Our Process

“I saw a Functional Medicine Doctor and spent thousands of dollars on testing and supplements, and I’m still not better!”

Traditional Functional Medicine practices typically use expensive, inaccurate or unvalidated lab tests to guide treatment. At the RIFM, we listen to you.

After filling out a detailed intake form that is tailored to identifying practical solutions you then meet with one of our staff members who works to organize your history and passes on your case to our doctors. Your Doctor will then go through your case in detail and will begin taking notes to identify potential areas to work on with you. At your First Visit, your Doctor will ask specific questions based on your history and listen very closely to find the best treatments to help you. Afterwards, your Doctor will then review your entire case and apply Dr. Ruscio’s proven and effective Model to come up with a personalized care plan. You will go over these recommendations together at the Second Visit.

At Follow Up Visits, you will share your individual response to treatment and work with your clinician to make any tweaks or changes as necessary. We’ve spent decades learning from our patients, and have the experience to understand which treatments make a difference, and which do not. Let us guide you through the practical steps that help you to feel better.

Gut Health Specialists (Healthy Gut, Healthy You)

While everyone requires an individual approach, we spend a lot of time working with our patients on improving their gastrointestinal health.

This is because a surprising number of symptoms and problems resolve when the gut is healed. We love helping patients improve their brain fog, anxiety, or female hormone imbalances by working with their gut.

Finally, we have found that even our patients who are suffering with other problems, such as mold toxicity, heal quicker when their gut health is improved first. 

Complicated Health Journey? No Problem.

Work with the Doctors who train other Doctors.

You may be looking for help after failing another approach but still feeling poorly. Because you deserve the clinical expertise available, we’ve built an organization that is tailor made to help patients that have struggled with other approaches.

On our clinical side, our team of “medical detectives” takes pride in being able to help even the trickiest cases by looking at the big picture and finding areas or treatments that may have been previously overlooked, then helping you implement them. Dr. Ruscio has spent years sorting through the science, interviewing the experts, and organizing the most effective treatments into a Method that consistently helps struggling patients. Our practitioners obsess over helping you work through this Method by applying the right treatments in the right order so that you can feel better as quickly as possible.

At the same time, our Research Team is constantly at work analyzing the latest science to bring you the latest solutions. We are proud to share our expertise with other clinicians in the Future of Functional Medicine Review, where we teach how to help even their most complicated cases.

Cost-Effective Care

Unfortunately, too many patients have wasted thousands of dollars on inaccurate functional medicine tests.

The truth is that many of these tests do not help a doctor understand which treatments are the most likely to help you, some are inaccurate, and a few are fraudulent.

We promise not to waste your time or money on unnecessary testing.

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Functional Medicine, Simplified.

We help you address the underlying reasons that you feel poorly, rather than covering up your symptoms with prescriptions or supplements. 

Finding the underlying issues that cause you to feel poorly is not complicated. Unfortunately, far too many have been asked to follow unrealistic and complicated treatment plans that make healing more difficult. Happily, most of these patients that work with us are able to heal once a straightforward and practical care plan is implemented.

Excellent Functional Medicine requires a practitioner who knows how to listen closely, combined with the experience to know which solutions work, and which do not.

From lifestyle imbalances to chronic gut disorders, inappropriate supplementation to toxic exposures, we will help you learn the real reasons that you are struggling, and share with you the practical ways to feel better.

The Clinical Team

Dr. Ruscio's Clinic Austin Functional Medicine

Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC
Chief Medical Officer, Head of Research, and CEO

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. He is a clinical researcher and best-selling author whose practical ideas on healing chronic illness have made him an influential voice in functional and alternative medicine. His work has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and he speaks at integrative medical conferences across the globe. Dr. Ruscio also runs an influential website and podcast at DrRuscio.com, as well as serving distance patients via Zoom.
Hannah Hamlin, DO

Hannah Hamlin, DO

Dr. Hamlin is is a general practitioner who specializes in Functional Medicine. She received a Bachelors Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University prior to attending medical school at William Carey College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed an internship at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center and has completed training through the Institute of Functional Medicine. She believes that mindset is an integral part of the healing process and is passionate about optimizing health in the presence of autoimmune disease. 

Robert Abbott, MD, Director of Research

Robert Abbott, MD
Director of Research

Dr. Abbott is the medical director for Resilient Roots: Functional and Evolutionary Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia. He completed his family medicine internship with VCU-Shenandoah Valley and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has completed training with the Institute for Functional Medicine, is a Kresser Institute ADAPT Level 1 clinician, and an AIP Certified Coach. He is currently the medical advisor at Autoimmune Wellness conducting collaborative research with founders Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott. He approaches medicine from an evolutionary and functional perspective and practices what he calls “spiritually focused and evolutionarily informed functional medicine.”
Joe Mather, MD, MPH&TM, Medical Director

