is an important breach of children’s health that is often overlooked or diminished in importance. Studies have consistently shown that children with poor oral care have higher rates of acute and chronic disease—in other words, the oral disease affects the entire body. In an ideal situation, an integrative pediatrician would work together with a pediatric dentist to treat a child suffering from a tooth infection.
All parts of you and your child’s health comes from the whole body working together! To ensure you are healthy, focus on making each part of your body strong and nourished.
Who is Dr. Warsh?
Dr. Joel “Gator” Warsh is a board-certified Pediatrician in Los Angeles, California who specializes in Integrative Medicine. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, and completed a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology and Community Health before earning his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College. He completed his Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) and has worked in private practice in Beverly Hills before founding his current practice, Integrative Pediatrics and Medicine, in 2018.
Dr. Gator has published research in peer-reviewed journals on topics including childhood injuries, obesity, and physical activity.
He has been featured in numerous documentaries, films, podcasts, and articles including Broken Brain, Dr. Nandi Show, CBS, LA Parent, Adulting like a Motherfather, Feel Good Podcast, and many others.
He is also the owner of IntegrativePediatrics.com and the host of the Integrative Pediatrics Summit. He is also a consultant for high-profile brands in the health and wellness space.