Functional Medicine


“Functional Medicine” is a term coined in the early ‘90s when terms such as integrative medicine, complementary and alternative medicine, holistic medicine, etc., didn’t quite seem to capture the essence of clinical practice in which the physician endeavors to determine the root, or underlying, mechanism and cause for dysfunction and disease. A non-profit organization, the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), emerged when many clinicians with similar desires to find a different approach to patient care began to gather for continuing education opportunities.

I was fortunate to be one of the initial chiropractic physicians involved in the functional medicine movement. I was an adjunct faculty member for the IFM and taught in the “Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice” module for several years. Today I remain active with the IFM and serve on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for the annual international conference. This meeting typically gathers several hundred practitoners from different disciplines (medicine, chiropractic, nutrition, nursing, psychology, oriental medicine, etc.) for several days of top-notch, evidence-based clinical training and research presentations.

I also authored a chapter in the Textbook of Functional medicine, published in 2005.

Here's a slide from a presentation I gave in 2004 on the mechanisms that functional medicine practitioners consider when evaluating a patient.