A Systems Biology Approach, Physician Burnout, and Functional Medicine

In the following video, IFM Executive Director of Medical Education Robert Luby, MD, describes how a Functional Medicine approach can help to shift a clinician’s approach and reduce burnout.


There are several reasons why physician burnout is at an all-time high.

One of these is simply that, too often, we feel that we are managing diseases instead of really restoring health.

I think the Functional Medicine approach – the Functional Medicine paradigm – truly focuses on not just managing diseases, blocking pathways with drugs, but focuses on what we can do to restore the optimal function of those physiological pathways. And ultimately, restore the great masterpiece of nature, which is physiological function.

We do this by taking a systems approach – a systems biology approach. Many factors are mitigating against us such that we do not have the ability to develop the relationships with patients that we need in order to implement these successful treatments.

The Functional Medicine approach emphasizes the therapeutic relationship to ensure that physicians and patients are satisfied with that relationship, and that becomes a therapeutic partnership (and actually a therapeutic intervention) in and of itself.

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