Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine is a groundbreaking collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and IFM. IFM and Center for Functional Medicine work together to advance the practice, education, and evidence behind functional medicine. Center for Functional Medicine offers a one-day continuing medical education course to expose physicians to functional medicine. They have two- and four-week electives for medical students and residents. There is customized functional medicine training for dietitians and free Grand Rounds presentations about treatments for complex, chronic disease open to faculty, staff, and the public.
The Tallahassee (FL) Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP) integrates functional nutrition, functional medicine, mindfulness-based behavioral health, and lifestyle medicine with conventional medical care. The model is used to treat patients with chronic disease and to train family medicine residents in a functional approach to managing and ultimately preventing chronic disease. IFM contributes faculty, curriculum, scholarships, and training. It has improved quality of life, increased mindfulness, and reduced inflammatory markers for more than 1000 patients since 2011. This program began with state and federal grants to FMRP and scholarships from IFM, but no longer relies on external funding. Many of the physician residents say it is the most exciting thing they have done in medicine.
IFM is transforming the core foundation of family medicine residency training. The FMRP work demonstrates both the need and the tremendous efficacy of using the full functional medicine matrix in the training of physicians but also in applying the personalized modifiable lifestyle factors to physicians' own health and well-being and to that of their patients. Applying a whole matrix approach is truly a transformational model of whole person health-caring.
Loma Linda University is offering a senior elective for medical students called, “Principles of Integrative Functional Medicine in the Treatment of Chronic, Complex Disorders.” The two-week, 80-hour course was developed using IFM teaching materials from Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice and the Advanced Practice Modules. Clinical electives include a two- or four-week course shadowing functional medicine practitioners in their clinics. Since 2012, the program has educated 120 medical students in the principles of functional medicine. Student reviews of the course are glowing. They describe the class as, “the missing piece—at last” and “the way medicine should be practiced.” This course is open to visiting medical students from any other medical school; applications must be received one year in advance.
Gives me hope as a physician that I may actually be able to provide healing to those patients with chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and very difficult, complex cases.