Provider Spotlight: Polly Watson, MD, FACOG, NCMP, IFMCP
by Wynter Kaiser
Dr. Polly Watson is a board certified OBGYN who has been refining her practice of women’s medicine for almost twenty years. In 2017 she began the Institute for Functional Medicine Certificate program (IFMCP) and completed it in 2019. She is one of about 1,000 providers in the US who have obtained this certification.
Dr. Watson takes great pride in educating her patients and sharing books, blogs, and recipes to help them find practical solutions. She also takes the time to make sure patients understand the rationale for her recommendations. As a passionate life-long learner, Dr. Watson continues to improve her practice of medicine to discover and heal the root source of illness.
DUTCH: What inspired you to become a healthcare practitioner?
Dr. Polly Watson: My mom went through menopause at 38. She was told she was too young for menopause and was not offered much guidance or compassion. I saw her struggle and wanted to do it better. When I was in high school, my AP European History teacher encouraged me to become a midwife. I loved science and did some research in college and decided to become a doctor.
DUTCH: What is your training?
Dr. Polly Watson: I studied molecular biology and biochemistry at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. I got my MD in 2000 from the Medical College of Georgia and did my OBGYN residency at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, IL. I have also taken classes from the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual (HealthISSWSH) and completed my functional medicine training with IFM in 2019.
DUTCH: Describe your medical background/practice.
Dr. Polly Watson: I stopped delivering babies pretty early on in my career. I became a mother and wanted to be home more. I focused on GYN only and got my certification from North American Menopause Society in 2009. I became interested in integrative medicine to address some health concerns in our family and began attending AIHM conferences in 2015 before finding IFM in 2017. After that, I was hooked. In 2019 I founded Hormone Wellness MD, which uses functional medicine to address women’s health concerns.
DUTCH: What other functional testing do you use in your practice?
Dr. Polly Watson: I use GI MAP testing, SIBO testing, and Organic Acids testing.
DUTCH: How have you incorporated DUTCH Testing into your practice?
Dr. Polly Watson: My practice focuses on perimenopause, menopause, and PCOS so I use DUTCH Plus® on most of my patients.
DUTCH: What are the changes you have seen in your patients and practice since incorporating the DUTCH Test®?
Dr. Polly Watson: I finally feel like I can practice personalized medicine! Instead of quoting women outdated study statistics on nonbioidentical hormones, I use DUTCH to assess how my patients are metabolizing their hormones and help them optimize their hormone levels and metabolites. It is a great educational tool to help inform patients of the connection between our adrenal health and our sex hormones.
DUTCH: Where do you see functional/integrative medicine twenty years from now?
Dr. Polly Watson: I hope functional medicine serves to awaken our leaders for the need for better protection of the environment.
DUTCH: What do you like to do outside of work?
Dr. Polly Watson: I work out at the YMCA, practice yoga, play board games with my family, garden in the spring and summer, and cook. I make lots of dirty dishes for my husband to wash!