4 Key Questions to Ask a Functional Medicine Practitioner

Maggie Roney LPC

For many, the journey through traditional medicine can be a frustrating and often fruitless endeavor, especially where it has been difficult to nail down a clear diagnosis. From endless appointments, numerous medications, and still no resolution in sight, chronic health issues can leave many feeling hopeless. 

If you find yourself in this position, functional medicine offers another way. As a functional medicine practitioner with my own story of never-ending health issues, I have learned it does not have to be this way. 

Functional medicine’s holistic approach to healthcare focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of disease rather than merely managing symptoms. Here, we explore what to look for in a functional medicine practitioner to ensure you receive the highest quality of care.

Understanding Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is a patient-centered approach that seeks to understand the complexities of the body and how various systems interconnect. Unlike conventional medicine, which often isolates symptoms and treats them individually, functional medicine aims to understand the underlying causes of health issues and treat the whole person. This comprehensive method considers factors like genetics, environment, and lifestyle, which all play significant roles in health and wellness.

If you are interesting in learning more about functional medicine’s comparison to traditional, check out a past article titled “Functional Medicine vs Traditional Medicine: Unveiling a Pathway to True Healing.

Questions to Ask a Functional Medicine Practitioner

When seeking a functional medicine practitioner, it may be hard to know what questions to ask or where to start. How can someone already know what they don’t know yet?

That is why it’s crucial to be informed and ask the right questions to ensure you receive the best care. Here are some essential questions you might not think to ask:

1. What is Your Approach to Patient Care?

A good functional medicine practitioner should take a personalized approach to patient care. They should be willing to spend time understanding your health history, lifestyle, and unique genetic makeup.

You may be used to the 15-minute appointment times, but a holistic practitioner will take the time required to learn your issues and background. This may include an extensive intake process, interview, and medical history review.

2. What Diagnostic Tests Do You Use?

Functional medicine often involves advanced diagnostic testing. Ask about the types of tests they use to identify underlying health issues, such as hormone levels, nutrient deficiencies, and gut microbiome analysis.

3. How Do You Integrate Lifestyle and Environmental Factors into Treatment Plans?

The interplay between lifestyle, environment, and health is central to functional medicine. A practitioner should incorporate diet, exercise, stress management, and environmental factors into their treatment plans.

4. How Do You Stay Current with Advances in Functional Medicine?

Healthcare is a constantly evolving field. A good practitioner should stay updated with the latest research and advancements in functional medicine. Ask about their continuing education and professional development practices.

There are many certifications and associations for functional medicine practitioners, which help create a high quality standard of care. Recently, I completed and joined The Applied Functional Medicine Certified Practitioners, where we commit to 400+ hours of rigorous training in advanced functional medicine sciences and validated applications through clinical case studies.

Benefits of Functional Medicine

Choosing a functional medicine practitioner comes with numerous benefits:

1. Holistic Approach

Functional medicine takes a holistic view of health, considering all aspects of a person’s life and body. This approach can lead to more comprehensive and effective treatment plans.

2. Personalized Care

Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual, taking into account their unique health history, genetics, and lifestyle. This personalized approach can often lead to better outcomes.

3. Preventative Focus

Functional medicine emphasizes prevention. By identifying and addressing potential health issues early, practitioners can help prevent more serious conditions from developing.

4. Integration of Conventional and Alternative Therapies

Functional medicine practitioners often combine the best of conventional medicine with alternative therapies, providing a balanced and integrative approach to health care.

5. Enhanced Patient-Practitioner Relationship

Functional medicine practitioners typically spend more time with their patients, fostering a stronger, more collaborative relationship. This partnership is crucial for developing and implementing effective treatment plans.


Finding the right functional medicine practitioner can be a transformative step in your health journey. By asking the right questions and understanding what to look for, you can ensure that you receive care that is both comprehensive and personalized. 

Functional medicine offers a unique and effective approach to healthcare that can address chronic health issues at their root, leading to improved overall wellness.

Get your FREE copy

Understanding the Power of Functional Medicine

Unlock the solutions for overcoming chronic pain, fatigue, and anxiety to finding a happier, healthier life beyond to promises of traditional healthcare.

Subscribe now and receive instant access.