Why I set up my own clinic

Around 4 years ago I experienced a significant health problem which fortunately I overcame. I had always found the traditional ayuverdic medicine appealing due to its simplicity and root cause approach. I have spent 20 years now in Medicine prescribing drugs and asking patients about their side effects and have watched how patients have accumulated medicines and diagnoses over their time with me as their family doctor. It was only about 2 years ago that I first heard about the term “Functional Medicine” and when I sought the definition it seemed to encapsulate everything I sought for myself with my health concerns and also everything I felt I wanted to give to my patients. It focuses on the root cause of disease and not the symptoms, optimising health by identifying triggers, addressing gut health and with the advert of rapid genetic and molecular profiling tests diving deep into patients fundamental body processes. It seemed so logical to me that we should understand the root causes.

We have spent our lives as doctors telling patients to lose weight, exercise more, reduce stress: how stressful must that sounds when those throwaway instructions are given at the end of a busy consultation?. I wanted to offer patients more: more support, more realistic practical, tangible, interesting, achievable goals and not just tell them, help them get there by working with people I liked, trusted, had worked with myself and who are engaging and inspirational practitioners. Consultants in gynaecology who understand the menopause and look at the roles of nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, non hormonal approaches first before reaching for HRT. Sports physiotherapists who look at your gait and posture and address these as well as massaging the sore areas. Acupuncturists and so on. All of this alongside a mainstream conventional family General Practice where if you have a painful ear infection you can be seen quickly and get the antibiotics you need there and then.

Shilpa Dave Ltd. Was born. I thought about a trendy name that had another meaning in Hindi, but then I thought actually its me they are seeing and I hope I am a good doctor and that is it. I struggle with my health and as a mother of three struggle with everyday life and I hope that makes me grounded, empathetic and able to give my personal experience some tangible meaning to my practice.

Clinic: Dr Shilpa Dave at Kirby Chemist, Dental and Medical Centre, 53 High St. Teddington. Tel: 0203303 0326 E: privategpdoctor@gmail.com