Federal Way, WA, May 23, 2019 — The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) has surpassed a historic milestone, having now certified 1,000 Functional Medicine healthcare practitioners globally. IFM has been educating clinicians since 1991, and formally through its IFM Certification Program (IFMCP) since 2009, certifying 125 practitioners in the inaugural graduating class of 2013. This significant milestone aligns with IFM’s mission to increase the adoption of Functional Medicine, which improves patient outcomes and reduces costs for both patients and the healthcare system in the long-term.
Chronic diseases account for 86% of all healthcare costs ($3.2 trillion in 2015 and growing), and 50% of adults have at least one chronic health condition.1-3 Functional Medicine addresses this burgeoning problem by identifying the root causes of disease for each individual. By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, Functional Medicine treatments target the specific manifestations of disease in each individual, leveraging each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
“Certifying practitioners in Functional Medicine is one important step in responding to the increased prevalence of largely preventable chronic disease by providing a framework for consistent application of high-quality Functional Medicine care across the globe,” states Amy R. Mack, IFM chief executive officer.
This milestone is testament to the hard work over the past 30 years from all of those who see Functional Medicine as the medicine of the future.
The IFM Certification Program’s innovative approach to addressing the epidemic of chronic disease has led to incredible demand for IFM Certified Practitioners. IFM’s website had over 1.6 million patient-initiated searches for Functional Medicine practitioners in 2018. The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the first Functional Medicine facility at a major academic medical center, has a waiting list of over 2,200 patients. And the demand for Functional Medicine clinicians is not just from patients: the most renowned integrative and Functional Medicine institutions are looking to hire IFM Certified Practitioners.
“IFM Certified Practitioners are consistently recognized as the most thoroughly trained Functional Medicine clinicians in their fields and the most sought-after by both patients and academic and institutional employers,” states Dan Lukaczer, ND, IFM director of medical education.
These clinicians are the heart of what Functional Medicine is all about—a therapeutic patient-practitioner approach to address the underlying causes of disease that will help stem the tide of chronic illness and improve the state of health nationally and internationally.
IFM has also made strides to make the certification curriculum more accessible and cost effective for clinicians domestically and globally through live stream and online options. For more information, visit IFM.org/Certification. To find a Functional Medicine practitioner in your region, visit IFM.org/find-a-practitioner/
- Ward BW, Schiller JS, Goodman RA. Multiple chronic conditions among US adults: a 2012 update. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014;11:E62. doi:5888/pcd11.130389
- Leroy L, Bayliss E, Domino M, et al. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Multiple Chronic Conditions Research Network: overview of research contributions and future priorities. Med Care. 2014;52(Suppl 3):S15-22. doi:1097/MLR.0000000000000095
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. NHE fact sheet. Updated April 26, 2019. Accessed May 17, 2019. https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nhe-fact-sheet.html