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Collaborative Medicine is a different style of medicine that is still delivered by a doctor, fully trained as an MD, but with the focus on working 'one on one' with patients. While it has become a bit of a cliche in recent years, we truly aim to engage with the patient and work with them holistically, considering the many aspects of the person, environment, social and health circumstances that impact health and wellbeing. 

While we see patients with a variety of health and wellness issues, our primary focus is on serving the needs of cancer patients and their families.  We provide complementary services to what a traditional oncology practice provides, assisting patients with processing the new and often overwhelming information about their diagnosis, and supporting them in exploring available options and thinking through priorities.  We do not replace the services of a regular oncologist, but rather aim to add to them to improve health and resiliency, prevent additional health problems from developing, and create an environment in the body that does not allow cancer to thrive. 

We work with patients with any stage of cancer, including both patients with early stage cancers and those with metastatic cancer. We also work with patients in any phase of their treatment journey -- from before treatment has begun, to while the patient is also undergoing during traditional treatment methods such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation, to those who have finished traditional treatment.

Working directly with Dr. Houser, a physician also trained in neuropsychology and psychotherapy, we explore and collaborate to set goals the patient chooses -- and then support the patient in getting there.  The focus is on interventions that improve health and create minimal to no side effects.  Typical interventions that patients choose to pursue are guided changes in nutrition, activity patterns, evaluating and improving stress management and social support, creating high quality sleep and rest practices, identifying and avoiding exposures to harmful substances, and mind-body practices, among others.  In some cases, patients benefit most from the opportunity to explore how a disease diagnosis is affecting them, while having the support of a physician therapist who understands the medical and psychological aspects of their condition.

Other common chronic diseases that respond especially well to this type of approach include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. We are also happy to work with patients confronting these issues, or others, as well as those wishing to optimize their health and wellbeing who do not currently have health issues.   

Dr. Houser is a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine trained physician, with a broad background in clinical medicine, teaching, and research.  She is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, the area of medicine especially focused on using the approaches mentioned above, to bring the best possible health and wellbeing to our patients.

Center for Collaborative Medicine

Christine Houser, MD

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