Expert Profile - Andrew Heyman
Dr. Andrew Heyman, MD, MHSA
Functional Medicine Physician
Dr. Andrew Heyman’s Bio:
Andrew Heyman, MD MHSA is an internationally recognized expert in Integrative and Metabolic Medicine. He is currently the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at The George Washington University and is responsible for overseeing graduate education and multiple degree programs, research, and clinical services, and managing an interdisciplinary faculty of health professionals. Dr. Heyman created the first Masters degree in Integrative Medicine in the United States within a major academic center and developed additional graduate curricula in Nutrition, Metabolic Medicine and Performance, Men’s Health, Biotoxin exposure and Neurodegeneration, and Administrative Health Services in Wellness settings. He holds dual Board certifications in Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.
Prior to assuming this role, he spent 16 years at the University of Michigan, serving to build one of the largest and most successful academic-based Integrative Medicine programs in the United States.
He is also the Director of Academic Affairs for the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and oversees the training of 1000s of medical professionals each year on the topics of Anti-aging, Integrative, Metabolic, and Nutritional Medicine. His responsibilities include oversight of oral and written Board exams, development of graduate-level online and in-person education modules, evidence-based review of lecture material and curricular content, faculty selection and oversight, obtaining CME certification for all events, individual mentorship of physician learners, and worldwide lecture responsibilities.
Dr. Heyman has held several leadership positions in the field of Integrative Medicine. He was the national clinical working group co-chair of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine for 4 years, a collaboration of 57 North American universities involved in Integrative Medicine. He is the online editor for the Journal of Men’s Health in the section of Integrative Medicine, and he also holds the position of Editor-In-Chief of the Internet Journal of Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine. His research interests include Stress response and NeuroEndocrinology, Cardiometabolic Disease, Men’s Health and Neuroinflammation, and Genomics of Biotoxin Exposure.
What life events or challenges that you have experienced (could be minor, could be major) whether you have experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your desire to pursue a career in medicine?
My major event was developing a mold illness that affected my health dramatically. I have since devoted my academic and clinical work to deepen our understanding of the relationship between human health and our living environments. We have learned there is a profound effect on mood, cognition, and mental resilience, as components of the disease complex.
When and why did you decide to focus on practicing lifestyle/integrative/functional medicine, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
I was first trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese Shiatsu at the age of 17. I felt a calling at a young age to the healers path and devoted myself to becoming a competent professional in Integrative care. Years later, I attended medical school, and along the way, never deviated from the path of an inclusive model of medicine that honors mind, body, and spirit.
Describe the connection between the body/metabolism and the brain/mental health.
The brain ultimately controls all aspects of physiology and metabolism through various pathways, including the neuroimmune endocrine complex, neuro-cardio circuits, gut-brain connections, and much more. We are a system of systems, an intricate orchestration of consciousness and soma that are inextricably bound together. The oldest healing traditions in the world observed and honored these connections without reservation or bias. Only now is modern medicine finally beginning to measure these complex interactions in objective ways.
With lifestyle/integrative/functional medicine being such a vast field, what specific approach(s) do you employ to impact mental health?
I have a background in mindfulness, energy work, and somatic therapies; as well as expertise in Integrative, Functional, and Anti Aging treatments, all of which influence mental status, mood, and cognition. My research has shown that living spaces contaminated with amplified microbial growth can injure the brain, create a risk for dementia and deeply influence mood.