FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The general concept is that of looking for potential underlying causes for the symptoms or condition ( e.g genetic, environmental factors, nutritional deficiencies, stress, emotional factors) – as opposed to merely giving a medication to treat the symptom without due consideration of why it occurred in the first place. There is consideration into underlying biochemistry, physiology and genetics. When using the word “integrative” , that relates to combining a range of modalities to treat the person e.g. conventional medicine approach but also using herbal medicine or whichever modality that particular practitioner is familiar with. Alternative medicine is a term sometimes given for anything that differs from conventional, mainstream medicine, as most people know it- i.e it is alternative to the common approach, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is an inferior approach. For example, Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine would be considered alternative but in fact are highly researched and practiced medicinal systems with much evidence to support, not to mention thousands of years of use!

The difference in terms also relates to the name of the institution. For example, in the U.S, the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is one of the main bodies training Doctors and other health professionals. In the U.S and Australia, there is A4M and A5M (American and Australasian {respectively} Academies of Anti-Ageing Medicine). In Australia, ACNEM (Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine) is the main organization who arranges training for practitioners. The methods and emphasis on teachings differ, but generally the outcome is that of looking for and balancing the underlying factors and not necessarily going straight to medication. We have to see what’s causing the fire and address that – not just blow out the smoke!

Most Doctors practising this type of Medicine are fully qualified medical doctors, many of whom are GP’s/ Family Physicians- who have then undergone varying amounts of additional training in this field. Functional Medicine can be considered as a specialty in it’s own right. It takes years of further post-graduate self-directed and self-financed learning (through, courses, conferences and post-graduate examinations) to learn and keep up-to-date with this ever-growing field. The exact training done will vary amongst practitioners depending on their own interests.

This is additional training well above and beyond standard General Practice. Hence, it would not be feasible for most practitioners to bulk bill, as applies to any specialty.

There are 3 options- to be seen in person in the Northern Beaches or Sydney CBD clinic or via Skype (online).

Northern Beaches Care Centre, Narrabeen – to be seen in person at the Northern Beaches clinic, bookings can only be made directly with the clinic. Do NOT use the online booking system.

Macquarie Street Clinic – to be seen in person at the Sydney CBD clinic, bookings must be made online via the booking system on this website. Payment is required at time of booking. Cancellation policy does apply – please read carefully.

Skype (online) consultations – bookings must be made online via the booking system on this website. Payment is required at time of booking. Cancellation policy does apply- please read carefully.

Yes, this is open for both new patients and for follow-up of any existing patient. Please read the Disclaimer.

As a new patient, this service does not replace your existing Family Physician. As we cannot conduct a physical examination, if it is advised that you consult your regular Doctor, for examination or any particular investigations, you are advised to undertake and comply with medical advice as part of your management.

It is advisable that the first appointment is in person at either clinic. If you are unable to attend either clinic, skype consultation is preferred initially. After the first appointment, either phone or skype consults are possible.
Northern Beaches – Please make a note of your appointment time and allow enough time to travel to the clinic. You will be called by the clinic at least a day before to confirm your appointment time. If you cannot attend, please contact the clinic to cancel or reschedule.

City clinic or Skype – If you have opted for the consultations with questionnaires- will receive a link to 3 comprehensive questionnaires using dedicated Functional Medicine software, which must be filled out at least 48 hours prior to the appointment.

The payment for the initial consultation reflects the time needed to examine your case following submission of your forms. This allows us to delve deeper within the consultation as much of the relevant details have already been covered. This ultimately saves time for you and allows for a more efficient system. Within 3 working days, a comprehensive management plan will be emailed to you.

If you have opted for the option without any prior questionnaires, please attend your appointment on time. No other prior preparation is required.

Northern Beaches – Please allow an extra 10 minutes to fill in a brief form prior to the appointment time. The consultation will address the relevant history and an appropriate examination will be done with a management plan (investigations, treatment) and the timing of the next appointment discussed.

City or as a Skype Consult – If you have booked the consultation with questionnaires, we will go through a thorough discussion of the information given and discuss management (e.g. further investigations that need to be done, treatment). A written plan will also be emailed to you within 3 working days.

For all consultations, bring with you or have available –

  • Investigation reports – e.g. x rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, functional tests. You do not have to bring the actual Radiological images such as the scans or x rays themselves.
  • Correspondence – relevant letters from other specialists and practitioners (including GP’s, naturopaths, nutritionists). If referred by another practitioner, a brief letter will be useful- but not essential.
  • Medications and supplements- Either bring in a detailed list including pictures of the ingredients OR you can bring in all the actual medications/supplements. A list is sufficient if you have had time to prepare it.

Northern Beaches – In addition to the above, please also bring with you:

  • Brief, chronological SUMMARY of your medical history.
  • A typical 7 day FOOD DIARY – all meals, snacks and liquids – (Yes, everything! – and please don’t specifically change this just before your consult!
Following each consult, you will be advised when to make the next follow-up appointment. Generally, these will be for 30 mins duration. If a longer time is required, you will be advised accordingly. All follow-up consultations are charged pro-rata.
Following consultation, this can be discussed and then booked in agreement with yourself and Dr Gajjar. Currently, this is not a service that is booked online.

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