Growing up in the Philippines meant three things for Francienne Grantsaris: First, she would have her favorite breakfast of rice, eggs, and meat most mornings. Second, her Catholic roots and practices guaranteed huge family gatherings (to the tune of hundreds of “relatives”). Third, her future profession would be decided by her parents.
“Your parents decide your future profession,” said Francienne. “It’s predetermined before birth, meaning you will end up having one of these careers: doctor, nurse, lawyer, or an accountant.” Luckily for Missoula, her preordained profession was in healthcare.
Having started college in the Philippines, Francienne’s path to medicine took a drastic turn when her mother made the huge sacrifice to move her family to Montana. Fifteen years later, with an undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Montana and a graduate degree from Georgetown University, Francienne now serves Missoula as a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She is also currently working on a second board certification in functional health. Her effort toward this second accreditation is the direct result of having become discouraged by the customary method of treating disease.
“I had a deep nagging feeling that there had to be a better way than the ‘pill for every ill’ style of medicine that I was delivering,” said Francienne. “While traditional medicine is a good approach for acute illnesses and for diagnosing and treating advanced illnesses, it can only treat disease once it has already occurred.” That just wasn’t good enough for Francienne or her patients.
Today, FG Aesthetics and Medicine is a comprehensive practice providing natural-looking facial results for patients seeking the best version of themselves while optimizing health and quality of life through a functional medicine process. This process is different than standard medicine in that rather than focusing on diseases or separate organ systems, the body is treated as one interconnected organism. The goal of functional medicine is not to diagnose disease, but to find the root cause of that disease. Why is the patient afflicted with gastrointestinal concerns or thyroid issues? What is causing hormone imbalances or weight gain? Finding that root cause can be tricky when considering the entire body, which is where testing comes in.
“We test because we don’t like to guess,” Francienne posted on her Instagram page (@fgaestheticsandmedicine). Such tests might include in-house blood draws, advanced hormone testing using the DUTCH method, or comprehensive (and private) stool testing sent directly to the home. In addition to testing, Francienne spends quite a bit of time gathering history from her patients. What are the interactions that might be affecting your body? Environment? Lifestyle factors? Piecing all of this information together allows Francienne to see the overall picture and to create a plan of care that is uniquely tailored to the individual. She believes that, “part of the greatest impact of functional medicine is engaging with the patients to make them an active participant in their overall health and well-being. When an individual is accountable, they are more likely to make the necessary changes to improve their health.”
Functional medicine takes the outdated doctor-patient relationship and redefines it. No longer should a person expect to show up to an office, receive a diagnosis, and be treated with the same pill everyone else with that condition receives. True healthcare is about empowering the patient to take accountability, play detective, and work with a doctor or coach to regain their highest quality of life.
Francienne’s calling may have been somewhat of an arranged marriage, but Philippine culture and tradition have instilled a deep sense of self within her care of others. She’s proud to say she, “truly enjoys the practical application of science that medicine represents where your intellect, influence, and heart come together.”