Written and reported by:
Mariah Beckman

Insights from Dr. David Berger

Dr. David Berger, a Florida-based pediatrician, began integrating herbal medicine into his practice in the 1990s. “I read an article in Contemporary Pediatrics journal. It was called ‘Seven Herbs Every Pediatrician Should Know About.’” This compelling article was the start of Dr. Berger’s education. He took it upon himself to learn more about the benefits of herbal and homeopathic medicine during his residency.

During his residency at Tampa General Hospital, he offered patients the opportunity to elect for herbal treatments. For his patients, the outcomes of his natural methods spoke for themselves. He was initially sought out by families of children with autism, and his reputation grew through word-of-mouth as he focused on identifying deficiencies and addressing the root causes of various health conditions, including behavioral and mental health issues linked to the gut-brain connection.

Dr. Berger’s clinic now includes multiple providers, all of whom practice what they preach.  Their approach, once considered niche, is now becoming mainstream. He actively participates in media and lectures, collaborating with organizations like the International Federation of OBGYNs to raise awareness about heavy metal contamination in prenatal vitamins and promoting clean living principles.

As an advocate for transparency, he has led the charge to hold supplement manufacturers to a high standard. There is, he admits, a tremendous amount of skepticism in the medical community about the effects of clean air, clean food and clean living. “There’s a philosophy, Dr. Berger says, “that if I didn’t learn about it in medical school, it can’t possibly be true. That would be true if we were all clones, but we’re all different. But I am a strong believer that the job of a doctor is not to be beholden to prevailing wisdom, but to try and meet people where they are at.”

Dr. Berger envisions the future of healthcare evolving towards a greater integration of holistic and conventional practices. He observes a shift in attitudes, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, with more people recognizing the importance of healthy eating and reducing inflammation. While acknowledging skepticism within the medical community, he emphasizes that his clinic prioritizes patient-centered care, addressing root causes of health issues that traditional medicine may overlook.

His practice attracts patients who are already interested in holistic approaches and seeking alternatives to conventional medicine. “They aren’t finding us through their insurance,” he explained. “Our patients don’t want what traditional medicine has to offer. They want to address the root cause.” There is definitely, he admits, a self-selection bias among the patients at his practice. “They drank the Kool-Aid already, so to speak. The fully organic, naturally-sweetened Kool-Aid, I should say.” Dr. Berger and his team remain committed to a physician-driven model, collaborating with organizations like The Autism Community in Action (TACA) and the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs to further their knowledge and expertise. Through his YouTube channel and education company, Dr. David MD, he continues to focus on issues related to health, education and medical choice.

Getting started

There’s no single prescribed path to becoming a detoxification specialist. Many practitioners, Dr. David Berger tells us, did not formally study detoxification at a university or certificate program. He admits that in the early days of his practice, the bulk of his knowledge came from textbooks and trade publications.

If you don’t have medical training but want to become a detoxification specialist, there are several paths you can take. However, it’s important to note that you cannot legally diagnose or treat medical conditions without a medical license. Your focus would be on non-medical detoxification support, education and coaching.

There are five steps to take in order to become a detoxification specialist. You can complete these with or without a medical degree:

  1. Gain a foundation in holistic healthResearch: Learn about the fundamentals of detoxification, nutrition and holistic health principles through books, articles, documentaries and reputable online resources.
    Enroll in courses: Consider taking online or in-person courses in nutrition, herbal medicine, functional medicine, or other relevant areas to gain a deeper understanding of detoxification processes and modalities.
  2. Get certified in one or more specialtiesDetoxification specialist certification: Several organizations offer online or in-person programs to become a certified detoxification specialist. Look for programs that focus on non-medical approaches and provide comprehensive training in detoxification principles, dietary modifications, supplement recommendations and lifestyle changes.
    Holistic health coach certification: This certification can provide you with the knowledge and skills to guide clients through lifestyle changes, including detoxification, for improved health and well-being.
    Nutrition certifications: Consider obtaining a certification in nutrition, such as a Certified Nutritional Consultant (CNC) or Certified Holistic Nutritionist, to deepen your understanding of the role of diet in detoxification.
  3. Gain experience:Volunteer or intern: Offer your services as a volunteer or intern at wellness centers, health clinics, or detoxification facilities to gain practical experience and learn from experienced practitioners.
    Work with a mentor: Find a mentor who is an experienced detoxification specialist and can guide you in developing your skills and knowledge.
    Start with friends and family: Offer your services to friends and family to gain experience and build testimonials.
  4. Establish your practice:Create a business plan: Develop a business plan outlining your target market, services, pricing, marketing strategy and legal requirements.
    Obtain liability insurance: Protect yourself and your business with professional liability insurance.
    Build your network: Connect with other healthcare professionals, wellness practitioners and potential clients to build your referral network.
    Market your services: Utilize online platforms, social media, workshops and other marketing tools to promote your services and attract clients.
  5. Continue learning:Stay updated: Keep abreast of the latest research and developments in detoxification through continuing education courses, workshops and conferences.
    Network with peers: Connect with other detoxification specialists to share knowledge, collaborate and stay informed about industry trends.
    Remember: As a non-medical practitioner, you cannot diagnose or treat medical conditions. Your role is to provide education, support and guidance to clients seeking to improve their health and well-being through detoxification. Always encourage clients to consult with their doctors for any underlying health concerns and work collaboratively with other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive care.

Ready to begin?

If you’re passionate about helping others, a career as a detoxification specialist may be the perfect fit. Start your journey by researching reputable training programs in detoxification or related fields like holistic health or nutrition.

Next, consider volunteering or assisting at wellness centers to gain practical experience. Consider medical school if you want to extend your reach and touch as many lives as possible with your healing gift.

With dedication, education and a commitment to ethical practices, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a detoxification specialist, empowering individuals to make the most of their bodies and minds.


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