FEATURED ACAM MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Biljana Kostovic, MD, CFPC, CCFP
Upper Room Clinic
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | 647-521-8024
Biljana Kostovic, MD
Dr. Biljana Kostovic, MD, CFPC, CCFP is a chronic pain specialist with 30 years' experience as a physician. Learn more about Dr. Kostovic on her website.
1. Can you please tell us about yourself and how you got into integrative medicine?
- After being an ER physician for over 25 years, I needed a change of pace, first of all. I didn’t get into integrative medicine right away. I first found pain management, something that was a personal calling for me since I had struggled with chronic pain myself for so many years.
- After doing pain management for a few years, I realized that my patients could be benefitting more. So did they. I had some patients ask me to prescribe them cannabis and so my investigation into alternative forms of pain management began.
- Learning about cannabis lead to uncovering the world of integrative medicine and how effective it was for pain management. I began taking courses, reading obsessively and integrating this knowledge into my practice.
- The results that I was seeing with my patients made me keep going and looking for more ways to help. Whatever small amount I had learned by then affecting their conditions so positively I wondered what impact a larger scope of knowledge could have.
- When I discovered IFM I felt that I had found the type of integrative medicine I wanted to practice.
- Functional Medicine was perfect because it not only encouraged me to consider the spiritual health of my patients but also taught me how to do so using a system so that my methods were consistent.
2. How did you hear about ACAM?/Why did you decide to become a member of ACAM?
- I think community is one of the most important aspects of wellness and heard that ACAM is incredibly supportive and welcoming.
- As a practitioner beginning an integrative practice I wanted to join communities that resonated with my values so that I could be a part of something greater than my individual practice.
- It’s one thing to practice integrative medicine by yourself, but if we’re thinking about making a positive impact on healthcare as a whole, working together and sharing our practices is important.
3. What are you looking forward to with being a member of ACAM?
- Hearing from other physicians and forming a network of practitioners that I can work with to provide our patients with the best care.
- I also never stop learning so I am excited for future events and education opportunities
4. What advice would you give to students and early career practitioners?
- Make up your own mind, be curious and get to know the system.
- Make up your own mind because it is your practice at the end of the day so make sure that you are learning the things and engaging with material that will make you happy to call yourself a physician in the long run.
- Be curious because unless we are open to learning about new things, we rarely notice them even when they are presented to us. Keeping an open mind is especially important right now because medicine is changing so rapidly.
- What I mean about getting to know the system is as a physician, there are many ways to practice and engage with patients. It’s important to know where you stand and what are your options. Also, if you’ve got an idea of the kind of practice you’d like to have, getting familiar with the multitude of avenues of getting there is essential to choosing the right path for you.
5. Ozone Therapy: your professional history with it?
- I discovered ozone therapy a few years ago, just as I was settling down on the type of integrative practice I wanted to have. When I discovered the health benefits and the efficacy it had on helping the conditions that my patients were struggling with I had to try it myself.
- After trying the treatment myself it didn’t take much for me to want to learn everything about it.
- I found the leaders in the area and began training with them, learning how to use ozone for chronic pain to enlarged prostates.
6. Dr. Kostovic's final message to patients?
- I like to think that we’re all here for something bigger than ourselves and a part of it is cultivating the best version of yourself. The physical body is part of that picture and is the easiest to start getting to know and healing. No matter what you are going through right now, know that you are able to heal yourself because you know yourself best. You can heal yourself by learning about what you need, finding the right healthcare providers and being dedicated to your healing journey. Always keep going and know that anything is possible.
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