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Episode 19: Awakening a New Paradigm of Medical Care

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“I realized that with functional medicine, a lot of this truly is an educational experience for the patient. As opposed to a pill that I give you, it’s an education,” explains Amy Drab, MPAS, PA-C. Amy is a Physician’s Assistant turned Functional Medicine Practitioner with her own practice, Awaken Functional Medicine. She adds value to her practice by including educational programming for her clients through Awaken Academy. 

Amy became interested in functional medicine after seeing how it helped her own children with their health issues. One of her daughters was struggling with asthma and was on four medications while the other had colic. When she made the switch to functional medicine, both of her daughters’ health improved and her daughter with asthma was able to get off medication entirely.

Amy realized that a lot of functional medicine comes down to educating patients so that they understand why certain lifestyle changes and supplements are important and are empowered to make the right choices. She combined her experience working in family practice with her experience working as a college professor and found that they were a perfect combination for effectively educating clients about functional medicine.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to hear more about the importance of education in functional medicine and the role it plays in creating more successful health outcomes for patients.

About Amy Drab MPAS, PA-C, Founder of Awaken:

Amy Drab is a mother of 3 girls, devoted wife, physician assistant and previous associate professor of education at Kettering College of Medical Arts. She has over 24 years of experience as a physician assistant. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Professions/Physician Assistant from Kettering College of Medical Arts and her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska. She has practiced in the specialties of family practice, OB/GYN, urgent care, and emergency medicine and she is an IFM (Institute for Functional Medicine) certified practitioner. She has worked at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Her passion is to educate patients regarding the root causes of their health issues, inspire them to make the changes needed and then empower them with the necessary tools to be an active participant in the healing process. This is truly where healing begins.

Common conditions that she treats include (but not limited to): autoimmune diseases, chronic digestive issues (such as IBS and food sensitivities), thyroid disease, menopause/perimenopause, PMS, polycystic ovarian disease, anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, cognitive decline, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mold/mycotoxin illness, heavy metal toxicity, and stealth infections.

In addition to her interest in functional medicine, Amy enjoys hanging out and relaxing with her sweet hubby, 3 beloved girls, Chewie the puppy, and Olive Drab the kitty cat. She also enjoys running, yoga, paddle boarding, and exploring the great outdoors with her family.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • Healing is body, mind and spirit. It address all 3 in your patients.
  • Don’t ask what the world needs. Instead ask what makes you come alive and then do it! Because what the world needs is people who have come alive (paraphrase from Howard Thurman)
  • Everything that you go through in life prepares you for the next experience you are going to have. Cherish the good experiences and realize that value of the difficult experiences as well.


  • “Sometimes you feel like you’re on a path. And you are convinced this is where you’re supposed to be. And it doesn’t turn out. It’s not what you thought it would be. And it ultimately ends up giving you the information, the knowledge, the wisdom, the understanding, the courage, whatever it is, to actually move forward and actually do what you were born to do.” (7:54-8:18 | Amy)


  • “I was starting to get burnout anyway because I was in family practice at that moment in time. And you’re just seeing patients for 10 minutes, throwing medication at them, and running out the door. And I thought to myself, that’s not healing.” (10:52-11:03 | Amy)


  • “I realized that with functional medicine, a lot of this truly is an educational experience for the patient. As opposed to a pill that I give you, it’s an education.” (15:21-15:31 | Amy)


  • “When you’re with a patient, I think it’s important to do three things: educate, inspire, and empower.” (20:13-20:21 | Amy)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Dr. Amy Drab:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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