Joe Mather, MD, MPH&TM
Medical Director

Dr. Mather is a board-certified Family Practice physician and the Medical Director of the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine. He graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine and Tulane University School of Public Health in 2011 and completed his residency in 2014.  He is passionate about delivering cost-effective and practical medical care with a focus on GI health and environmental toxicity. He spends a lot of time working with patients suffering from complex and chronic diseases. When he is not working with patients you will find him chasing his three small children, exercising or playing music.  
Gavin Guard, PA

Gavin Guard, PA

Gavin Guard believes that the average doctor visit is not giving patients the care and support they deserve. He graduated summa cum laude from Whitman College with a bachelor’s in biochemistry before completing graduate medical school training at the University of Colorado. Since then, he’s completed training with the Institute for Functional Medicine, is a Kresser Institute ADAPT Level 1 Clinician, a Precision Nutrition Level 1 nutrition coach, an AIP Certified Coach, and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist. His main clinical focuses include gastrointestinal disorders and metabolic disease like weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Along with the rest of the Ruscio Institute team, he is bringing the latest medical research to the forefront of clinical patient care. He wakes up every morning to help patients find lasting solutions to their health so that they can experience hope and feel restored.

Scott Spiridigliozzi, ND

Scott Spiridigliozzi, ND

Dr Scott is a naturopathic doctor who is passionate about helping his patients feel their best, both physically and mentally, so they can enjoy all aspects of their lives. He primarily focuses on helping patients improve their GI health, as well as naturally supporting hormonal and metabolic imbalances. He completed his naturopathic training at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. When he isn’t obsessing over how to help his patients improve their health as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, he is enjoying spending time with his wife and baby.

The Research Team

At our center we feel there is a strong need to reform and improve practice in the field. Which is why we are continually performing clinical research at our clinic.

Darla O'Dwyer, PhD

Darla O'Dwyer, PhD

Darla is a registered dietitian and holds a Ph.D. in food and nutrition. She has been a faculty member at Stephen F. Austin State University since 2003 and is currently serving as the Dietetic Internship Director and Coordinator for the Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics program. She has a passion for integrative and functional medicine and her research interests are in gastrointestinal nutrition, dietary supplements, and fermented foods. She trained in functional medicine from the Kalish Institute to learn a more holistic approach to healing. Outside of work, she loves to cook, read, walk, swim, and spend time with her family, including the four-legged variety.

Noora Alakulppi, PhD

Noora Alakulppi, PhD

Dr. Noora is a human geneticist and Precision Nutrition Level 2 nutrition coach with expertise in nutrition, autoimmune, gastrointestinal, and hormonal diseases. In 2008, Dr. Alakulppi graduated with her doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Helsinki Department of Biosciences. In post-graduate time, she researched celiac disease diagnostics, stem cells, and gastrointestinal microbiome. She is currently completing her Functional Medicine Nutrition Coach education in Finland. Her research interests include quantitative self/biohacking, supplements, herbs, spices, and the big four: stress, sleep, movement, and social connections. In her spare time, Dr. Alakulppi enjoys piano playing and singing.

Hannah Klopf

Hannah Klopf

Hannah is a medical student and osteopathic manipulative medicine fellow at Rocky Vista University in Denver, Colorado. With goals of becoming a combined family medicine and psychiatry physician, her research thus far has focused on recovery of chronic and debilitating psychiatric illnesses using lifestyle intervention strategies. While not in clinical rotations, she is teaching at RVUCOM and treating patients in the OMM outreach clinic, practicing with an approach that emphasizes the body’s innate self-healing capabilities. Outside of work, you can find her crocheting, camping, painting, or hiking with her Australian shepherd named Aloe.

Admin/Support Staff

Keeping a clinic running requires a great deal of organization and administration to take care of everything to support our patients and their immediate families.

Morgan Molidor, MSc

Morgan Molidor, MSc

Morgan is a Nutritionist and Health Coach specializing in functional medicine and therapeutic diets. She focuses on practical change when implementing integrative nutritional strategies and aims to bring mindfulness and compassion to each visit. She brings patient’s health goals to fruition with coaching and through her personalized grocery delivery service, HealthyCart.

Elizabeth Lloyd, RN

Elizabeth Lloyd, RN

Eliza is a Registered Nurse and Health Coach whose passion has always been in functional medicine and nutritional health. She is well versed in gut biome, paleo diets, SIBO, genetic variants, and chronic illness. 


Jasmine Simon

Jasmine is the Office Manager at the clinic. She oversees administrative functions and patient support. She strives to provide excellent customer service and an unbeatable patient experience. Jasmine has an extensive background in customer service and management. She is CPO certified and has been working in patient care for the last five years. She is an advocate for healthy living and loves seeing people regain their health through their customized programs. In her free time, you will find her hiking with her two dogs and traveling with her family.

Hannah Headington

Hannah Headington

Hannah is the Patient Care Coordinator at the clinic. She strives to provide excellent customer service and an unbeatable patient experience. She is an advocate for healthy living and loves seeing people regain their health through their customized programs.

3 Things Patients Must Know About
Functional & Integrative Medicine

We will email these 3 essentials along with periodic patient success stories, the latest findings from our Research team and other information designed to help you heal.