Now Accepting New Patients (and Other Big News)
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Now Accepting New Patients (And Other Big News)

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Accepting new patients
Now accepting new patients! mum_ble/istock/Thinkstock

UPDATE: The current open enrollment has closed.

If you are on the wait list, you will receive an email with an estimate of when your initial appointment will take place by Monday, October 13. Please note this is only an estimate of when your initial appointment will take place, and your invitation email may come a little earlier or a later depending on patient flow. We thank you in advance for your patience.

If you did not make the wait list, keep in mind there will be more opportunities to become a patient in the near future.

The good news is that I’ve taken steps that will enable me to provide better support to existing patients, and eventually more slots for new patients that need help:

  • I hired a clinical associate, Dr. Amy Nett, whom I supervise and train directly
  • I partnered with an experienced functional MD, Dr. Sunjya Schweig, to create a new functional medicine clinic/treatment center: the California Center for Functional Medicine
  • I am launching a formal clinician training program to train the next generation of functional medicine practitioners with an ancestral health focus

Read on to learn more about each of these developments.

Introducing Amy Nett, MD

As a single practitioner, there are only so many patients I can serve—especially given my other obligations, including research, writing, teaching, and of course, personal and family time. By hiring and training other clinicians in my particular approach, I can serve a much larger population of patients. 

Amy NettThat’s why I’m excited to introduce Dr. Amy Nett. Amy came on board about three months ago after an extensive search for a clinician that would be a good fit in my practice. She has been working closely with me during that time, and I continue to be impressed by her strong grasp of ancestral nutrition and the fundamental principles of functional medicine. Amy also has an insatiable thirst for learning, and as a radiologist, is an expert at reading and interpreting the scientific literature. 

Learn more about Amy and her background. 

Amy is currently available for follow-up appointments to my existing patients. As we’ve just added her to the schedule, she has a lot more availability than I do and thus the wait to see her is much less than it is to see me. Amy is already very familiar with my approach and protocols, and I supervise her directly with contact and meetings throughout the week. If you’re a current patient, and you’re interested in scheduling with Amy, you can book an appointment with her through MDHQ, our new electronic patient portal.

In a short time (2–4 months), Amy will begin accepting her own new patients, and this will of course significantly increase the number of patients we can accommodate in our clinic. We’ll make another announcement when that happens. 

Introducing Dr. Sunjya Schweig and the California Center for Functional Medicine

In addition to hiring Amy as my associate, I have also partnered with a functional medicine physician who is both a colleague and a friend, Dr. Sunjya Schweig. We have merged our practices to create a new center/clinic called the California Center for Functional Medicine (CCFM).

sunjyaI joined forces with Sunjya because he and I share a similar approach to functional medicine and patient care, and have a similar vision for how to revolutionize medicine. I also have tremendous respect for Sunjya as a clinician (he is my doctor—that’s how much I trust him!) and as a person. 

Sunjya treats a wide range of conditions, but he has special interest and experience in treating chronic infections such as Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Learn more about Sunjya and his background. 

The CCFM website isn’t ready yet, so for now you can make an appointment with Sunjya by submitting an inquiry through the contact form on his website. He is currently accepting a limited number of new patients since he has recently relocated to Berkeley, CA, but he will fill up quickly so if you’re interested in seeing him you should act quickly.

Once the CCFM site is ready, I’ll make another announcement here with a link to it and additional information about the new clinic. 

Update on the Clinician Training Program

Each week I get several emails from people who want to incorporate Paleo-based diet and lifestyle instruction and/or functional medicine into their existing coaching, training, or medical practice, or from students or people seeking a career change who wish to start such a practice from scratch.

The main question I get from these folks is always some variation of: where can I learn to do this? How can I train to do work that is similar to what you’re doing in your practice?

So far, I haven’t had a good answer. There are several different options for getting “pieces” of the puzzle, but there is currently no single training program that offers it all: functional medicine, ancestral health (Paleo diet and lifestyle), and practice building and management. 

This is exactly what I will offer. The curriculum and structure of the training will be based on the functional medicine “systems model” of understanding how disease develops (and thus, should be treated):

systems model

As you can see, it all starts with what some scientists are referring to as the “exposome”. This refers to the totality of environmental (i.e. non-genetic) exposures from conception onwards—including our diet, lifestyle, physical activity, exposure to toxins (including prescription drugs), and early life influences (our parents’ health at conception and mother’s health during pregnancy, our method of birth, whether we were breastfed). 

