Functional medicine embraces much of the philosophy of Integrative medicine but also employs a systems-oriented medical approach that works to identify and understand the underlying or root causes of disease. This discipline takes into account the personalization of healthcare, as each patient care plan is distinct and unique and every aspect of a patient’s medical history is reviewed in detail. Much like integrative medicine, functional medicine treats the individual rather than the disease. A further advantage lies in the relationship between patient and practitioner which effectively becomes a partnership.
Often, individual genetic and environmental research is conducted to obtain a deeper knowledge of the patient’s health status. Understanding the biochemical individuality of a patient can lead to the underlying causes of disease and, furthermore, the prevention of additional health risks in the future. Functional Medicine has gained much popularity, even spurring the creation of the Institute for Functional Medicine. Personalized medicine is without a doubt, the future model of medical care.