What is Functional Medicine? What is The Functional Medicine certification (IFMCP) Certification?


Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of illness.

Functional Medicine offers a individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to a personalized treatment plan. By addressing root causes, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.

Institute for Functional Medicine Certified practitioners (IFMCP) are consistently recognized as the most thoroughly trained and tested Functional Medicine clinicians in their fields.

The Institute of Functional Medicine shares that “Functional medicine provides a powerful new operating system and systems-based clinical model to replace the outdated and ineffective acute-care models carried forward from the 20th century. It enables physicians and other health professionals to practice proactive, predictive, personalized medicine and empowers patients to take an active role in their own health. The overall goal of The Institute for Functional Medicine’s Certification Program (IFMCP) is to deepen and broaden the expertise and knowledge base of clinicians in the principles and practice of functional medicine.

What’s the difference between functional and integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine includes modalities such as botanical, mind-body, somatic and other evidence based therapies, including the most effective treatments from both traditional medicine and complementary medicine to create a plan which to heal mind, body, and spirit. Functional Medicine is included in Integrative Medicine. At PIM, we incorporate both integrative and functional medicine treatments to give you the most personalized plan to improve your health.

Functional medicine is quite specific in its scope. It aims to:

  1. Find the underlying/root cause of the problem.

  2. Use lab analysis to figure out exactly what is wrong.

  3. Use supplements to correct the problem, using medications only as needed.

  4. Incorporate lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, stress reduction, and sleep.

What to expect from your Philadelphia Integrative Medicine provider:

  1. A much longer and thorough appointment! The average visit length at PIM is 45 minutes, compared to 7 minutes in a purely conventional medical setting.

  2. We listen to you and look for root causes, and are interested in more than symptom suppression. We take the time to  understand you, the events have contributed to your health concerns, and how we can co-create a plan to address the cause of your ailments.

  3. A strong bond with us, your provider. We see you as whole person, not just a list of diagnoses. We help guide you to take charge of your own well being, and support you at every step.

PIM wants to hear from you! Did you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Interested in which food plan works best for you? Not sure which diet to start? Join us for a FREE talk “What Should I Eat?” led by PA-C, IFMCP Annmarie McManus at Eastern University! Click here to register!

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If you or your loved one needs help, perhaps you are suffering from the effects of ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, including thyroid imbalance, an autoimmune condition, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are already working with a doctor but want a more comprehensive, empowering approach schedule your a 20 minute free consultation with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP or Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP today! Or visit https://philly-im.com/scheduling-form or call 888-702-7974 x2 to get started today.

Written by Dani Mortimer, Clinic Manager


Kalish, Dan. “Integrative Medicine vs Functional Medicine: What's the Difference?” Integrative Medicine vs Functional Medicine, Kalish Institute, 1 Oct. 2018, kalishinstitute.com/blog/integrative-medicine-vs-functional-medicine/.

“Functional Medicine Patient Resource Center.” Invest in Your Most Valuable Asset—Your Health, The Institute for Functional Medicine, 2018, www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/patient-resource-center/.

“What Is Integrative Medicine?” Can Integrative Medicine Help Fight Cancer?, WebMD, www.webmd.com/cancer/holistic-treatment-17/integrative-medicine.

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