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An Integrative Medicine Doctor’s First-Hand Account of the Pandemic

I was given an opportunity to be one of the first group of physicians worldwide to be deployed to go and help patients with COVID-19 in one of the hardest-hit parts of the world: New York City.

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Dr Rahi Nyc Covid Hospital

At the dawn of COVID my personal integrative medicine practice was in its 2nd year and then the biggest shutdown happened – that was the start of COVID where everything was in the grey area including whether or not doctor’s offices stayed open. I chose to close my office and sat at home for a few weeks.

It’s always when one door closes then another opens, at least for me it always is.

I was given an opportunity to be one of the first group of physicians worldwide to be deployed to go and help patients with COVID-19 in one of the hardest-hit parts of the world: New York City. The answer was simple – yes I should go. I had the time, I had the skills to be a proficient hospitalist and I knew that I am healthy enough to withstand whatever outside virus that comes my way. I stayed in NYC for 2.5 months. I saw it like most will never see it again but I also managed to fall in love with the city – with its empty streets and persistently rainy days. It was a time of growth for myself both as a physician and as a human with the potential to be infected with COVID-19.

My convictions for Integrative Medicine and the work that I was doing and the practice that I was creating in Los Angeles rang truer than ever before.

Studies were popping up showing the link between obesity and COVID-19 severity, links between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity, studies of gut health, and COVID-19 severity. I realized that helping in the acute setting was noble and worthwhile… But given my extensive training in Integrative Medicine and my passion and ability to connect with others, I would serve much better when focusing on how to incorporate Integrative Medicine into the lives of my patients and those in my community – be it social media or word of mouth. 

Over the past year since the introduction of COVID into all our lives, there have been significant shifts that have happened to all of us. I have spent the past year working on learning more about myself, my body and how to build resilience and strength. Should I ever cross paths with any infection I can use my body’s best defense mechanism – my immune system to keep me healthy and strong regardless of what comes my way. 


I have really been able to shift gears in my practice and bring a more patient-centered approach to healing for my patients. By improving myself, optimizing my brain, giving myself the clarity that I need as a provider. I am able to bring the same tools to my patients so that they can to achieve healthier lifestyles; Which includes diet, lifestyle, connection with a source of spirituality, and understanding the connections that all of this has on our ultimate health.  

By fine-tuning yourself with specialized lab testing, specific supplements, hormonal replacements as needed, and balancing of all your body head to toe it is possible to feel good on a daily basis, it is possible to not be labeled that ‘chronic patient’ whether you are prone to recurrent sinus infections, or have crippling anxiety that leaves you unable to leave the home, or you’re on a list of pharmaceuticals whose names you cannot seem to pronounce – there are ways to feel better. To feel that you are functioning at your highest capacity in this given moment by using treatments and methods using the best medicines that the world has to offer.


Traditionally Western Medicine has focused on treating the illness once it is a tangible experience in your life and body – but now with the advancement of technology, science, and a better understanding of the human body.

We know that the best approach to healthcare is prevention, optimization and working in a setting where both the provider and patient feel at ease working together towards a common goal.


The future of medicine is big and beautiful now that the art of Integrative Medicine has brought together the magic of medicine from around the world – I encourage everyone to get to know their bodies and participate actively in their own healthcare.

To get in contact with me please go to my site www.doctorrahi.com

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