The term “Functional Medicine”, recently experiencing a resurgence, is what Naturopathic doctors have always practiced. In reality, Naturopathic doctors are the grandmothers and grandfathers of functional medicine. Functional Medicine is a science-based, individualized form of health care that understands and supports the understanding that ALL parts of the Body/ Mind/ Spirit are connected. Its objective is to address the UNDERLYING cause of disease vs. focusing on SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT. Its primary therapies include Nutrition and Lifestyle.
The term is being utilized by practitioners of all types including medical doctors seeking to practice more holistically. The Institute for Functional Medicine https://www.ifm.org/ offers a training program for practitioners to become Certified in Functional Medicine. This is NOT an accredited medical training program. It requires no state or national board exam or certification and can be completed with less than 20-days of education. While it is wonderful to see the embracing of wholistic care, it is important to recognize the significance and value and comprehensiveness of the training Naturopathic doctors receive in comparison to these short training courses.