The exposome is what determines how our genes express (or don’t express), which in turn contributes to the unique manifestation of underlying mechanisms, diseases, and symptoms that occur in each individual as they move through their life.

So, as you might expect, the first module of the training program will focus on how to modulate the exposome, the environmental factors that are the primary drivers of health and disease. In most cases, addressing these factors is by far the most important thing you can do (and sometimes the only thing you need to do) to restore health. I’ll provide instruction on how to modify diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors for the most common health conditions and goals, from people with chronic illnesses like Hashimoto’s and IBS to athletes who want to optimize their performance. 

The next module will be the core functional medicine training. That will cover the most important diagnostic, therapeutic, and practice management skills you need to master to have a successful functional medicine practice.

From there, I will offer additional modules on advanced topics such as functional blood chemistry, methylation, lipids and heart disease, chronic infections, fertility/maternity, and more.

The training will be available virtually to begin with, though I am also considering in-person events (such as retreats or workshops) as well. 

I’ll make another announcement a few weeks before the training becomes available. If you’d like to be sure to be notified when it is, sign up for my email list if you are not already (enter your email in the blue box in the sidebar on the right).

Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section.

139 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. Chris- can you recommend any doctors on the east coast who practice similarly to your methods? Wish I could get out to California but it’s not possible right now

  2. I’m very excited about your training program. I am a Kalish Method Practitioner and certified health coach. Would the functional medicine modules be open to me? I am able to run labs, but only saliva, stool and urine, not blood. I have the potential to partner with other practitioners such as NDs, NPs or acupuncturists and could have access to blood work labs that way. Would this improve my eligibility? Also, I am preparing for a master’s in science in human nutrition, in order to become a certified clinical nutritionist. Thanks for all your great writing and resources!

  3. I am not well and have many health issues one being difficult to get rid of fungus in my stomach and intestines, the branching difficult kind.
    I had a 23andme gene test done and the info was merged with genetic genie and shows many methylation issues. COMT, MTHFR (heterozygous), plus many more gene variations. I need an expert who understand what all of these gene variations mean and do to my system.
    I am also missing the glutathione gene in the liver/kidneys according to the detoxigenomic profile done years ago by genova diagnostics. I am trying to heal my leaky gut…I take DHEA and pregnenolone to support my stage 3 adrenal exhaustion. (for years medical doctor’s didn’t understand why my stomach was so inflamed) I had candida and adrenals that weren’t being supported and my stress in my life. 20 years later it was found that I had Blastocystis Hominis. I am a mess and very ill!
    I am looking for an MD who understands and knows how to treat all of these conditions. Nystatin doesn’t penetrate that hard outer capsule of the fungus so I have been taking Diatomaceous earth to try and weaken it.
    When I was young I was given antibiotics and then later in life for mitral valve prolapse…unfortunately. I was born 40 years too late for the reason of having terrible anxiety in High School. I also had the HLA DQ2 gene and don’t eat any wheat and gluten. The fungus is the problem and lives in the stomach and digs into the intestinal wall. Not sure how I will be able to heal the lining. I’ve tried Sialic Acid and HCL. I eat bone broths every day…I have many food sensitivities, etc. Also dysbiosis of the intestinal flora.
    Thank you for any information you can give me.

  4. I am interested in receiving an alert or notification as to when there is a new opportunity to sign up as a new patient. I have already signed up on Chris’ email list.

    Is there anything else I need to do to be notified of when the next open enrollment is?

    Thanks!

  5. Hi Chris

    Just to let you know, since my original question on this page and your response here i have been doing some investigating. I have discovered that my title turns out is Nutrition Advisor i can get insurance to practise with the FNTP and due to this i am now registered with 3 labs in the UK which means i can order their lab tests. They offer many of the tests you have deemed as your preferred brand (at the time) for a particular type of testing system as well as many others you mention from time to time as being good tests.

    I thought this would be helpful for you to know in the planning stages of your course. I am really hoping this means we Brits could do all the modules.

    Warmest regards Justine

  6. Very excited to learn more about Functional Medicine- Hoping that I’ll be able to participate in your training. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner doing primary care. Thanks.

  7. Chris, I am planning to apply for the IFM program next year, so I’m thrilled at the announcement of your program. An eye exam provides numerous unique opportunities to discuss systemic health with a patient, and I believe very strongly in treating the whole person. I frequently refer my patients to your web site for information, and I can’t wait to hear more about the training in the spring. Thanks for being such a great resource!