Weight management is such a complex, multi-factorial issue that I feel like practicing with most people without the support of a great team is almost unethical. Anita Cochrane, in her research on interdisciplinary teams for weight, identified four main components of an effective team, in this order (1) Psychologist (2) Dietitian (3) Physical activity and (4) Medical doctor, and I believe ALL are necessary for lasting success! On top of this core team may be physiotherapists, podiatrists, and massage therapists, support groups, and even the bariatric surgeon, depending on your requirements.
For me this week, having had a shoulder injury requiring surgery this week, the importance of being taken care of by a great interdisciplinary team could not be any clearer. I am so fortunate to have had a near-perfect experience, thanks to my multidisciplinary team of experts at Queensland Sports Medicine Clinic. So what did this team all have in common? These are the key components I feel make an effective team, why I chose them for my recovery, and what you should look for in developing your “weight management corner”.
(1) They are all experts in their field. When I asked Scott Fraser, my physio, about the surgeon he was recommending, his response was “he’s the shoulder surgeon we use with the Brisbane Lions” to which I responded “Ok, he’ll do!”. I don’t want someone who dabbles working on me and neither do you!
(2) They are team players. It is important each part respect the whole. Scott recognized this was one he couldn’t fix without an MRI, a good GP, and possibly a surgeon and was quick to refer to people he knew well and worked closely with. Your team should know each other well, talk regularly, and be on the same page about how to improve your overall wellbeing.
(3) They understand you. It is important you that you are being listened to and are getting what you need. For example, my surgeon, Dr. James Fardoulys, doing martial arts himself, understood that, for me, getting back to jogging and weights was not enough – I needed to heal enough to do what I loved! Your team should be considering themselves as the experts in their area and you as the expert on yourself!
(4) They care for you. You should get a feeling that they care for you, they want what’s best for you, and you like each other. My GP, Dr. Keiran Miles asked the surgeon to get me in ASAP, and he did – as such today I am in recovery rather than on a wait-list. Your team being willing to go that extra mile is as important for your success as any of the other factors.
At WMP, our team, or should I say YOUR TEAM, is expert dietitian Sara O’Neill, physical activity expert Heath Mackintosh, and myself. Along with a wonderful referral network of dietitians, doctors, body composition experts and many other great professionals, we’re looking to develop a team of experts that communicate with you and each other, and get the top-notch results you want with a bit of professional love along the way! I must say with my experience this week I’m even more motivated to be a core part of the best team for weight management in Queensland!