Patient Resource Center

Invest in Your Most Valuable Asset—Your Health

Functional medicine takes a comprehensive approach to prevention, health, and well-being. It treats root causes of disease and restores healthy function through a personalized patient experience — all while being a vital partner to conventional medicine.

When you work with a functional medicine practitioner, you can expect to feel seen and heard. A large part of functional medicine involves understanding who you are as an individual, your detailed personal
and family history, the circumstances around your first symptoms, and the experiences you may have had with other healthcare providers.

Here’s more about what patients can expect from their functional medicine visit:

A comprehensive approach to health and well-being

  • From chronic illness to disease prevention, functional medicine systematically addresses the unique physical, mental, and emotional needs of all patients.
  • Practitioners bring together a wide complement of modern scientific tools, including a deep understanding of biology, physiology, genetics, social and environmental determinants of health, and the vital connection between mental and physical well-being.
  • By understanding each patient’s genetic, environmental, and lifestyle influences, functional medicine delivers transformative care to promote optimal health and well-being.

A collaborative practitioner-patient relationship

  • Functional medicine fosters a collaborative practitioner-patient relationship that empowers
    patients to take control of their health.
  • Practitioners are trained to ask thorough questions and listen to their patients to better
    understand the full context of their lives and uncover the root causes of their symptoms.
  • Patients and practitioners work together to develop a personalized approach to care, prioritizing
    lifestyle changes and individualized interventions.

A personalized treatment plan focused on root causes

  • As a patient-centered practice, functional medicine provides the framework to identify and treat
    the root causes of disease, not just the symptoms.
  • Functional medicine asks how and why illness occurs and strives to restore optimal health by
    addressing the specific underlying dysfunctions.
  • It is this combination of focusing on individual patients and applying a comprehensive treatment
    path that delivers transformational results.

Patient Tips For Working With a Functional Medicine Practitioner

  1. Once you are ready to begin your functional medicine journey, it will be time to find a provider in IFM’s Find A Practitioner listing.  IFM is the only organization providing functional medicine certification along with educational programs directly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Clinicians trained by IFM are some of the most highly respected and sought-after in the field. Patients may search for functional medicine practitioners using a variety of criteria, including by specialty, location, and accepted payment methods.start your search
  2. To help you find the best-fit provider, we have prepared some questions for you to ask practitioners either prior to or during your first appointment. These questions are meant to help maximize the success of your functional medicine experience. QUESTIONS FOR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PRACTITIONERS
  3. After you choose a provider, the hard-but-rewarding work begins. First, both you and the functional medicine practitioner agree to be equal partners in meeting your health goals. Both of you will then develop a comprehensive and personalized approach to your health and well-being that targets root causes and prioritizes individualized interventions. This may involve creating a healthcare plan, setting expectations, and learning which lifestyle modifications will help you achieve your goals. Finally, it will be time to implement the plan in action, with regular check-ins and revisions where necessary.
  4. To continue learning more about functional medicine, below is a select list of books, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and recipes that take a functional medicine approach to your health and well-being.
Patient, caregiver and child in an appointment
Smiling patient in an appointment
Physician using toolkit item



Jeff Bland, PhD  |  The Disease Delusion (HarperCollins; 2015)  |
Mark Hyman, MD  |  Eat Fat, Get Thin (Hachette; 2016)  |
Amy Myers, MD  |  The Autoimmune Solution (HarperCollins; 2015)  |
David Perlmutter, MD  |  The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan (Hachette; 2016)  |
Thomas A. Sult, MD  |  Just Be Well (RTC Publishing; 2013)  |
Terry Wahls, MD  |  The Wahls Protocol (Avery; 2014)  |

Magazines & Blogs

Experience Life  |
Aviva Romm  |
Jill Carnahan  |
mindbodygreen  |
Thrive Global  |


Pathways to Well-Being
Kara Fitzgerald  |
The Doctor’s Farmacy |


Amelia Freer |
Julie Briley, ND, & Courtney Jackson, ND | Food As Medicine Everyday (NUNM Press; 2016)
The Doctor’s Kitchen  |
Foodie Farmacist |
Tom Malterre, MS, CN, & Alissa Segersten |

Cooking Demos

Flax Muffin in a Cup with Kalea Wattles, ND
Summer Refresh Smoothie & Pineapple Green Smoothie with Tom Malterre, MS, CN