Mark Hoch, MD
By Melissa Henry –
Dr. Mark Hoch has dedicated his life to creating functional communities with a focus on natural health instead of treating disease.
He believes wellness can be attained by following the natural order, observing and implementing the laws of nature whenever possible. “Dr. Mark” sees the current system of healthcare in this country as lacking in both health and care, and he strives to rectify the problem by offering a path to good health.
Dr. Mark’s journey to holistic/integrative medicine started in his first semester of medical school when he realized that he needed to go beyond the confines of Western medicine to have a more complete understanding of health to truly help people to heal. That decision meant accepting a salary 40% lower than doctors in the system—a choice Dr. Mark is at peace with, as his economic values include sharing wealth equitably to purify earnings.
As an undergraduate at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, he majored in biology with a concentration in neurobiology and behavior. He earned his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a member of the curriculum committee, and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Connecticut, where he was board-certified in Family Medicine.
Since 1984, he has continued to study the health systems of the world, offering his clients effective and safe methods of diagnosis and treatment for their health concerns. He has attended educational programming covering all aspects of health at integrative medical conferences and teaches on many topics such as: emotional health, end of life issues, and spirituality as a key to wellness.
Compared to many medical professionals, Dr. Mark invests more time and effort in his patients, carefully educating them in an effort to help create empowered, sustainable clients. He encourages medical professionals to “honor what they do” and strives to teach patients to take responsibility for their own health and establish a routine of self-care. He provides vital wellness practices such as optimal sleeping habits, methods of dealing with stress, energetic movements including Chi Gong exercises, and ways to relate with others.
In his holistic practice, rather than simply matching symptoms with drugs Dr. Mark limits the number of patients he serves so as to discover the true cause of the patient’s issues and thus what the person really needs. He discusses how to maintain health and prevent disease as an alternative to requiring continuing long-term care, and prescribes natural remedies, such as dietary changes, herbal supplements, and vitamins, instead of pharmaceuticals riddled with chemicals and often carrying undesired side effects.
Teaching has also been an important part of his career, including mentoring medical students, residents, and practicing physicians in his office and through academic appointments. He has taught in the departments of family medicine at the University of Connecticut, Columbia University, and University of Minnesota, and at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center.
He is a Founding Diplomat (Board Certified MD) of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) and is active in the holistic medical movement nationally. He is a past president of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) and now co-chair of the Past Presidents Council of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, the leading associations of physicians and healthcare practitioners devoted to mind/body/spirit medicine since 1978. He has been a lifetime member of the AHMA since 1986 and has served on the Board of Trustees for nine years, teaching at several annual conferences.
Hoch currently offers Integrative Holistic Medical Consultations for families, including Osteopathic Manual Medicine, Nutritional Counseling, Lifestyle, Diet, and Health/Wellness Coaching to existing patients. He treats conditions including thyroid, adrenal, detoxification, heart disease/cholesterol, diabetes, GI problems, osteoporosis, and other conditions (he is not currently accepting new patients). His medical practice is housed in the same building as Silver Leaf Natural Medicine, with his office in a corner of the Chinese Herbal Pharmacy and Acupuncture Clinic, where he can utilize the expertise of his colleagues in offering solutions for his patients. Dr. Mark’s journey to wellness includes walking the walk—not just talking the talk: he practices his own health care methods and teaches them to his daughter Ariana Hoch.