Published: June 4, 2021
As the only Health Coach Certification Program designed in collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA) represents the gold standard in Functional Medicine health coaching. Our partnership with IFM also offers unique opportunities for our alumni to gain hands-on experience and form connections with Functional Medicine practitioners.
In the most recent Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice® (AFMCP) program taught by IFM, FMCA Alumni Program members coached participants through the Elimination Diet as part of a Beta program. This was the first FMCA/IFM program that incorporated health coaching so IFM conference attendees could experience it first-hand. This program helped educate providers just starting their career in Functional Medicine to learn about the role of Functional Medicine Health Coaches.
In total, 250 AFMCP attendees participated, and 120 FMCA Alumni Program members participated. The Beta Program was an overwhelming success, with tangible benefits for attendees and coaches! The program will be moving out of the Beta stage to become an official program for all AFMCP attendees moving forward, including the Fall 2021 cohort. This coaching opportunity is available exclusively to Alumni Program members, and is an exciting addition to the Alumni Program benefits.
Benefits for AFMCP Attendees
The Beta Program introduced AFMCP attendees/clients to health coaching and FMCA-trained health coaches. This immersive experience allowed participants to learn about their own health, and also walk in their patients’ shoes and understand how health coaches can help support them through the Elimination Diet. The experience showed them how important it was to have a coach for accountability and mindset.
“This session of health coaching was fantastic. I could not believe how knowledgeable, caring and reliable my coach was. I could not recommend this program highly enough. I hope this has set me on the road to a much healthier future!” – AFMCP Participant
AFMCP participants were able to see firsthand how coaching could improve their experience, and recognized the benefits for themselves and their future patients. As one AFMCP participant shared, “This was such a valuable experience! My health coach provided insight, offered resources to examine, encouraged me to gently practice techniques, and set goals without rigidity. I believe health coaching is an extremely valuable tool for helping people make and maintain lifestyle changes!”
Benefits for FMCA Coaches
The FMCA Alumni Program members that coached AFMCP participants were able to gain experience in coaching the Elimination Diet with a Functional Medicine expert, and further develop their coaching skills. This program also gave FMCA coaches a chance to network with future Functional Medicine clinicians, and helped open doors for future employment opportunities. The program helped build connections in our global community. Coaches were connected to AFMCP participants in their country/region, so they could build relationships with practitioners near them. Many of the coaches are now receiving referrals from the providers that they coached, and a few coaches received job offers as well. This coaching experience also contributed to the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) requirement for coaching sessions.
“Coaching clients participating in the comprehensive IFM Elimination Diet experience takes coaching to another level because of the natural synergy pairing a FMCHC with an IFM participant; coaches are helping clients open doors not only for themselves, but also for their future patients.” – FMCA Health Coach
By connecting FMCA coaches with future Functional Medicine practitioners, the program participants were able to experience the benefits of the Collaborative Care model together. The program gave coaches insight to the pain points for doctors and nurses, to better understand how they can support them through coaching.
As one FMCA alum shared: “It was wonderful to work with healthcare providers. Specifically, to learn of, understand, and coach to challenges that are unique to healthcare providers—such as empathy burnout, brainstorming ideas together on how their charting can be optimized so as to free up time in their busy schedules, and to put their health and wellness needs first so they can keep providing the highest value care to their clients and patients.”
Succeeding Through Collaboration
FMCA’s Health Coach Certification Program prepares our alumni with the knowledge and training they need to coach and collaborate with practitioners. As one FMCA alum shared, “I really felt confident in coaching the Elimination Diet because of the materials from FMCA. I was able to quickly refresh my memory and I felt prepared and organized to work with my clients from day one.”
Because of the positive feedback from the program participants, we’re excited to continue this collaboration in the AFMCP program. If you’re looking to connect with IFM practitioners and gain access to exclusive coaching opportunities like this, don’t wait! Join the Alumni Program today.