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How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor?

How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor?

By Dr. Patrick Lovegrove Medically Reviewed by Lindsay Langley, BSN, RN, CHT
Posted Tuesday, June 27th, 2023
How to Find a Functional Medicine Doctor?

What is functional medicine, and how to find a functional medicine doctor? Functional medicine is a relatively new approach to health care that looks for and treats the root cause of a patient’s health problems instead of just treating the symptoms. The patient-centered, integrative approach considers the intricate interplay of genetics, environment, lifestyle, and physiology. It was collectively influencing an individual’s overall health.

Therefore, locating a functional medicine doctor who can provide personalized care for those seeking to enhance their overall well-being is essential. However, finding a qualified functional medicine practitioner is challenging with the abundance of healthcare providers and online resources.

This post looks at practical ways to find and evaluate functional medicine practitioners. We will also provide tips for making an appointment and getting ready for your first visit. By doing these tips, you can take an essential step toward getting the best health and happiness possible.

Researching Functional Medicine Doctors

Researching and evaluating potential candidates is essential when searching for a functional medicine doctor. Here are some practical methods for researching functional medicine doctors:

  • Online Directories and Search Engines: The internet offers many resources for finding functional medicine doctors. Websites such as, the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) offer directories of qualified practitioners. You can also use search engine tools like Google to find functional medicine doctors near you.
  • Local Health Organizations and Groups: Local health organizations and groups can be excellent resources for finding functional medicine doctors. Contacting organizations such as the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), or your local functional medicine or integrative health clinic can help you connect with qualified practitioners.
  • Social Media and Patient Reviews: Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be helpful tools for finding functional medicine doctors. Many practitioners maintain social media accounts where they share information about their practice, treatment philosophies, and patient success stories. Patient reviews on websites like Healthgrades or Yelp offer valuable insights into others’ experiences with specific practitioners.

Utilizing these resources allows you to identify potential candidates for functional medicine care. The next step is to evaluate each practitioner to verify that they fit your needs and goals well.

Evaluating Functional Medicine Doctors

When finding a functional medicine doctor, it’s essential to evaluate each practitioner carefully to ensure they have the qualifications, experience, and approach to healthcare that aligns with your needs and goals. This section will discuss some key factors when evaluating functional medicine doctors.

Education and Training

Functional medicine doctors should have a degree from an accredited medical school and additional training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have completed a fellowship or certification program from reputable associations such as the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) or the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).

A functional medicine doctor’s education and training should include a deep understanding of the complex interactions between genetics, environment, lifestyle, and physiology that contribute to an individual’s overall health. They should also know about the latest research and scientific results in functional medicine and be able to use this knowledge to make treatment plans for each patient that are unique to them.

When evaluating a functional medicine doctor’s education and training, consider the following:

  • What medical school did they attend, and what specialized training have they received in functional medicine?
  • Do they have additional certifications or fellowships in functional medicine or related fields?
  • How does the organization or individual keep themselves informed of the newest advancements and research in functional medicine, and what is their approach to continuing education?

Experience and Expertise:

Functional medicine is a specialized field, and choosing a practitioner with experience treating patients with similar health concerns is essential. Look for doctors who have a track record of success and who have experience working with patients with conditions similar to yours.

Consider the following when evaluating a functional medicine doctor’s experience and expertise.

  • How long have they been practicing functional medicine, and how many patients have they treated?
  • Have they worked with patients with conditions similar to yours, and what has been their success rate?
  • Do they have any specialized areas of expertise, such as hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, or gut health?

Philosophy and Approach to Healthcare:

Functional medicine doctors take a holistic approach to healthcare, looking at the whole person and addressing the underlying causes of illness. Choosing a practitioner whose philosophy and approach align with your own is essential. Consider the doctor’s treatment philosophy, communication style, and willingness to partner in your care.

When evaluating a functional medicine doctor’s philosophy and approach to healthcare, consider the following:

  • What is their treatment philosophy, and how does it align with your goals and values?
  • How do they communicate with their patients, and what is their approach to informed consent and shared decision-making?
  • Are they willing to collaborate with you and other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive, coordinated care?

Other factors to consider are practical concerns such as location, availability, and cost. Ask friends, family, or other healthcare practitioners who have experience with functional medicine doctors for recommendations.

Once you’ve found a functional medicine doctor you like, the next step is to schedule an appointment and get ready for your first visit. During your initial visit, you must give a comprehensive medical history, discuss your present health issues, and complete any required tests or evaluations. It will assist your doctor in developing a custom-made treatment strategy.

Making an Appointment

Once you have identified a functional medicine doctor who meets your criteria and fits your needs, the next step is to plan to go there. In this section, we’ll discuss making an appointment with a functional medicine doctor, including contacting the doctor’s office, scheduling a consultation, and preparing for your appointment.

Contacting the Doctor’s Office:

The first step in visiting with a functional medicine doctor is to contact their office. Their contact information is usually available on their website or online. Some doctors may also have online appointment scheduling available.

When you contact the doctor’s office, be prepared to offer some basic information about yourself, such as your name, contact information, and reason for seeking an appointment. In addition, you may need to share details about your insurance plan, so keeping your insurance card within reach is recommended.

Scheduling a Consultation:

Once you have contacted the doctor’s office, the next step is to schedule a consultation. During this initial appointment, you will meet with the holistic doctor to discuss your health-related problems and undergo any necessary testing or assessments.

When scheduling your consultation, be prepared to provide additional information, such as your medical history, medications or supplements, and recent lab tests or imaging studies.

Additionally, please inquire about the doctor’s availability and scheduling options, such as whether they offer evening or weekend appointments and how long the initial consultation will last.

Preparing for the Appointment:

For your visit to proceed smoothly, you must collect all pertinent paperwork and documentation, such as medical records and insurance information. Therefore, it is advisable to complete this task before your scheduled appointment.

To guarantee a fruitful visit with your doctor, you must come prepared with a thorough list of questions and concerns. Provide a comprehensive inventory of all the drugs and supplements you are taking right now. Wear comfy clothes, and skip strong fragrances to avoid test interference.


Working with a functional medicine doctor can offer many benefits. It includes personalized care, focusing on the root cause of health issues, and a holistic approach to wellness. So, finding a good functional medicine doctor can be challenging, but the perks can be huge.

Online directories, local health organizations, social media, and patient reviews are valuable resources for identifying potential functional medicine doctors. Evaluate their education and training, experience and expertise, and philosophy and approach to healthcare. It is essential to ensure they are a good fit for your needs.

Once you have identified a functional medicine doctor, making an appointment involves contacting their office. You schedule a consultation and prepare for your appointment. By preparing and asking the right questions, you can fully utilize the benefits of working with a functional medicine doctor. They will help you improve your overall health and wellness.

For a truly personalized and comprehensive approach to healthcare, seeking a qualified functional medicine doctor is essential. The path towards better health and wellness starts with finding the right healthcare provider.

About the author

Dr. Patrick Lovegrove