GPs and Private Practices The Insync Insurance Podcast

Please Introduce Yourself

Leke: Alright, so hello. Thank you for inviting me. My name is Leke, I’m a GP and functional medicine doctor, and I’m sure the first thing people think is what’s a functional medicine doctor?

It’s a form of alternative or complementary medicine that looks at the root cause of disease and not just treating symptoms. So it really focuses on prevention and root cause medicine as opposed to just symptomatic treatment.

How did you get into medicine?

Speaker 2 00:01:03 It’s medicine. Oh, my dad was a surgeon so I grew up in a medical household. So yeah, he just came by osmosis probably. I’m not a surgeon but at least still in the medical field.
Speaker 1 00:01:15 That’s absolutely brilliant. Did you um, end up having like maybe a different career path that you would’ve taken or was it definitely
Speaker 2 00:01:24 Um, I think I realized surgeon was too busy , so I thought gp, I like variation so I thought GP was the next best thing. But actually GP is actually so busy. Mm-hmm , it’s probably worse than surgery. I don’t know. Depends
Speaker 1 00:01:39 . So my next question is kind of what advice would you give to doctors just starting out?
Speaker 2 00:01:45 Good one. Um, I would say one, keep an open mind. Uh, so listen to patients. Patients might tell you things you don’t know, so medical textbooks haven’t got all the answers and I’d say take care of yourself is so important.
Speaker 1 00:02:02 Oh definitely. Um, thinking a bit, so I know when you first started out, what was something that surprised you when you started as a doctor?
Speaker 2 00:02:13 Surprise me. Hmm. I think the body is quite resilient so it’s not easy to die. I know it sounds weird. Yeah. Your body has very numerous coping mechanisms, so yeah, your body’s quite resilient.

What Prompted you to Branch out into the Private Sector?

Leke: Yeah, so that was due to necessity probably so many years ago. I developed really strange symptoms, gut symptoms, aches and pains being tied all the time. Pins and needles in my fingers, really vague symptoms. So I saw different consultants and different specialties and had all the tests you could imagine and they could never find anything at all. So I thought something must be missing. I didn’t actually just live with it, I just thought they, the best people can’t find it.

I’m just properly a strange person. But when I started the GP training I realized there were lots of patients in the same boat. So that even spurred me more to look for answers. So that’s how I came across functional medicine and researched everything I could find and then I got quite good at it cause I didn’t heal myself after seeing lots of practitioners and reading everything I could find, going to different conferences, then I thought, ‘oh I think I’m onto something here’. I can help other patients. And that’s how I started Gut Health Medic and yeah, to help patients with similar vague symptoms. Typically, chronic disease things which GPs can fix things which consultants can fix.

Dawn: That’s amazing. So obviously you’ve kind of found that over your own issues, which is, you know, not necessarily the best way to start off with the business idea, but then you kind of find almost a gap where actually not all of the things is as simple to diagnose, which is a shame, but unfortunately. But at the same time, it’s great because you’ve actually come to this realization about Gut Health Medic and helping other people.

Could you go into more depth about Gut Health Medic?

Leke: So when I started about three years ago, I was quite lucky the demand was quite high. So I’ve actually got up about six months wait now, unfortunately. And after Covid, well Covid in a way obviously helped me. I mean, because people developed really strange symptoms from Covid I think. And I think the prolonged lockdowns also maybe increased people’s stress levels in a way. So I had lots of demand from that side of things.

And then, the GP work also increased exponentially. So I was actually struggling to cope with both things. And that’s why I’m trying to launch online courses now with certain pre-made courses which can help people and that way more people can be helped. And then I still run one-to-one consultations, but I’m hoping the courses will be able to cater for a larger audience. But yeah, anything with gut symptoms, ache and pains, stress craving, poor immunity, tired all the time, that sort of thing I deal with.

How have you found working in the Private Sector?

Leke: So how do you start? I think just do it like Nike? So once there’s a gap in the market or there’s a need, then you can then fill the gap. So what was the question? Yeah, how do you do it practically?

Dawn: Yeah, I guess just kind of, you know, how you found trying to go into private, you know, was there any kind of like roadblocks or anything?

Leke: All right. Yeah, yeah, that’s what you mean. Yeah. So when I had the idea I thought, okay, how do I get started? So look for a company name and most people go for a logo, but then that’s the least important thing. But people think a logo gives you identity. Mm. And then you’ve gotta look for a website kind of builder, and you get the website going. And then the most difficult part is getting patients. I think it’s called marketing client acquisition. That’s quite difficult in the NHS. The government give you patience; you just gotta see them. You’re not looking for a patient in the private sector.

