RICH STAGLIANO, MD
Founder and Functional Medicine Physician
Rich Stagliano, M.D., left the conventional medical system 10 years ago to start his own medical practice, Live Fit Medicine, based in San Francisco. After 8 years as a successful Emergency Room physician, Dr. Stagliano recognized there was an increasing need for a different type of medicine, one that focused on creating optimal health, not just treating the symptoms of disease. He set out to create a practice grounded in the principles of Functional Medicine that would allow him to work with patients with a wide variety of health concerns, to identify the underlying root causes of their health problems and to address them with targeted individualized solutions. His passion is helping patients restore and foster optimal health and vitality using a holistic approach and primarily natural and non-invasive treatments, while also empowering them to be the “CEO” of their long term health. Today, as a licensed physician and Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner, Dr. Stagliano has the clinical expertise to combine conventional medical treatments with evidence-based functional and integrative therapies to create personalized care plans that treat the whole individual, body and mind.
Dr. Rich completed his medical education (1999) and Emergency Medicine residency (2002) at Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and practiced as an ER physician at several Kaiser Permanent Medical Centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as on the East Coast at various hospitals. He became an Institute of Functional Medicine certified practitioner in 2015. In his free time, you will find him outside as much as possible, primarily surfing, mountain biking and snowboarding.
DR. RICH’S STORY
The story of how he got here is not unlike the stories of his patients when they first come to see him. In his words:
For years, I was a successful Emergency Medicine physician. The fast pace was invigorating. I was often complimented on my calm-under-pressure, as well as my bedside manner. Even under the stress and chaos of a busy emergency department, I was able to connect with my patients. I loved that. But after a few years, the shift work and stressful environment started to take their toll.
Even though I was eating healthy and exercising regularly, most of the time I felt exhausted. I also felt frustrated and saddened by the realization that I was only putting temporary "band-aids" on many of my patients' chronic medical problems—problems related to poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyles.
And then things fell apart. I will never forget the month that I—a hard worker who had always been able to push through any challenge—was unable to bring myself to get out of bed. The way I was working had put me on the same course as many of my emergency room patients. I realized that while there is obviously a great need for skilled Emergency Medicine physicians, I wanted to focus on “proactive” preventive medicine rather than "reactive" acute care medicine. And I also wanted to enjoy deeper, ongoing relationships with my patients.
Everything in my past seemed to have led to this moment. In medical school, I’d found solace in riding my mountain bike, snowboarding and strength training. And although I learned little about it in medical school, I’d taken an interest in nutrition and fitness and began my own self-study. I even convinced the alumni of my medical school to pitch in for a total overhaul of the school fitness center, which I designed and managed.
The decision I needed to make was clear, but it wasn’t easy. I left the Emergency Department and opened up my own medical practice—Live Fit Medicine—in the spring of 2008. Soon after, I learned of a new model in healthcare called Functional Medicine, and began attending numerous conferences sponsored by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). Functional Medicine differs from conventional medicine in that it does not focus on treating the symptoms of poor health and disease. Instead, it affords me the ability to identify the underlying causes of my patients' health problems and then address them with specific and targeted individualized solutions in order to help them get their mind and body back in balance. It has also reignited my passion for practicing both the art and science of medicine while establishing deeper connections with my patients. I knew I had found my path.
Practice Manager and Health Coach
Annalisa is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) through the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. She joined Live Fit Medicine in 2017.
In her words:
I am a problem solver with a passion for personal growth. I started my career in finance and then moved into product development and operations working at several startups and Fortune 500 companies in the Health and Wellness space. In addition to my training as a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, I also have a Master in Economics (2007) and Bachelors in Economics (2005).