“Functional medicine is a branch of medicine that tries to get to the root cause of illness rather than just give, as you hear it, ‘a pill for every ill,’” Kopek explained.
“So, our goal is to figure out why somebody’s suffering the way they are,” she added.
Kopek, who has been practicing functional medicine for seven years, said one of “the unique things about what we do is we have longer visit times, so we spend an hour with patients, getting history.”
Additionally, “It’s very patient-centered … which I think is also really important,” she added.
“We do use medications and prescriptions, but we also use natural things when possible. We do a lot with nutrition, supplements and gut health.”
Kopek was drawn into the field as a result of her own experiences as a teen.
“I was diagnosed when I was 13 with an auto-immune condition and suffered lots of years because the pill that they gave me didn’t fix all my problems,” Kopek said. “It’s kind of led me to search more into medicine and to go into PA school.
After PA school, she was in family medicine, then women’s health when she was introduced to functional medicine through her pharmacy teacher.
“He took me to a conference, and I started to realize this was the missing link, the type of medicine I knew I wanted to practice,” Kopek said.
After training in the field, a year later, she was practicing functional medicine full time.
“I was just seeing that the results with the patients were good, and it was working very well,” Kopek said.
She practiced at a clinic for four-and-a-half years, then another clinic for a year, but she said, “I had this dream of having my own clinic.
“It’s a passion I have,” Kopek added. “I really feel it’s more than a job.”
“I’d say (knowledge of functional medicine) has really started to boom in the last five to 10 years. I definitely want to get the word out and education out.
The practice is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and telemedicine from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.
To book an appointment, people can visit online at restorativefunctionalmedicine.com, call 865-367-9506 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org