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To better understand our medical model of practice it is important to differentiate between two types of eye care practices: conventional and functional. Our practice is more integrative and we hope that this resonates with you. Here are a few definitions to reflect on:


Conventional Medicine: 

  • A reductionist model of medicine in which a strong emphasis is placed on characterizing disorders by diagnosis which usually reflects a collection of symptoms or behaviors rather than the cause of the disorder. Treatment relies heavily on the use of synthetic medications, invasive procedures and surgery.

  • The body is viewed as a series of organ systems which are typically segregated from one another. Assessment, treatment and even many of the practitioners themselves are conceptualized by the individual organ which the problem has been reduced to.

  • This model of medicine has made spectacular advances over the past century in certain fields such as: emergency medicine, infectious disease, diagnostic radiology and surgical interventions. For varied and sometimes unclear reasons, it was decided that this model should then be applied to the whole spectrum of healthcare, including chronic disease management, nutrition and preventative medicine with, at best, mediocre results.

  • Perpetual symptom suppression and the lack of root cause resolution has resulted in a continued deterioration of these integral aspects of healthcare and widespread dissatisfaction among patients and practitioners alike.


Functional Medicine: 

  • A personalized and integrative approach to healthcare which involves understanding the prevention, management and root causes of complex chronic disease. Functional medicine has taken from all the models discussed and offers the most comprehensive and effective approach to healthcare in the 21st century.

  • Conventional medical practices are integrated with non-conventional practices – the most important criteria being effectiveness & safety. It is practiced by licensed medical professionals originally trained in the reductionist, diagnosis-based model of conventional medicine and who apply that thought process to appropriate acute medical issues. However, when dealing with chronic complex medical issues it employs a systems biology approach that views the person within a holistic framework and their problems within a biological network.

  • Functional medicine utilizes the most current scientific knowledge regarding how our genetics, environment and lifestyle interact as a whole system to diagnose and treat diseases based on patterns of dysfunction and imbalance – without necessarily treating the specific disease. Functional medicine treats the person who has the disease, not the disease the person has.

  • Determining the root cause of the illness is an essential component of this system to the extent that a physician who does not practice in this manner is not practicing functional medicine. Symptom suppression is only used as a temporizing measure while seeking the root cause and when clinically necessary to optimize function of the patient. 

  • Functional medicine is built on the foundation of conventional medicine. Functional medicine is holistic in how it views patients and the problems they present with. Functional medicine includes the core concepts of naturopathic medicine within its system. Functional medicine incorporates the open-mindedness of integrative medicine when determining the most effective modality needed to get the patient well. Functional medicine has built upon all these other approaches to healthcare to make available to the patient the most effective medical system currently known.

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