Dr. Keith Ungar with Functional Endocrinology of Ohio is a gifted and passionate healthcare provider. He was inspired to become a chiropractor when his father was suffering from back pain (possibly preventing the family vacation) and a chiropractor “fixed” him in 20 minutes. Dr. Ungar was the youngest person in his chiropractic school and since then has acquired thousands of hours of training, certifications and has just finished medical school and is preparing for his boards. He is the author of the book Your Thyroid Chemistry Doesn’t Lie and is in the process of writing a book about natural approaches to reversing diabetes. He is a frequent speaker and coach for medical professionals of all types across the country. In his early years, he travelled with the PGA tour treating various players and was team doctor for several Ryder Cups.
Dr. Ungar’s passion is functional medicine and he has been doing it for the past 20 years. In Functional Medicine, the doctor finds the root cause of various chronic conditions and brings the body back into balance naturally. Dr. Ungar was inspired to go down this road when the traditional medical model was unable to help him with his psoriasis, which covered 90% of his body. After extensive research and study with some of the best mentors in the world, Dr. Ungar was able to take charge of his psoriasis and it is virtually gone. In the process of this, he also helped his sister who had an autoimmune disease and his other sister with her thyroid condition. He has also been able to help his father with various neurological conditions (including balance issues and neuropathy).
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio came into being in 2010, when Caroline Boardman and Dr. Keith Ungar, who had been practicing for 29 years at that point, combined their skills – Dr. Ungar’s clinical genius and Ms. Boardman’s business and legal skills.
How do you make money?
The practice makes money by fulfilling the passions of Dr. Ungar and Ms. Boardman – helping people get their lives back by finding the underlying cause of their health condition and bringing the body back into balance. In most cases, we are able to help our patients lose weight without exercise, and reduce or eliminate altogether their need for medication.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
The business was profitable almost instantly because there were (and still are) so many people who are suffering under the mainstream medical model.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Dr. Ungar and Ms. Boardman had no doubts that the business would succeed. In addition to controlling their own and their family’s health conditions, Dr. Ungar had been practicing natural medicine for years in a different business model.
How did you get your first customer?
The business acquired its first customer from one of many free workshops that Dr. Ungar conducts each month.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
The main strategy the business uses is to educate, educate, educate. Most people are unaware of functional medicine or that there is a different way to address their chronic health conditions. By letting people know that there is hope, the business is able to help more people.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
In the last few months, the practice had to let one of its doctors go. It was a hard decision because he is a good and talented doctor. However, the company culture of the practice is important to Dr. Ungar and Ms. Boardman and he was detracting from that. The philosophy of Functional Endocrinology of Ohio is that patients will see the best health results only if it has happy employees that work as a team.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Dr. Ungar’s passion for his patients and his constant drive to learn, learn, learn. Also, the company prides itself on its public education efforts.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The beauty of working at Functional Endocrinology of Ohio is that the team sees satisfying moments every day. Every day patients (and the team) is in tears when a patient’s health goals have been achieved and their lives regained.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Science is amazing. Because Dr. Ungar has a never-ending passion to learn, Functional Endocrinology of Ohio is excited to see what’s next in healthcare and find out how it can help its patients. Currently, Dr. Ungar is working with various other healthcare providers and the court system on a cutting-edge addiction treatment protocol.
What business books have inspired you?
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman and John Meagher. This book is a great tool for companies that want to create a great corporate culture and enable their employees to reach their best potential.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
With the hire of Dr. David Hardy, DC who holds a diplomate in functional neurology, the practice has purchased equipment and tools to help its patients using various brain-based therapies. Among the conditions treated are dementia, Alzheimer’s, ADD/ADHD, balance issues, sleep problems, anxiety/depression and addiction. Using state-of-art NSI equipment (neurosensory integration), the practice helps people who have a problem processing sensation, which causes difficulties in daily life. Approximately 12-17% of children and even more adults are affected.
Describe your typical patient.
Typical patients are those that have been suffering from a chronic condition for a long time and despite being on medication, they are still suffering. Functional Endocrinology also sees people who have been told that their test results are normal but they continue to suffer with serious symptoms. In both cases, something is being missed. We do the detective work to find out what that is.
What kinds of conditions do you treat?
Functional Endocrinology treats patients with autoimmune conditions, thyroid problems, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, hormone imbalances and numerous brain-related conditions like ADD/ADHD, dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, etc.