certification

I am currently in medical school but am very interested in Functional Medicine. Can I start taking courses now or do I have to wait until I graduate?

We have quite a few medical/healthcare students who are concurrently taking our courses as they complete their degree programs and residencies. Those students usually take our courses as their finances and schedules allow, then once they have completed their degree programs and received their license they apply for our program thereafter. Any courses they took while they were in school automatically count towards their certification and they would not need to re-take anything. 

Is CME available for the case report, written exam and for the online review course?

Unfortunately, there is no CME available for the case report, written exam or for the online review course. 

I’m interested in becoming certified but I am not a licensed healthcare professional. How do I become certified?

At this time, IFM does not have any certifications for unlicensed healthcare providers. To learn more about our eligibility requirements, please click here 

What if I buy the case report template but decide to defer to another cohort, do I have to repay the fee?

The case fee is a one-time fee meaning it can roll with you to the later cohort. The exam fee is non-refundable and non-transferable to a different testing window. 

Can I submit my case now and take the exam in a different cohort?

Unfortunately, the case report and the written exam do have to be completed during the same testing window. 

Why do I need to hold a healthcare license to become or maintain IFM Certified Practitioner status?

Functional Medicine is not considered a standalone area of medicine and is reliant on conventional medical education and licensure to be able to see and treat patients. IFM Certification Program (IFMCP) does not grant any additional specialty or legal status, practitioners would need to incorporate Functional Medicine solely into their existing practice. To learn more about our specific eligibility requirements, please click here. 

Do my license, CV, and diploma need to be translated?

For the IFMCP application, we do require all documents to be translated into English. However, please note these documents do not need to be official transcripts. Please provide both the original document followed by the translated version. 

Will you accept a transcript in lieu of a diploma?

Some official documentation of graduation is required; transcripts can be accepted if they show actual graduation. Practitioners can also submit a letter on official letterhead attesting to the completion of their healthcare degree in lieu of the diploma. 

Can I pay for the entire certification program at once?

We do not offer a one-time payment option at this time.

How much does the certification program cost from start to finish?

Typically, from start to finish, the program costs between $12,000-$16,000 (includes price of all programs, application fee, exam fee, and case report fee). It is not possible to state an exact amount, since course fees do change from time to time and the total cost will depend on what the fees are when each course is taken, whether or not the Candidate is an IFM member, whether she/he is a physician or other level of practitioner, and so forth. The application and testing fees are separate from the cost of the courses. Please note this is based off current tuition rates.  

What happens if I don’t pass one or both testing components?

 If a candidate does not pass one or both of the two testing components, then they would have an opportunity to remediate the score(s) they did not pass. For example, if a Candidate fails the IFMCP written examination but passes the case report, or who fails the case report but passes the IFMCP written examination, may remediate the failed component (that is, re-take the exam or re-submit a new case report). 

Any remediation process needs to be completed within the four years from the day your application was approved. IFMCP remediation testing fees will apply. Please contact IFM for the fee structure at?ifmcp@ifm.org. 

What information will I be tested on in the IFMCP Written Exam?

The written exam is composed of 200 multiple choice questions based on information presented at AFMCP and the six APMs.  

Pre and post course webinars, forum discussions, and supplemental material include useful information and are recommended for review; however, the written examination will not draw on these materials. 

Where do I take the Written Exam?

The Written Exam is administered by?Pearson Professional Centers, which has about 200 locations around the United States, as well as 175 locations internationally. You may visit Pearson’s website here to find a location near you. 

The Exam must be taken in person and identification will be verified at the Center. You will receive all the information you need prior to taking the exam in your testing cohort materials. No additional charge will be incurred by the Candidate, as it is rolled into the?Written Exam fee. 

What kind of case should I use for my Case Report?

