The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) announces an expansion to its certification program, allowing a broader range of medical professionals to have the opportunity to integrate Functional Medicine into their practice.

The new eligibility requirements now include the addition of licensed degree types such as physical therapists and occupational therapists.

This expansion aligns with IFM’s mission to increase the adoption of Functional Medicine, creating opportunity for an entirely new segment of practitioners and patients who will potentially benefit from this evidence-based approach to healthcare, according to a media release from the Institute for Functional Medicine.

“IFM has been educating practitioners since 1991, and formally through its certification program since 2013,” says Amy R. Mack, CEO of IFM.

“The expansion of our eligibility requirements enables more licensed medical professionals to gain certification so that the benefits of Functional Medicine can reach more patients who rely on them for their personal well-being. Our goal is to provide opportunities for a larger group of professionals to enhance their treatment approach to address the underlying causes of chronic disease for the best possible outcomes,” she adds.

The additional licensed degree types also include certified nutrition specialists, doctors of optometry, doctors of podiatric medicine, and mental health professionals.

Previously, eligible practitioners included MDs, DOs, naturopaths, chiropractors, PAs, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, dentists, pharmacists, acupuncturists, and registered dietitians.

“IFM Certified Practitioners are recognized as the most thoroughly trained and tested Functional Medicine clinicians in their fields and the most sought-after by both patients and employers,” states Robert Luby, MD, executive director of Medical Education for IFM, in the release.

“With the expansion of our eligibility requirements, more qualified practitioners will be equipped with the knowledge, tools, and skills to help their patients and contribute to the transformation of modern medicine.”

Along with these changes, IFM has also adjusted the 7-year completion time frame to 4 years, effective January 1, 2019. In addition, practitioners who complete the certification courses now hold their status for 10 years, expanded from the original requirement of 6 years.

For more information, visit The Institute for Functional Medicine.

[Source(s): The Institute for Functional Medicine, PR Newswire]