Your First Visit
Functional Medicine is a collaboration between patient and practitioner. Preparing for an initial Functional Medicine visit requires participation. Unlike traditional western medicine where we work on getting a cough and go in to the doctor to get it fixed, a Functional Medicine doctor will need to know the medical history, social history, family history, when you last felt vibrant, and when unhealthy symptoms started.
Also important is what has been tried to alleviate symptoms, what, if anything, happened just before the symptoms started, and a general overview of lifestyle. This includes dietary habits, how much physical activity happens daily, what “fun” looks like, are relationships healthy or toxic, as well as general views on life. The more thought put into the above, the more can be rendered from the first visit.
Once an appointment is scheduled, access will be given to some forms to complete. They may take a few hours to finish. Please be thoughtful and include everything that could be relevant. These are very important as they will be reviewed before the visit by your practitioner. Be as detailed as possible. It may be interesting what information is relevant to current health.
The initial visit itself is at least 60 minutes. The health history will be mapped out onto a timeline and the provider will recount the health history providing insight and highlighting pertinent events. If there are any adjustments or corrections in the story, patient and provider will make these together. Hearing one’s story told back to himself/herself is an incredibly powerful experience. Many people say their history comes to life and they hear salient points that they never realized were important.
At this point there will be a discussion of which, if any, testing would be appropriate at this time as well as a plan of care. Dietary and possibly exercise plans will be introduced as well as lifestyle changes or activities that can be helpful. You will likely be scheduled to follow up with a health coach and/or a nutritionist. (20% of people can make changes independent of a health coach and 80% of us need assistance in motivation and encouragement.) The next appointment with the provider will be scheduled before departing.
If you have any questions about your first visit, please call 928.714.7600.