Functional Medicine Doctors: Who They Are, What They Do, And Other Information

Naturalists, homeopathic doctors, and many other types of doctors make up the modern-day healthcare industry. In your search for a professional who can offer you the best care, you may come across a functional medicine doctor (MD). Here are a few things to know. 

What exactly is a functional medicine doctor?

Functional MDs use a systematic approach to treating patients with illnesses and diseases. While traditional doctors follow a certain standard of care or guidelines to treat specific illnesses, a functional MD will get familiar with the patient's unique situation and build a plan of treatment that is unique to that individual. Genetic science, biology, environment, and medical history are all examples of things that are used to build a treatment plan for the patient, so two patients with the same diagnosis may have completely different routes of treatment from the same doctor. 

How will the visit to the doctor differ from an ordinary doctor's visit?

One of the first things you will notice during your visit is just how long the doctor spends with you during the appointment. This form of treatment involves looking closely at several aspects of your life, including things like environmental factors and your whole medical history. You can expect there to be a lot of questions and an in-depth review of your lifestyle and how things about it could be affecting your health and well-being. 

Will insurance pay for services provided by these doctors?

Most forms of medical insurance do recognize functional medicine doctors as worthy of being covered by their plans, but there are some exceptions. Even if the visit to the doctor is not covered, some other parts of treatment may be. For example, you may have to pay for the visit out of pocket but your insurance may cover the costs of your medication that the doctor prescribes. 

Do functional medicine doctors still practice traditional medicine?

Even though the functional medicine physician is all about treating patients in ways that are meant to treat the whole lifestyle and not just the illness at hand, they can and do still utilize some general traditional medicine techniques. Most of these professionals will follow traditional medicine when a patient comes to them that has needs that are more of an emergency. For example, someone who comes to the doctor for treatment for a broken bone would still get some of the same treatments as they would with a traditional doctor. 

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The medical field is dedicated to helping you maintain your health. However, your health also extends beyond what can be achieved in a doctor's office. To remain in good health, you need to also take good care of yourself on a day-to-day basis. That care has to take both mental and physical health into account, too. Health can mean going to the gym more often, paying attention to what you eat, or taking a walk around the block every day. It can also mean seeking care from a dentist, an optometrist, or a massage therapist. We explore the breadth of health on this website.

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