3X4’s new State of Functional Medicine series features interviews with a diverse range of active practitioners and established thought leaders to learn more about why they chose the field of functional medicine, what excites them most about their work, the most common misconceptions they hear from patients, and most importantly — how they see the field evolving in the years ahead as healthcare shifts to be more personalized, proactive, and preventative.
Functional medicine practitioners play a key role in helping patients understand who they are so they can improve their quality of life which is what we’re all about here at 3X4. Our goal with this new series is to celebrate the work these practitioners are doing and inspire others to explore the exciting field of functional medicine.
The following is an interview we have recently had with Maureen M. Milota, MSN, FPA APRN, NP-C, Integrative & Functional Medicine Practitioner, IFM Certified Practitioner, Great Lakes Integrative Medicine, PLLC
Why did you decide to make functional medicine your focus?
MM: I’ve had more than twenty years of healthcare experience and have seen firsthand the limitations of how modern healthcare is delivered. That’s what inspired me to open my own integrative and functional medicine practice. My mother was a pharmacist and my grandfather was a physician who worked with Native Americans; they both sparked my interest in a holistic, on-traditional approach to wellness.
Who have been your greatest mentors in your functional medicine journey?
MM: My greatest mentors have been all those practitioners that paved the way for integrative and functional medicine and have remained accessible to this community. Mentors such as, Drs. Andrew Weil, Tieraona Low Dog, Tom Sult, Robert Rountree, Terry Wahls, Kara Fitzgerald, and Jill Carnahan.
What excites you most about your day to day work?
MM: I am most excited about listening to a client’s journey, re-telling his or her story, and then together developing a healing path toward wellness.
What’s the most challenging part of your day to day work?
MM: The most challenging part of my day to day work is trying to balance making a living and making my services accessible to all.
What do patients most commonly get wrong about functional medicine?
MM: I don’t think patients necessarily get anything wrong about functional medicine that the patient wouldn’t get wrong in traditional medicine. A path to wellness takes a strong team.
What’s holding the field of functional medicine back?
MM: Our government, the traditional biased medical community, insurance and pharmaceutical companies are all holding back functional medicine.
What has your experience been with genetic testing?
MM: My experience with genetic testing is that it provides another tool in our toolbox to help clients heal by uncovering root causes of system imbalances leading to body imbalances.
How do you see the practice of functional medicine evolving in the years ahead?
MM: With documented evidence-based results, I think functional medicine will continue to evolve into the standard of care.
About Maureen M. Milota.
Maureen Milota is a board-certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Family Practice, an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner, and completed the two-year fellowship in integrative medicine through the University of Arizona’s Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. She is both a certified diabetic and asthma educator and is the founder of Great Lakes Integrative Medicine, PLLC.