What are Functional Medicine Doctors?
Functional Medicine Doctorshave completed training in traditional medical specialties, but provide more patient-centered care (as opposed to traditional care, which is typically centered on treating symptoms).
Instead of treating patients for each specific symptom, doctors that practice functional medicine are concerned with the underlying causes of symptoms and conditions. These physicians provide total care for the patient, taking into account the physical, emotional, mental, societal, and environmental factors that may be adversely affecting a patient’s health.
When providing care for patients, functional medicine doctors attempt to engage patients in an open dialogue, fostering a close and honest doctor-patient relationship. By allowing the patient to open up to the practitioner, the physician is more capable of providing total medical care and treating the causal agents of disease and illness. The Institute for Functional Medicine states that the field of functional medicine “addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.”
Functional medicine physicians focus their care on the patient, as patients are the ones who have the greatest ability to impact their own health. Doctors that practice functional medicine techniques promote healthy lifestyles, including a proper diet and exercise regimen, in addition to maintaining a good state of mental, emotional, and social health.