The Perfect Fit: How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor
With functional medicine gaining popularity, more and more physicians understand the value that science-backed holistic treatment brings to their patients. This is great news for the medical field, but with so many choices available, how do you find a functional medicine doctor that fits your needs?
Looking for Your Perfect Fit
Because functional medicine is a long-term approach to your health, finding a functional medicine doctor who makes you feel comfortable and valued as both a patient and a person is essential.
A great functional medicine doctor is knowledgeable, compassionate, and understanding. Appointments should never feel rushed, and the provider should take the time to explain every step of a treatment plan. A good provider makes you feel welcomed and supported.
In addition, the doctor should never judge you for the decisions or choices that brought you to them.
Functional medicine’s principles should be front and center in your doctor’s treatment and approach. These core principles include the following:
- First, do no harm: Use the least invasive techniques and practices in care.
- Innate intelligence: Recognize that the body has an extraordinary ability to heal itself with the proper support.
- Holistic: Remember that the body is a complex network of interrelated systems, each influencing the state of the others.
- Person-centered: Treat the whole patient, not just the disease.
- Prevention: Promote better health through teaching prevention.
- Education: Ensure the patient understands their health status and treatment plans.
- Be an example: Integrate the principles of good health into their own lifestyle.
- Evidence-based care: Use science and research to recommend the most beneficial course of treatment.
- Primary care: Be qualified to treat a wide variety of illnesses and health complications.
- Vitalism: Treat health as a vital, optimized, and balanced flow of all body systems.
- Natural first: Whenever possible, opt for non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and all-natural treatments.
- Responsibility: Restore and maintain good health in a partnership where both patient and doctor share responsibility.
- Service with integrity: Hold themselves to the highest ethical and moral standards.
- Dedication to professional development: Commit to life-long learning and continuous professional education.
An excellent functional medicine provider should show flexibility in appointments, treatments, and cooperation with other providers.
- Find a functional medicine doctor who offers telehealth, phone consultations, and office appointments.
- A good provider can work to support a traditional doctor’s treatments if necessary.
- Providers should understand that a treatment plan is effective only if it’s followed, so they may make some allowances if possible and not detrimental to the overall treatment.
The functional medicine doctor you find must hold a degree as a Medical Doctor, Doctor of Chiropractic, Dentist, Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Osteopathy, Acupuncturist, Naturopathic Doctor, Pharmacist, or mental health professional. The provider will then complete training for certification in functional medicine and be required to continue their education throughout their career.
Make sure your functional medicine doctor holds the appropriate certifications to deliver your care.
Proven Track Record of Success
Find a functional medicine doctor with a record of happy, healthy patient outcomes. In addition, look for one who specializes in your medical condition to ensure they have the experience and expertise to treat your illness effectively.
Things to Avoid in a Functional Medicine Doctor
So far, we’ve addressed the things to look for in a great provider, but not all doctors fit every need. Here is a list of what you want to avoid when trying to find a good functional medicine doctor.
- It’s all about the wallet: If the provider seems to push unnecessary and expensive supplements, tests, or treatments, they may not be a great fit for you.
- They don’t listen: Communication and patient education are fundamental principles of functional medicine. Avoid providers who don’t value your time or concerns and who don’t explain your medical conditions or how recommended treatments will benefit you.
- They are judgmental: Great functional medicine doctors are compassionate, understanding, and non-judgmental. They understand that each journey to wellness starts at the first visit, regardless of your past decisions and choices.
- They promise the world: Functional medicine is a gradual progression back to health. Some conditions are easier to reverse, but complex cases take time. Avoid doctors who promise immediate results from a wellness plan or treatment.
- They refuse to work alongside your conventional doctor: Functional medicine is an excellent primary care choice for some patients. For others, it’s a way to supplement more traditional medical care, a model known as complementary care. Find a functional medicine doctor willing to work within your conventional physician’s treatment plans.
How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor Near You
Many options are available when looking for a functional medicine doctor, and the choices can seem overwhelming. If you have a friend or acquaintance who uses a functional medicine provider for care, ask them for their recommendation. If you don’t, here are some steps to make your search easier.
- Google: An internet search is a great starting point in your search for a functional medicine doctor. Narrow your search to a specific focus, such as chronic illness or fatigue, to find doctors specializing in your medical condition.
- Shortlist several providers: Now that you have found a list of available providers, list the top five based on any criteria you choose. This could be a medical specialty, location, or practice focus such as pediatrics, women’s health, or family medicine.
- Check reviews: Take some time to find reviews for each practice you have on the list. Don’t forget to check social media as well.
- Check the website: Go to the practice’s website and browse. You will find team members, philosophies, testimonies, blogs, and more. Browsing content and viewing available videos and podcasts helps ensure the provider will fit your needs well.
- Free discovery call: Many practices offer free initial consultations to patients seeking to find a functional medicine doctor. Use this call to chat with the team and see if they fit your needs.
Find a Functional Medicine Doctor in Colorado Springs
The choice is clear for patients looking to find a functional medicine doctor in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Again and again, True Life Medicine gives patients the solutions they need to thrive.
True Life Medicine combines cutting-edge laboratory testing with individualized treatment plans to ensure that each patient receives the unique quality and individualized care they need to live the healthy and vibrant life they deserve.
Schedule a free, no-obligation discovery call with Dr. Randolph James, MD, ABFM, IFMCP, and take the first step to a balanced, restored, and renewed you.