A patient is, you’ve got to attract patients by content or by word of mouth or whatever blogs. So it is more difficult from that point of view cuz you need to attract a client and the NHS as long as you’re in the catchment area and there’s a GP there, that is it. And then you’ve got the issue of billing, you know, and then website, uh, hitches here and there. It’s a whole different world, actually the private world. But yeah, once you can get a client then that’s the most difficult part done. You just thought to then deliver a service.

Do you have any Memorable lessons to share?

Leke: Memorable lessons? Yeah, always deliver what you promise. That’s important. Timekeeping is very important, very clear notes and communication is very important. For most patients with chronic disease, you need time for them to heal. So it’s very important to let the client know it could take a few weeks, it could take months, it could even take years. So that’s very important. Uh, and what else? I think those are the main ones.

Dawn: Could you tell me a bit more about your book, which is how to stay ahead of your doctor and influence your health? That sounds really interesting.

Leke: Yeah, sure. So when I learned all these different techniques of vitamins, minerals, microbiome, all these things from functional medicine, I thought gosh, I think I should share this knowledge. And so I wrote the book but also I thought how can I help NHS patients get the best out of GP consultations? Because I think there’s a disconnect between what patients expect and what GPS can provide. And I saw that ever since I started GP training, we’ve got 10 minutes, but a patient could have 40 symptoms.

You know, if it’s just one thing for consultation, then they get a bit stumped. And also, I think 10 minutes by nature causes anxiety. Some patients, cause if I’ve got 10 minutes, you know I’m not organizing, you know, I’m gonna mess it up. Mm. So I thought, so I’ve gone through how doctors diagnose disease, you know, how doctors think about stuff and how to present your symptoms using a simple pneumonic, so little shortcuts to help patients and that way you help the doctor get to the right diagnosis as well.

Leke: So it’s very important. So I also included a chapter on how the NHS works cause patients don’t seem to know. Patients sometimes say ‘I can’t get hold of a GP’. Well if you call out of hours after six for example, I’ve got friends who don’t know about out of hours they don’t know it exists.

So I’ve kind of mentioned that in the book and other allied health professionals like opticians and audiologists, there are other things you can access without coming to see a GP and I’ve got a part of how the body works, for example. So there’s quite a lot in there, and I think it’s really a good book to empower patients cuz the way the NHS is going now, we’d need to empower ourselves even more cuz we’re depending on doctors and clinicians to do all the work is it could take a long time. So yeah, no just making the patient a brilliant step ahead.

Dawn: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s quite interesting as well. Cause you know, if you are, if you’re able to feel more prepared for the appointment or you know, you’ve gone okay, I wanna talk about the symptoms, which is the most worrying or concerning for me, then it, you know, it is great because obviously, you can almost kind of get to where you need to be faster in the long run as well.

Because then it might help give a hint or even if you end up doing your own research a bit, just like, you know, could it be this, this and this. And then it also narrows it down quickly for a doctor. There’s so much to consider under the entirety of the umbrella of how a human body works and how it can also go wrong or have an issue. So I think that’s amazing. Have you had much, um, feedback about the book? What have people said?

Leke: Yeah, it’s all got five-star reviews, so that’s something. I’ve got emails saying, you know, well done, this is such a good book. We, we wish we had read this book, you know, 10 years ago. So yeah, it’s really, it took me six, seven years to write that book. That could take a long time long. So yeah, it better be good. I’ve had such good feedback, I’m quite pleased.

Dawn: That’s very good, and well, obviously, it’s taken a while, but it’s obviously very thorough because it’s just nothing but five stars, which is amazing. Congratulations.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Leke: Yes, so I’ll be launching online courses in the next few weeks. I’ve got courses like how to boost your immune system, which many people are having D courses with now, how to stop sugar cravings, how stress affects your gut and overall health. And yeah, keep an eye on the website, gut health or you can find me on Instagram at Gut Health Medic or TikTok. Try to get on there at Gut Health Medic.

Dawn: That sounds brilliant. I’ve got one last question if I may. Obviously, if you know someone listening who may be experiencing some gut health issues or overall just, just feeling just not quite themselves, what would you recommend the first step they do? Whether it’s, you know, maybe some foods they could try or, you know, what, what would be your first tidbit of advice?

Leke: Oh, easy cut-out processed foods. So that means, yeah, so refined vegetable oils that’s quite bad for you. Lots of sugar including fruit juice, a hundred per cent fruit juice, same things all loaded, sugar glue, it is out, cut that out and process dairy, pasteurized dairy, that’s quite bad for you. That’s the first step. Once you do that, then you can concentrate on the whole foods, and then it’s fine-tune it. But the first step is to get rid of processed foods.

Dawn:That’s very sound advice. Well, thank you so much for coming on today. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to come here.

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