The other morning, my partner/boyfriend/baby daddy asked me the difference between a naturopathic doctor and a functional medicine doctor. I told him that naturopathic doctors are the original functional medicine doctors.
According to the IFM (the Institute for Functional Medicine), functional medicine:
...focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.
And that, folks, is what naturopathic medicine does.
From Day 1 of naturopathic medical school, the 6 principles of naturopathic medicine are engrained in us. We approach everything we learn, every patient we see (from that Day 1) with those principles in mind.
- The Healing Power of Nature
- Identify and Treat the Cause
- First Do No Harm
- Doctor as Teacher
- Treat the Whole Person
I suppose I could pay the $325 annual fee and be a member of the IFM. BTW the IFM and functional medicine was founded by Dr. Jeffrey Bland who was one of the first board members of Bastyr University, the same naturopathic medical school we went to. Really, a 'functional medicine doctor' is just a term that the other (non-naturopathic) practitioners coined to do what we do.
So, I resist calling myself a functional medicine doctor because I'm a naturopathic doctor - and that would just be redundant. And, I stick to my explanation.
Naturopathic doctors are the original functional medicine doctors. Period.