Robert Rountree, M.D.Board-certified family medicine doctor
Robert Rountree, M.D. is a board-certified practitioner of family medicine. He received his M.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill, followed by a residency in family medicine at the Hershey Medical Center. He began his professional career at Wellspring, Partners in Health, in Boulder, CO, a multidisciplinary clinic that was one of the first integrative medicine healthcare centers in the U.S. In 2002, he opened Boulder Wellcare, a private practice specializing in personalized healthcare consulting. Dr. Rountree has coauthored numerous books and written numerous book chapters on integrative and nutritional medicine. He is the long-time Clinical Editor and a regular columnist for the journal, Alternative and Complementary Therapies (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc).
In addition to his clinical practice, he is a long-standing member of the core faculty for the Institute for Functional Medicine. In June, 2015, he was given the Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Award by IFM, in recognition of his years of mentoring and training health care providers. Bob has served for many years as the Chief Medical Advisor for Thorne, a world leader in the development and manufacturing of pure, high-quality nutritional and botanical supplements. Over the past twenty years he has had the opportunity to lecture all over the world to professional and public audiences. Bob is especially passionate about the great outdoors, wild nature and the preservation of biodiversity.
What is your wellness philosophy?
Wellness is an attitude and a dynamic state of being rather than a health condition or a simple checklist of beneficial lifestyle habits. It revolves around a deeply felt sense of personal empowerment that transcends the daily circumstances of life, which can vary with the seasons. Over my four decades of clinical practice, I’ve been repeatedly inspired by clients who have managed to be successful in their life endeavors despite encountering numerous medical disorders—situations which others might consider insurmountable obstacles. By maintaining a positive and resilient attitude in the face of adversity these individuals have been able to achieve success with a wide range of personal and professional goals. Choosing to adopt such a resourceful attitude can instantly change a person’s perspective from suffering to hope—imbuing them with the optimism that anything is possible. That is truly what it means to be well.
What brought you into wellness?
It started with a freshman course in biology—the first time I saw dividing cells under a microscope I was completely hooked on the wonder and the mystery that we call life. As my studies progressed, I became intrigued by the emerging idea that systems biology and chaos-complexity theory could be applied to healthcare—the notion that human beings are prime examples of complex adaptive systems. This is one of the fundamental concepts we teach practitioners of Functional Medicine. The health problems that person is experiencing result from specific, measurable imbalances that can be restored with precise interventions. These interventions need to be in harmony with the system rather than against it. In the same sense that a butterfly flapping its wings could initiate a series of events that sets off a tornado half-way around the world, small but thoughtfully-designed shifts in a person’s lifestyle can have profound effects on their overall health.
What does You. We. All. mean to you?
It’s all about ecology for me. Individual humans are but one part of a vast ecosystem of life on this planet. The physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the individual is critical to the health of society, and the health of society is critical to the health of the planet—we can’t have one without the other. WE are ALL in this together!