Her functional medicine journey began years ago when she studied biochemistry during her undergraduate years at Harvard University. She began to understand and appreciate the complexity of the body’s chemistry, but felt the need to help people more directly than she could as a researcher. She worked with Dr. Brian Berman, a physician and alternative medicine researcher for the NIH, and learned about the role that acupuncture and alternative medicine can take within a conventional medicine setting.
Inspired by the brilliant minds around her with the same interest in creating true health, she decided to study medicine to use the best of science along with her desire to connect with and help people.
During her medical school training at Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans she maintained her dedication to educating herself about natural health. She studied several forms of meditation, developed presentations on nutrition and in her fourth year of medical school she completed the Helms Medical Acupuncture Course in addition to her conventional medicine training.
When she graduated from medical school Dr. Bergstrom chose to specialize in family medicine, because it seemed most consistent with her desire to teach people how to prevent and proactively treat disease. She completed her family medicine residency at Providence Milwaukie Hospital in Oregon.
Dr. Bergstrom stayed in the Portland area and practiced family medicine with PeaceHealth Medical Group in Vancouver, Washington. She used natural medicine, acupuncture and lifestyle changes to help her patients. She had two lively children, and her desire to educate herself and others about optimizing health became even stronger as she learned about the profound effects of nutrition and environment on pediatric health.
Even though she already had extensive training in integrative medicine, one of her real “ah-ha!”moments occurred during her first functional medicine conference. At this conference she heard thought leaders in the functional medicine movement talk about fully understanding prevention, finding the underlying cause of illness rather than simply treating symptoms, and using the most up to date knowledge about biochemistry, labs and medications. Dr. Bergstrom believes that this is what all MDs went to medical school for, but were never taught and has since felt that functional medicine is her hobby and her passion as well as her career.
She continued her integrative medicine education and studied the Institute for Functional Medicine curriculum. Since then, she has become a passionate educator who enjoys showing people that they have the ability to heal themselves once they have the right tools and the right information. She has developed programs to help everyone reclaim their health and enjoys witnessing the amazing benefits that people receive when they take charge of their health armed with the right information.
- Transitioning from conventional to functional medicine.
- On average it takes 17 years for doctors to adopt the latest medical research.
- Why more doctors are starting their own practices to offer patients the best health care.
- What visit length has to do with quality of care.
- Functional Medicine practitioners are energized by their job and engaged with their patients.
- Dr. DeFrancesco’s pet peeve: “It’s just because you’re getting older.”
- The happy side effects of natural medicine.
- Giving patients the information they need to heal themselves.
- Busting medical myths and educating patients.
- What your genes have to do with your health and why it’s not like the movie Gattaca.
- Medicine and epigenetics.
- Why lifelong medications don’t have to be your reality.
- Offering patients an opportunity for real change.
- You have the power to determine the future of your health. Take one step today to figure out how you’re going to do that.
LINKS & RESOURCES
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Dr. DeFrancesco partners with patients seeking a smarter & sustainable approach to health by doing the detective work to uncover root cause(s) and design a personalized and comprehensive plan that includes nutrition, lifestyle, functional medicine, and root cause therapies.
This approach benefits people who are seeking help with chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmunity, thyroid conditions, digestive problems, brain health, and health optimization.