University of Western States Collaborates with Institute for Functional Medicine on New Curriculum

Create Jobs 51/Shutterstock

The University of Western States (UWS) and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) announced the organizations will collaborate to integrate a functional medicine curriculum into the current UWS Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (NMD) degree program, enrolling students beginning fall 2023.

By partnering with IFM, UWS will build on its existing curriculum by introducing courses addressing the principles of functional medicine and its specific areas of focus, such as patients’ biochemical and genetic individuality. Students in the program will be provided with firsthand experience in both naturopathic and functional medicine modalities through observing clinical rotations, and later participating as primary care student clinicians.

“This collaboration [with IFM] benefits our NMD students and the patients they serve with an organizational structure designed to address the complex needs of people with acute and chronic health dysfunction,” said Marcia Prenguber, ND, FABNO, dean of the naturopathic medicine program at UWS.

The program is financial aid eligible for qualifying applicants. Currently, UWS offers scholarships of up to $1,000 for NMD students.

Graduates of the UWS program will not only qualify for jurisdictional licensing in naturopathic medicine but will also be eligible to sit for IFM’s Certified Practitioner exam. Prenguber, ND, FABNO, said the goal of the partnership is to not only equip practitioners with skills from both naturopathic and functional medicine perspectives, but to streamline education and get multidisciplined practitioners into the workforce.

Naturopathic medicine and functional medicine are both evidence-informed, patient-centered approaches to achieving and maintaining optimal health and well-being that address the root cause of dysfunction, rather than simply suppressing symptoms. Functional medicine’s focus on understanding each individual patient’s genetic, environmental, and lifestyle influences complements naturopathic medicine and integrates its full scope of assessments and treatment modalities, making the curriculum a natural fit.

“Functional medicine and naturopathic medicine share a common focus on patient-centered care,” said Amy Mack, MSES/MPA, chief executive officer of IFM. “IFM is honored to support the naturopathic medical students of UWS through the integration of functional medicine curriculum, faculty training, and scholarships to ensure confident and successful practitioners of naturopathic medicine.”

Click here to learn more about the UWS NMD program.