Today’s episode is an interview with Dr. Lauren Castle, a Functional Medicine Pharmacist. She is also a Functional Medicine advocate, and she educates pharmacists about integrating Functional Medicine into the profession of pharmacy. We also talk about motorcycles in this episode!
Mentioned in this episode
FXMedCE is a great resource for CE and a good place to get started/learn the basics.
Podcast Snap Podcast Consulting Service (Founder Mike Lenz, RPh/voice actor/podcast host)
Dr. Lauren Castle PharmD, MS is the founder of the Functional Medicine Pharmacists Alliance (FMPhA), and she works as a Market Health and Wellness Director for Walmart in Dayton, OH.
She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Ohio Northern University in 2013 and her Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from University of Western States in 2018.
Lauren began her career as a technician for an independent pharmacy in Monroe, MI before moving to Dayton, OH and joining Walmart 9 years ago as an intern. Upon graduating, she spent three years as a Pharmacy Manager in Springfield, OH; Livonia, MI; and Flint, MI before becoming a Pharmacy Clinical Services Manager in the Metro Detroit area. In 2017, she returned to Ohio as a Market Health and Wellness Director for 11 Walmart stores. In 2019, she was selected to attend the Walmart Shareholders Meeting as a social media champion. She has also completed a special project assignment on nutrition initiatives in Health and Wellness at Walmart’s Home Office in Bentonville, AR.
Upon discovering functional medicine in 2015, Lauren began sharing her passion through speaking engagements at the local, state, and national level. Realizing the lack of resources for pharmacists in this emerging field, she founded the Functional Medicine Pharmacists Alliance (FMPhA) in 2017. The goal of the Functional Medicine Pharmacists Alliance is to unite pharmacists, practitioners, patients, and organizations in its mission to integrate pharmacists into the practice of Functional Medicine, and Functional Medicine into profession of pharmacy.
Lauren lives with her husband Seth and their two cats, Olive and Pickle. Together, they enjoy attending concerts, traveling, and riding motorcycles. Lauren currently has a 2017 Harley Davidson Low Rider S.
Highlights from the interview
Lauren is an advocate for Functional Medicine. She is not seeing patients privately at this time. In previous years, she worked as a community pharmacist seeing patients. That’s when she discovered Functional Medicine Pharmacy and started layering it into patient consultations.
What problem do Functional Medicine Pharmacists (FMPh’s) solve for their patients? FMPh’s find how health problems start by looking at the root cause(s). It’s like a puzzle. “Puzzle piecing with patients to see the big picture.”
Two health conditions Functional Medicine Pharmacists can address are diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease.
One resource Functional Medicine Pharmacists like to use is Natural Medicines Database.
Functional Medicine Pharmacists optimize patients’ medication and supplement regiments with nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle choices. You don’t have to get patients off all meds. Instead, ensure medications match indications and are being used appropriately. Once health conditions are under control, de-prescribing in a safe way may be possible.
Functional Medicine Pharmacists are team players. They work together with other providers.
The Functional Medicine Pharmacists Alliance started as a Facebook group after an Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) CE presentation and grew from 15 members to 1,500 members in 3 years. In 2020, a Membership site was launched. Visit www.fmpha.org for resources, discounts, CE, conference information, and [in the future] in-person retreats.
Lauren also does public speaking outside FMPhA. Examples include OPA, MPA, online conferences, and podcasts.
Who joins FMPhA? The target market is pharmacists. It’s a professional pharmacist organization. Pharmacists can learn skills, network with other pharmacists, and get help that is needed to start a Functional Medicine Pharmacy Practice.
Before they encounter the Functional Medicine Pharmacists Alliance, pharmacists wonder, “How do I do this as a pharmacist?” Once they connect, they feel like they have found their tribe! They connect with other FMPh’s, talk about FMPh, and get excited about doing FMPh.
Lauren creates an inclusive environment with FMPhA. Pharmacists need education and best practices. She welcomes them and meets their needs. They can network, learn about business, hear about events, etc.
Lauren is a motorcycle rider! Her current bike is a 2017 Harley Davidson Low Rider S. Her previous two bikes were a 2015 H-D Sportster and a 1974 KZ400 Cafe Racer Bike. Lauren feels it’s critical for pharmacists to have hobbies. Hobbies help prevent burnout. Burnout can even happen when doing too much stuff you love. She loves to be outside and ride with her husband. Lauren learned to ride by participating in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. The hardest part was learning the friction point (clutch).