Jessica Montalvo, MD, thought she would be an East Coast resident for life. After attending college at Harvard University and medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, settling down in New York City for residency seemed like the next step. That plan fell apart when she fell in love with the city of Chicago during her residency interviews. She was fortunate to match at Northwestern for internal medicine training, beginning a relationship with the institution and the city that is ongoing. She became a hospitalist on the inpatient oncology service, and from there found her way into additional training in the field of hospice and palliative medicine. She joined the inpatient palliative care team and found meaning in being present for patients and families struggling to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system with late-stage illnesses.
After a few years, she became restless. It felt like she was meeting patients too late to really impact their care plan. She joined a home-based palliative care practice, Aspire Health. Many of the patients they were seeing certainly were not acutely ill like the hospitalized patients she was used to, but chronically ill. Around this time, she was learning more about Functional Medicine and was regularly reading material by many thought leaders, including Chris Kresser. It dawned on her that the patients her team was seeing at home had some potential for improvement or restoration, but none of their outpatient clinicians were treating them as such. She realized then that she wanted to be part of the Functional Medicine movement.
Over the course of a couple of years, she pursued certification through the Institute of Functional Medicine and the ADAPT Practitioner Training Program through Kresser Institute. She also completed training around the work of Dr. Dale Bredesen in reversing cognitive decline. She is starting Mindwise Healthcare, a Functional Medicine practice focused on optimizing brain health and function through the application of the Bredesen protocol and related diagnostic testing and treatment modalities. Her husband, Matt, completed health coach training through the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program and plans to work part time in the practice in that role.