CME Training That Lets You Learn by Doing

IFM’s educational format at Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP), both in-person and online, focuses on active, case-based learning (CBL) with sessions supported by expert Functional Medicine clinicians. AFMCP synthesizes the latest medical research with a model of care that integrates each patient’s individual history, genetics, and lifestyle factors.

CBL is a well-established pedagogical method that was introduced by Dr. James Lorrain Smith in 1912 at the University of Edinburgh.1 Since this time, many claims have been made for CBL as an effective teaching method, but until recently, little evidence supported these claims. One of the first studies done on CBL in health professional education was published in 2012 and found that overwhelmingly, students enjoy CBL and feel that it enhances their learning, and teachers enjoy CBL partly because it engages and is perceived to motivate students.1

Throughout AFMCP, both in-person and online, a diverse set of IFM educators provide in-depth, evidence-based overviews of the six physiological systems—cardiometabolic, immune, hormone, energy, gastrointestinal, and detox—that form the foundation for treating a wide array of clinical disorders. Experienced Functional Medicine clinicians demonstrate the use of IFM’s tools to improve outcomes for patients with chronic diseases, with a particular focus on patient history, the microbiome, genetics, clinical nutrition, and lifestyle factors.

In the following video, you can learn more about AFMCP Online, which launched in spring 2018.

Another perceived advantage of CBL is deeper learning, or that which “goes beyond simple identification of correct answers and is more aligned with either evidence of critical thinking or changes in behavior and generalizability of learning to new cases.”2 This type of learning has been shown to enhance clinical knowledge, improve teamwork, improve clinical skills, improve practice behavior, and improve patient outcomes.2

At AFMCP, educators use case-based learning as the central presentation method for clinical material. By working with real patient information, clinicians can hone their diagnostic skills and learn from peers. The cases frame Functional Medicine in the context of patient care so clinicians can immediately apply the tools they learned when they return to their offices.

During AFMCP—both online and in-person—clinicians will learn:

  • Established and emerging diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention strategies.
  • How to design nutritional and lifestyle interventions to improve patient compliance and outcomes.
  • How to utilize innovative and practical assessment tools to assess, diagnose, and treat patients from a Functional Medicine approach.
  • Methods to establish a mutually empowering partnership between clinician and patient.
  • The scientific basis for Functional Medicine principles and a systems approach to fundamental clinical imbalances.
  • How to apply key elements of the Functional Medicine Model in clinical practice.

For more than two decades, IFM has led the way in transforming continuing medical education. Join IFM for AFMCP and benefit from a collaborative, case-based medical education experience.



  1. Thistlethwaite JE, Davies D, Ekeocha S, et al. The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education. A BEME systematic review: BEME Guide No. 23. Med Teach. 2012(34)6:e421-444. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.680939.
  2. McLean SF. Case-based learning and its application in medical and health-care fields: a review of worldwide literature [published online April 27, 2016]. J Med Educ Curric Dev. doi:10.4137/JMECD.S20377.

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