WeCare Frisco

Jennifer Engels, MD

BY DAVID BUICE

As Dr. Jennifer Engels has learned, life’s twists and turns sometimes move us in unexpected directions. After earning her medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, she completed an internship in internal medicine at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, followed by a residency in radiology at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Next came a one-year fellowship in women’s imaging at UTSW, and with this extensive training, she soon joined the staff at the prestigious Cooper Clinic, practicing diagnostic radiology.

While at the Cooper Clinic, unexpectedly, her medical career began to change. Dr. Engels attended several lectures focused on optimizing nutrition, cardiovascular fitness, and preventive medicine strategies. She developed a desire to delve deeper into areas like nutrition, preventive medicine, supplementation, and cardiovascular performance, fields not emphasized in her earlier medical studies.

As she contemplated these new interests, a colleague mentioned functional medicine, a medical specialization new to her. Dr. Engels soon began studying this relatively new approach to patient treatment.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of disease, while devising the most effective ways to treat them. This form of treatment requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to develop personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

Rather than focusing on symptoms, functional medicine practitioners concentrate on causation, identifying the complexity of disease, including its many possible origins and manifestations. For example, one health condition may have several different causes, and, conversely, one cause may result in many different health conditions.

A New Focus, a New Path Forward

“I was absolutely fascinated by this new style of medicine that saw the patient as a whole biological system, rather than focusing on only one organ system at a time, such as cardiology,” says Dr. Engels. “This was a complete paradigm shift from conventional medicine and how I was trained.”

Intrigued and determined to learn more, Dr. Engels threw herself into a regimen of studies. She earned a degree in nutrition and health coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and to deal with some of her own health issues, she became a patient of a functional medicine practitioner. “I experienced firsthand the power of functional medicine and how it helped me feel like my optimal self again,” she says.
In June 2020 she began her practice in functional medicine, WeCare Frisco, and in November 2021, she earned full certification in that field from the Institute for Functional Medicine.

Since 2020, Dr. Engels has shared office space in Frisco with Dr. Xie Yin, but because of her practice’s growth, she will soon open her own separate clinic. Summing up her years-long transition from radiologist to a clinician practicing functional medicine, she says, “Sometimes I have to laugh because back when I was reading films in a dark room, I never would have imagined I would be seeing patients in my own clinic. I feel like this is my calling — I just took a roundabout way to get here.”

Contact

9555 Lebanon Road, Suite 701
Frisco, Texas 75035
(972) 668-2636
WeCareFrisco.com