A graduate of the University of Virginia, Heather completed her medical education at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2000 and Family Medicine Residency at Riverside Family Practice in 2003. She practiced family medicine full-time in Midlothian, VA before moving to Missoula. Heather held a long standing practice as a Primary Care Physician at Western Montana Clinic starting in 2009, before co-founding Montana Functional Health in 2019.
Practicing functional medicine is a natural extension of her long-held interests in preventative care and promoting health and wellness. Heather is recognized as a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner through the Institute of Functional Medicine.
Heather is proud to call Missoula home and enjoys exploring all Montana has to offer with her husband, two sons, and their dogs.
What I love most about being a physician is connecting with patients. I have learned that patients will tell you what is wrong if you take the time to listen.
I have worked in a conventional medicine setting since 2003 and have found our current western medical system often rewards quantity over quality. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for a provider to listen to a patient’s story, form a therapeutic relationship, and properly understand why someone is battling disease.
After struggling for years with these shortcomings, I was determined to find an approach that allowed me to be a more effective physician. I also wanted more tools than just prescription medication to help heal people with increasingly complex medical problems.
In 2017 I was introduced to functional medicine, a system-oriented approach to understanding and treating chronic disease that better fits my practice ideals. Rather than matching symptoms to the diagnosis to medications, I was looking to understand and treat the root cause of why a person was chronically ill. When I found functional medicine, I knew instantly that this was the direction I wanted to go with my medical career.
I also had a personal stake in learning more about functional medicine. My own health was declining, I was suffering gastrointestinal distress as well as adrenal fatigue. I didn’t feel like myself. I took on a functional medicine approach to understand why I felt out of balance. I looked back on my life, identifying possible triggers that led to some of my symptoms. I filled out detailed functional medicine questionnaires about my current lifestyle including dietary habits, sleep patterns, and stress management tactics. Through this process, I gained clarity on what lifestyle adjustments were necessary for me to heal. I committed to the needed improvements and within a few months I was feeling like myself again.
“My journey with functional medicine has been deeply personal and has changed the way I live my life. I am excited to continue to learn and share functional medicine with my patients to help empower them to find their optimal state of wellness.”
– Heather Maddox, MD