While there are no formal constraints on case selection, the case must demonstrate your knowledge of and ability to apply the Functional Medicine model to the benefit of your patient. As such, the case you choose should be a patient:  

  1. Who has/had chronic complaints 
  2. With whom you are very familiar (A family member or friend may be used, but candidates cannot use themselves.)
  3. On whom you have gathered sufficient initial information 
  4. For whom you have collected sufficient information on follow-up visits to present a full case 

You must have sufficient initial assessment information to fill out a Timeline and Matrix, and enough follow-up data that an IFM reviewer can see what happened over time. The case selected does not have to show full resolution of the patient’s problem(s). There are no requirements on the number of visits; however, a case lasting between 12 and 36 weeks with 3-5 follow up visits would be ideal. Objective data, such as laboratory results, will usually be helpful but are not necessary. Another clinician may have provided parts of the care plan, but you must be aware of and include in the narrative what happened to the patient overall. A case in which you co-managed the patient can be used, but your narrative should include these interventions and outcomes as well. The case report must represent a full understanding of the case history and your critical thinking.  

You do not have to have a release from the patient to use the patient’s case. Avoid revealing any identifying information about the patient in your report.  

What does the Case Report process entail?

The case report submission process is a structured PDF template that is based on the Functional Medicine Matrix and following the GOTOIT framework. Candidates receive access to the Case Report Template upon payment of the $800 case report fee and verification of eligibility for the IFMCP written exam. Candidates enter assessment, treatment, and outcomes information into a personalized assigned template. 

Case Reports are scored by IFM educators on a pass/fail basis.

Should I take the optional Review Course?

The optional Review Course is an opportunity for IFM Certification Program candidates to undertake a comprehensive review of current core knowledge. The optional Online Review Course (ORC) is a self-paced course composed of study guides, webinars, lectures and practice exams/quizzes to help you prepare?for the written exam. It is not required, although it is strongly recommended. 

The Review Course is only open to candidates who are eligible to be a part of the upcoming testing cohort. 

How do I maintain and renew my IFM Certification?

To maintain certification: 

  • Maintain an active healthcare license and  
  • Hold a current IFM Membership 

To renew certification: 

  • Pass a written examination every tenth year following certification. 
  • Provide a copy of your current healthcare practitioner license. 

Can I take the APMs before I take AFMCP?

Yes, although we recommend starting with AFMCP whenever possible, however, you may take the courses in any order that works best for you and your schedule. 

Can I complete the coursework for the IFM Functional Medicine Certification Program online?

IFM understands not everyone can travel so we have made online learning an option. The Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) course is offered either in an online or in-person format. For the Online AFMCP course, learners have 90 days to complete approximately 40 hours of curriculum at their own pace within the 90 days.  

 

The Advanced Practice Modules (APMs), are offered in both an in-person and a live stream format so it is possible to distance learn all of the required certification courses. However, you must attend the APMs live on the dates and times the course is being offered, even if you are participating by live stream, to receive credit for the course. This is different than the self-paced nature of the Online AFMCP course.  

Please click here for the 2020-2021 Conference Calendar which show the dates/locations of our upcoming programs.  

How long does it take to complete IFM’s Functional Medicine Certification Program?

On average, it takes candidates anywhere from 2 – 2.5 years to complete the program. The only time restriction is after you apply and are accepted, you have 4 years from the time you are accepted to complete the 7 required courses (6 APMs and AFMCP), the case study, and the written exam.  

Do I have to be accepted into IFM's Functional Medicine Certification Program before I can register for AFMCP or an APM?

No, you are welcome to start taking courses prior to being accepted into the program. Any courses you take prior to being accepted will automatically count towards certification and you will not have retake anything once you are formally approved into IFMCP. However, if your intent is to become certified, we highly recommend you apply early in the process for the following reasons:
You will begin to receive full audio and video recordings from new iterations of IFM Certification Program courses you have moving forward from the date you are officially approved program. Please note the recordings are not retroactive. If you are not a candidate in the certification program, the course recordings will expire after one year and you will not receive the updated recordings.  

If there is any obstacle to your acceptance into the program, it can be identified and remediated.
Once you have applied and been accepted into IFM’s Certification Program, IFM will be able to alert you to specific news, updates, and opportunities related to the certification program. 

What can I do with IFM Certification?

Becoming an IFM Certified Practitioner establishes you as a leader in the field. Current patient demand far exceeds the number of providers available. IFM Certified Practitioners are recognized as clinicians whose rigorous training and evaluation places them in the top tier of Functional Medicine practitioners.