Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dr. Oz Says the Functional Medicine I Practice is Cutting-Edge

Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman, IFM Board of Directors and Dr. Kristofer Young at the 18th International Symposium on Functional Medicine in 2011
Dr. Oz is right! And I am fortunate to have been studying and practicing Functional Medicine since it's inception 20 years ago.

Please watch this 4 and a half minute video which introduces my friends and colleagues, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Blum, Dr. Perlmutter and Dr. Warner. Note that Dr. Oz says that these four are doctors that he would send his own family members to, and that these doctors are practicing cutting-edge medicine; Functional Medicine.

Dr. Steven Shuel, chiropractor, dropped by my office in Ventura, CA in 1991 to drop off an audio tape of a lecture on inflammation, that he thought I would find interesting. Little did he know, this act would change my life.

The lecture on the tape was given by Jeffrey Bland, PhD. The content was fascinating, and of obvious importance to any thoughtful physician. My attention, listening to the first of many lectures that I would hear Dr. Bland deliver, was drawn to his intellectual brilliance, his capacity to communicate complex materials, and his vision regarding the way forward to improve healthcare.

In 1991 Dr. Bland founded the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). That same year I subscribed to Dr. Bland's monthly audio program on current and developing trends in healthcare, Preventive Medicine Update (PMU). PMU was later renamed Functional Medicine Update (FMU). I have maintained an active subscription to PMU-FMU since 1991. PMU-FMU has been the single most important source of continuing education in my professional life. It has consistently informed me of important trends in healthcare five to ten years before they begin to become mainstream.

On the IFM website the question "What is Functional Medicine?" is answered as follows:
"Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual."

In 1993 the Institute for Functional Medicine inaugurated its annual International Symposium on Functional Medicine, a conference featuring world-reknowned speakers and attendees from around the world. I have attended 15 of the 18 conferences.

More than 50,000 practitioners have been introduced to the principles and practices of functional medicine. Faculty from one-fifth of all medical schools in America, and physicians from 44 countries have attended the IFM's foundational training course, Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice.

Functional Medicine is cutting-edge. But as you can see, it is not new. Dr. Bland, Dr. Hyman, and thousands of others around the world have been working for decades to bring us better medicine.

If you want to address the underlying causes of your disease, engage in a therapeutic partnership with a doctor, address your whole being - not just your symptoms,  and return to health and vitality, go to the IFM website and find a practitioner of Functional Medicine in your area. Dr. Oz thinks you will be making a smart move!

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