Questions To Ask Your Functional Medicine Practitioner

Questions To Ask Your Functional Medicine Practitioner

Looking for health practitioners is never an easy task. Finding a doctor that is the right one for you can be even more challenging. In this guide, learn what questions to ask your doctor, and some warning signs to watch for.

Your Doctor’s Relevant Professional Experience

Do you have experience treating my conditions(s)?

A lot of the functional medicine doctors we speak with mention that they often recognize a specific problem even before they get the test results back. Based on their experience, they are able to recognize some of the commonalities and patterns. This can shorten the discovery phase, make the treatment much more effective and of course improve your overall experience.

Follow up questions will help you understand your doctor’s approach to your situation so you know what to expect:

  • What tests are needed?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • How long will it take?
  • How soon will I feel better?
  • Are there any risks or side effects?
  • What are the expected costs?

Warning signs: doctor’s experience or plan moving forward are vague or unclear.

Your Connection with Your Doctor

Does your doctor listen?

In functional medicine, both the patient and the practitioner work together to get a detailed understanding of each patient’s unique situation. This discovery phase may look into individual risk factors, genetics, biochemistry, and your current lifestyle. Your doctor will then tailor an approach based on these findings and your personal preferences.

In order for this process to be efficient, the personal connection with your doctor is key. You should feel comfortable asking as many questions as you need, so you understand your doctor’s advice and path going forward.

Warning signs: your doctor doesn’t listen, or make you feel uncomfortable.

Your Treatment

Does it make sense?

As we mentioned, the treatment is often tailored to meet your individual situation. While some conditions may require a strict diet short term (for example, elimination diet), taking certain supplements or medications, it has to make sense. So you understand why you are doing it, and for how long. Your doctor should explain the logic behind these options, and work together with you to make it work and fit your lifestyle.

Other Questions To Ask Your Doctor

According to the institute of functional medicine (IFM), here are some additional questions to ask a functional medicine physician:[1]

  • How would you describe your practice?
  • Do you work with other clinicians? (e.g. Nutrition Professionals, Health Coach).
  • Do you have information you could send me about your practice?
  • Please describe your Functional Medicine training.
  • Do you take insurance or are you a cash practice?
  • What are the main therapies that you use? (e.g. dietary, chiropractic adjustments, supplements, prescription medications)?
    Are they typically covered by insurance?
  • Do you use laboratory tests (urine, stool, saliva, and/or blood)? What other kinds of assessments do you use?
    Are they typically covered by insurance?
  • What is the cost of an office visit?
  • How much time should I budget for my first appointment?
  • What should I do to prepare for my first visit?
  • Do you offer telephone or online consultations?
  • What options do you offer for after-hours contact?
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