FAQ

Integrative Medicine
This is a complex question that one could write an entire book about.

In essence, integrative medicine is a relatively new field that is gaining ground with acceptance and utilization by doctors and prospective clients.

From a doctor’s point of view, there is enormous re-training that is necessary to become proficient in integrative medicine. This makes it difficult for established doctors to make the change. From a broader perspective, the better approach is to bring integrative medicine into the training programs at the university level, and change doctor’s minds early in their careers. This process is already underway at some of North America’s cornerstones of medical education.

Please see my 3 part Future of Medicine series where I fully describe the incorporation of integrative medicine into the mainstream.

“It is our feeling that change will happen gradually in the system, and in the future, integrative medicine will simply be called medicine.”

Absolutely! Despite the belief of many conventional doctors, there is a huge wealth of science that studies non-pharmaceutical approaches to health.

Unfortunately, such articles do not make their way into mainstream journals (such as NEJM and JAMA), as there is a significant political process in determining which articles are presented in these high powered journals.

You can refer to a variety of integrative medicine journals and websites to learn more about the evidence behind our therapies:

We offer a combination of oral, topical (skin application), vaginal, and sublingual hormone therapy to any given patient.

Each of these methods has pros and cons, and they differ per hormone.

Our doctors have gone through extensive training, and have a wealth of treatment experience to help determine the correct dosage and route of administration for you.

Through Dr. Dionne, we also offer the Wiley Protocol, which is a dynamic cycling hormone regimen that is beneficial for some patients.

Please note that you should have your custom hormone prescription filled at a compounding pharmacy experienced in this practice. Our staff can provide a list of reputable pharmacies.

Who We Treat
Please visit our Conditions We Treat page for a full listing and explanation of the common cases that we address.
We see a variety of adult men and women of all ages. Our areas of interest do not include pediatrics. Our patients encompass a wide range, including:

  • Healthy people interested in age optimization
  • Athletes looking for peak performance
  • Men and women experiencing mid-life hormonal changes
  • Patients with complex medical symptoms
  • Patients with diagnosed diseases who want to incorporate natural therapies with their current pharmaceutical approach

Integrative medicine is truly designed to look at the whole body, and anyone can benefit from such an approach.

Yes. Balance Medical Center welcomes all patients living in Canada.

All patients are required to undergo a one-time initial consultation in person at our Vancouver clinic. Follow up appointments will then be conducted by phone or video teleconference.

If your case is looking more complex, and requires an in-person consult, your physician will either refer you to your family doctor, or request that you make a trip to Vancouver for an in-person assessment.

Responsibility of care
Referrals from family doctors are not required.

We will see patients who are referred by their doctor, but the majority of our patients contact us directly.

Our doctors do not require a referral from your doctor. As such, reports will not be automatically sent to your family doctor. If you would like to have copies sent, please let our office know and they will kindly arrange to do so.

We are also happy to engage in discussion with any of your treating doctors if it is in the best interest of your case.

The physicians at Balance Medical Center do not practice family medicine. They are highly trained specialists practicing preventative and integrative medicine.

You are encouraged to see your family doctor for general health issues and routine care.

If you are looking for a family doctor, you can contact the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC at 604.733.7758 or visit the their website  for a list of doctors accepting new clients.

Treatments
Balance Medical Center is a specialty integrative medicine clinic. Our doctors are well versed in the mainstream medical system, and we add in a holistic and comprehensive approach to treating patients. The result is a more patient-centered approach which involves a health team which looks at your case individually.
Partially. Much of the care that we offer is considered to be routine medical care, and those visits are paid for by MSP. We do however add in a wealth of additional services in our clinic to enhance the delivery of medical care. These services are paid for by our annual fee. These additional services are mandatory for all clients, since they form the foundation for optimal treatment by our physicians.

Please visit our Medical Fees and Naturopathic Fees pages for further details.

Our services are fully covered if you have access to an extended health plan that utilizes a health spending account. There are also insurance offerings that allow self-employed business owners to write off medical expenses as a business expense.

In all cases, services are paid for by the patient. We will provide a full itemized receipt which you can use for reimbursement from your provider.

Our annual packages are designed for the development and utilization of a health team that can dedicate time to educate you and completely and holistically treat your case.

The full offerings of the annual packages can be found in our Medical Fees page.

Over the course of one hour, your doctor will become familiar with your personal health history. This involves reviewing your intake form, having a detailed discussion about your health, and reviewing existing medical records, and conducting a focused physical exam. Based on the initial findings, appropriate lab testing will be ordered. All of your labs will be reviewed at your second one hour consult, and a formal treatment plan will be initiated.

Along the way, you will be invited to partake in a variety of group seminars, which are set up by the clinic.

Your physician will utilize a combination of public and private lab testing to best assess your case. In general, the public labs will help to rule out diseases and to offer insight into the metabolic function of the body.

Private lab testing is useful to more accurately determine hormones, nutrients, oxidative stress markers, genetic markers, heavy metals, and many more. Please see private lab testing for a complete listing of the lab tests we use.

We currently offer a weight loss program that uses hormone therapy in conjunction with a specific diet to yield a weight loss response. See weight loss program for further details.
Laboratory Testing
Our physicians are fully able to order testing through MSP on annual fee clients. Our physicians strictly follow the guidelines of the Laboratory Services Act of BC.

This states that physicians can only order publicly funded lab tests for the diagnosis and treatment of a medical symptom or disease. If a lab test is considered to be ‘not medically necessary’, the physician will bill you privately for this test.

Yes, the new laboratory Services Act of BC (LSA) came into effect in October of 2015. As of summer of 2016, all physicians have been notified to strictly adhere to its guidelines.

This act states that medical doctors can only order labs which are medically required to investigate a particular symptom or illness. Any lab which is considered to be preventative or in the interest of health optimization must be paid for privately by the patient.

We have a large range of private pay lab testing which can be ordered on patients in the interest of health optimization, or in the functional assessment of a patient’s health. Please see our diagnostic testing page for further details.
Our doctors have been educated in the evaluation of blood, saliva, and urine analysis of hormones.

As a general rule, we have found that urine hormones provide the most accurate and detailed view of the entire hormone cascade.

Our preferred test for evaluating hormones is the DUTCH test – dried urine test for comprehensive hormones.