Is the Functional Medicine model the future of General Practice?
Dr Rangan Chatterjee MBChB, BSc (Hons), MRCGP, MRCP discusses his transition from traditional practice into Functional Medicine.
Do you as I did find yourself wondering if there is a better way to utilise your skills to practice medicine? Are you willing to think about medicine in a different way? Have you wanted to explore approaches that address most chronic illnesses by really understanding the root causes of the disease. Maybe you have even wondered if polypharmacy is reversible or avoidable in patients with complex intersecting health conditions?
For over 20 years a clinically orientated training programme has been developed in the USA and UK in which a structured science based approach to chronic illness pulls together interconnected strands from different disciplines to present a safe, effective and rewarding strategy to the resolution and prevention of non-communicable diseases.
In this patient centred approach physicians spend time listening to their histories, mapping their personal timeline, and looking at the interactions among genetic, metabolomic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease. As a result of this interaction physicians and health care practitioners are able to support the healing process by viewing health and illness as part of a cycle in which all components of the human biological system interact dynamically with the environment. This process helps to seek and identify genetic, metabolic, nutritional, lifestyle, and environmental factors that may be changed to then shift a person from illness to well-being.
Functional Medicine as this approach is called, has recently established a rapidly expanding collaboration with the highly respected Cleveland Clinic in the USA and at numerous medical colleges and research centres. Patients and clinicians when following these approaches recover their enthusiasm for medicine and personal responsibility resulting in partnerships and group plans that generate excellent outcomes.
I took this basic training course in 2012 and have not looked back since.
AFMCP teaches healthcare practitioners to more effectively integrate science, research, and clinical insights to treat and prevent disease and maintain health. Established and emerging diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention strategies are extensively covered. AFMCP integrates these approaches through the Functional Medicine Matrix Model (an innovative and practical assessment tool) and the emphasis on a therapeutic partnership between patient and practitioner.
- Gastrointestinal disfunction and its links to chronic disease
- Nutritionally focused assessment and treatment
- Food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances
- Inflammation and immune dysregulation
- Toxins, toxicity, and impaired biotransformation
- Insulin resistance and cardiometabolic syndrome
- Hormonal imbalance including adrenal, thyroid, and sex hormones
- Oxidative stress, mitochondrial disfunction, and fatigue
Dr Amina Davison took AFMCP-UK in 2017 – read about her experience here.
Why should GP’s and MD’s attend AFMCP-UK?
There is a better way to practice
A recent study published in the Lancet warned that General Practice in England is reaching ‘saturation point’, with job dissatisfaction and stress amongst GP’s at their highest level for over a decade. A new approach to achieving and maintaining health is needed and necessary.
Get to the root cause
In medical school, GP’s are mostly taught a model of care suitable for acute problems that are primarily pharmaceutical based. However, the health landscape in the UK has changed dramatically over the past few years. The vast majority of chronic problems that are seen today – such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, gut problems, insomnia and headaches – are largely driven by lifestyle choices. AFMCP-UK teaches healthcare professionals to get to the root cause of these problems and implement them into practice.
Really care for your patients
Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine Practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their stories 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. We provide extra tools and support for GP’s who need to compress this into a 10-minute consultation!
Practice safely and legally
AFMCP-UK teaches the framework of how to put Functional Medicine into practice and apply knowledge in a safe and effective way. Clinical Education, based in the UK, is committed to assisting you through your Functional Medicine journey. We will connect you with GPs who are already practising Functional Medicine to talk through issues such as insurance and regulations.
Connect with like-minded colleagues
The Functional Medicine Movement is growing. For AFMCP 2018, NHS GP’s and MD’s are expected to make up 40% of the audience demographic. We will facilitate networking to ensure you meet like-minded colleagues. We will seat you with other GP’s to ensure that your Functional Medicine journey begins with future colleagues and friends.
If you’re still unsure, this FREE course from the Institute for Functional Medicine will Introduce you to Functional Medicine.