Founded in 2014 in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine, The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA) trains Functional Medicine Health Coaches to partner with clients, collaborate with practitioners, and build a career doing something they love.
FMCA was founded in 2014 by two women whose personal experiences with the conventional healthcare system—both as providers and as patients—drove them to find a better way to be well. A way that listened to and treated the whole self, not just the parts that could be medicated.
Founder Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum spent nearly five decades making healthcare and education more holistic and innovative. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Sandi specialized in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body medicine, and served as a teacher and the director of a clinic for Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD). She is a pioneer in her fields, having implemented programs such as the use of neurofeedback with patients and becoming the first-ever psychologist to earn certification through The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).
Sandi partnered with co-founder Elyse Wagner, MS, CN, LMHCA, a certified nutritionist and licensed mental health counselor while working together as mental health professionals in Chicago. With experience in health coaching as well as a dual master’s degree in holistic nutrition and clinical psychology, Elyse’s personal journey to overcome chronic illness fuels her passion for helping others take ownership of their health. The two women connected over their shared belief in the transformative power of Functional Medicine, and together decided to fill a gap in the Functional Medicine model. That's when their vision of Functional Medicine Health Coach Certification was born.
In the 5 years since our founding, FMCA has graduated over 3,000 Functional Medicine Health Coaches. Our one-year Health Coach Certification Program is fully online and draws students from around the world, from a variety of different industries and backgrounds. FMCA even received the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) Excellence in Teaching/Training Award for 2020. This award recognizes teaching that demonstrates extraordinary achievements and effective learning facilitated through technology with measurable outcomes.
FMCA's Health Coach Certification Program is the only one developed in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine. IFM sets the standard for science-based, root-cause curriculum in areas of Functional Medicine and functional nutrition. IFM’s renowned experts teach both the IFM and FMCA curricula, modified specifically for health coaching.
We are also fully approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), which means our program has passed their rigorous standards for approval. Because FMCA is a NBHWC-approved program, our graduates may sit for their board exams—and they consistently outperform the average test-taker, earning their NBC-HWC titles at higher rates.
In addition to our Health Coach Certification Program, FMCA offers a variety of Specialty Courses, including free options, and courses that qualify for Continuing Education credits. Our award-winning program is approved and recognized by a variety of national and global bodies, many of whom also accept our program for Continuing Education credits. Learn more about the organizations that FMCA partners with, and what this means for additional certification opportunities and Continuing Education credits.
Our mission is to make personalized wellness a reality for the world.
Functional Medicine empowers patients and practitioners to work together to resolve the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness through diet and lifestyle change. Learn how functional medicine is changing the game in healthcare.
Functional Medicine Health Coaching bridges the gap between what clients know they need to do for their health and the intrinsic motivation needed to get there. Learn more about how Functional Medicine Health Coaching is bridging the gap in traditional healthcare.
Earn your certification in our award-winning, fully online one-year program. Practice your skills in our hands-on group training and get personalized feedback as you learn everything you need to succeed as a professional health coach. Learn more about our Health Coach Certification program.