- Affirm Financing
- Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice
- Applying to IFM’s Certification Program
- Case Report and Written Examination
- Find a Practitioner
- General IFM Certification Inquires
- IFM Certification
- IFM Facebook Group
- In Person
- My Account
- Online Learning
- Taking IFM Courses Towards Certification
Will I have the opportunity to connect with other candidates testing?
For each testing cohort, IFM invites testing candidates to join a Facebook group focused solely on the case report and written examination process. It is an opportunity for candidates to connect with one another as well as connect with IFM staff to clarify any questions they have as they prepare for the written examination.
Should I take the optional Online 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.
Where do I take the written exam?
The written exam is administered through Prometric Testing Centers. You may visit Prometric’s website here for more information.
The Exam may be taken either in person or remotely. You will receive all the information you need prior to taking the exam in your testing cohort materials. For more information on our IFMCP certification process and requirements, click here.
*Please note that Prometric continues to evaluate the open capacity status of testing centers in their global network. To help ensure the protection of both employees and test takers and to remain in compliance with governmental mandates and recommendations from the CDC and WHO, safety practices will be enacted throughout the testing process and will be dependent on local government guidelines. For more information on Test Center Policies, please click here for the latest Covid-19 Update.
What does the case report process entail?
The case report 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 $850 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.
What kind of case should I use for my case report?
The case report must represent your critical thinking and ability to apply the principles of functional medicine to the benefit of your patient. Candidates are expected to justify and explain their rationales for treatments and interventions throughout the case. You must have sufficient initial assessment information to fill out a Timeline and Matrix, and enough follow-up data that the grader can see how you managed the patient. As such, the case you choose should be a patient:
- Who has/had chronic complaints
- With whom you are very familiar (You may NOT use yourself or a family member as your case study. Patient encounters must be conducted and documented within a clinical setting.)
- On whom you have gathered sufficient initial information
- For whom you have collected sufficient information on follow-up visits to present a full case
A minimum of 4 visits over at least 12 weeks is required. Cases that do not meet minimum visit and length requirements will receive an automatic failure. Objective data, such as laboratory and imaging results, are helpful, but not absolutely necessary. However, the potential lab or imaging that you would consider, even if not ordered, is important to provide as it allows the grader to assess your thinking through the case. A case in which you co-managed the patient can be used, but your narrative should include these interventions and outcomes as well.
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 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. Candidates have 4.5 hours to complete the examination.
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 (unless stated otherwise).
What happens if I don’t pass one or both testing component?
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, they only need to remediate the failed component (that is, re-take the exam or re-submit a new case report). The passing score on the other testing component will stand.
Any remediation process needs to be completed within the four years from the date your application was approved. IFMCP remediation testing fees will apply. Please contact IFM for the fee structure at email@example.com.
Is CME available for the case report, written exam, and for the online review course?
Unfortunately, there is no CME provided for the case report, written exam or for the Online Review Course.
What if I buy the case report template, but decide to defer another cohort, do I have to repay the fee?
The case fee is a one-time fee until the case has been submitted meaning it can roll with you to a later cohort. However, 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.
When is the IFMCP Examination offered?
The IFMCP written examination is currently offered twice a year: typically once in spring and once in the fall.
You can find current testing dates and deadlines online here.
Can I complete the coursework for the IFM Certification Program (IFMCP) 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 in a self-paced online 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. There are set start and end dates, but within those 90 days candidates can complete the program on their own time and at their own pace.
The Advanced Practice Modules (APMs) are currently offered in 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 upcoming Conference Calendar which show the dates/locations of our upcoming programs.
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.
How much does the certification program cost from start to finish?
Typically, from start to finish, the program costs between $13,000-$17,000 (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.
Can I pay for the entire certification program at once?
We do not offer a one-time payment option at this time.
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 date and the degree earned. Practitioners can also submit a letter on official letterhead attesting to the completion of their healthcare degree in lieu of the diploma.
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.
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.
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.
How long does it take for my IFMCP application to be reviewed?
It can take our team approximately 2-4 weeks for an acceptance decision to be reached. Applicants are notified of their acceptance status by email.
When do I need to apply to IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP)?
We recommend applying to the program within your first 2-3 courses. Candidates will not be eligible for testing or updated program recordings until they are formally approved into the program. You can find the requirements for applying to the program online here.
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. You can find more information on the benefits of becoming certified online here.
How long does it take to complete IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP)?
On average, it takes candidates anywhere from 2 – 2.5 years to complete the program, but the program can be completed as quickly as 18 months. The only time restriction is after you apply and are accepted, you have 4 years from the time you are accepted to complete the seven required courses (6 APMs and AFMCP), the case study, and the written examination.
I am currently in medical school, but 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.
I’m interested in becoming certified, but I am not a license 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 is the process to becoming certified with IFM?
IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP) requires completion of seven core foundational courses: Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) and 6 Advanced Practice Modules (APMs).
Upon completion of those seven courses, approved candidates in the program will be eligible to submit a case study and sit for a written examination to complete the certification process. You can find the full certification process and requirements online here.
Do I have to be accepted into IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP) 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 to 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 into the program. Please note: the benefit of receiving updated recordings is not retroactive and you will only begin to receive updated recordings after you’ve been approved. If you are not a candidate in the certification program, the course recordings will expire after one year and you will not be eligible to 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.
If you have any concern regarding your eligibility into the program, you are encouraged to apply before taking any IFM courses. You can find the requirements for applying to the program online here.