Bridging the Gap Between Traditional Western Medicine and Functional Medicine with Matt Calkins


Matt was born in Florida and went to the University of Florida for undergrad and medical school (Go Gators!). He got tired of the flatlands of Florida and hiked the Appalachian Trail before medical school, which started his love of hiking.  His wife, the great Laura Buchanan, is also a family medicine resident at Wake. They share a passion for metabolic health and wellness. When not checking their blood sugar by their continuous glucose monitors, they can be seen lifting weights, cycling, playing tennis, hiking, and walking around town. They also enjoy experimenting with their diets and seeing how their metabolic markers change - so far Matt has done 3 months of ketogenic diet and 10 days of whole food plant-based diet. But most of all, they enjoy spending time with their co-residents in the wonderful city that is Winston-Salem! (https://school.wakehealth.edu/residents-and-fellows/c/matthew-william-calkins)


It was wonderful to gain some insight from Matt and learn from him, and I know you'll enjoy this conversation, too.


What you'll hear:


  • Will's background and passion for family medicine (4:53)
  • Bridging the gap between traditional and functional medicine (9:37)
  • Healthcare system incentives and profit margins (11:16)
  • Medical billing and compensation for physicians (17:02)
  • Nutrition and lifestyle design for diabetes management (19:57)
  • Lifestyle changes for improving metabolic health in urgent care settings (21:39)
  • Nutritional interventions and food addiction (31:31) 
  • Food addiction and its application in medicine and the Yale food addiction scale (32:03)
  • The acceptance of low-carb diets in medicine, with a focus on patient education and practitioner pushback (35:45)
  • Using lifestyle interventions for weight loss and improving health outcomes (41:42)
  • Benefits and risks of a ketogenic diet to treat mental illness (47:09)
  • Healthcare system challenges and the importance of patient advocacy (49:45)
  • Diabetes management and the importance of low-carb diets (52:17)
  • Incentivizing doctors to have longer patient conversations for better health outcomes (58:01)

Where to learn more:




Written By

Robert Sikes

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