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The Game-Changer: Russell Greenfield, MD

Updated: Feb 6

Russell H. Greenfield, M.D. serves as Sr. Director of Employee Whole Health for the Whole Health Institute. He is responsible for partnering with individual employers in the strategic development of Whole Health programming and associated data analysis to capture and communicate impacts on employees and operating costs. Most recently, he was the medical director of Integrative Medicine for Novant Health, with headquarters in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Dr. Greenfield completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center as well as a Chief Resident Fellowship at the same institution. After moving to Charlotte, he became involved in the Emergency Medicine residency program at Carolinas Medical Center and was subsequently honored as the inaugural recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was one of the first four physicians to graduate from the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at The University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1999.

Dr. Greenfield was founding medical director of Carolinas Integrative Health, a freestanding center owned and operated by Carolinas HealthCare System (now Atrium Health), and a consultant in the development of U.S. national model guidelines for the use of complementary and alternative therapies. He has worked with a variety of organizations promoting employee and community integrative well-being initiatives including Harris Teeter supermarkets, the Veterans Health Administration, Levine Cancer Institute, and Wake Forest Baptist Health. He is co-author of Healthy Child, Whole Child, named “Best Parenting Guide 2001” by the editors at, and editor of Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, Mind Over Meds (2017). Dr. Greenfield was a medical reviewer for Reader’s Digest and has consulted with the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA).

Dr. Greenfield’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Special – The opportunity to interact with people in their hour of need, and to share our knowledge to improve their lives is special.

Number 2: Service – This is what we are called to do. It’s very easy to lose track of the privilege to live in service.

Number 3: Sabbath – I take the Sabbath, but not in a religious standpoint. Define a time in which you WILL NOT WORK.

Connect with Dr. Greenfield:

Notable quotes from Dr. Greenfield’s interview:

I think the majority of us were called to the healing profession through the humanities. And part of the shame of that is that once we are accepted into school, we never touch upon those humanities again unless it’s on our free time. That is one of the failings of medical training.
I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to return to a small town, and be the small town family doctor.
You never knew at any moment of your 12 hour shift what was coming through the door.
I couldn’t help to but notice that in my shifts in the Emergency Department, I was one of the only people happy there. The patients were certainly unhappy. The nursing staff, chronically understaffed, were unhappy. The doctors that we would call in in the middle of the night – very unhappy. The administrators typically unhappy, Insurance companies – VERY unhappy. I would look around and say “Something is wrong here.”
How do we make healthcare really about health question?
It was that nascent desire to be part of a movement rather than a new field of medicine that really called to me.
We often believe we are stuck, even though we are not.

Access the Show Transcript Here

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