Veronica Porterfield, MS, LN, MPAS, PA-C, IFMCP

Functional Medicine Specialist

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Veronica Porterfield, MS, LN, MPAS, PA-C, IFMCP is a physician assistant and licensed nutritionist, and is certified in functional medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).

Veronica was born in Colombia, spent her first year of life in the Amazon, and moved to the US at age 1. She studied international affairs at the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, and on graduation, was planning a career in development work in South America. Her first child’s early experience of minor but persistent health concerns was addressed so simply but powerfully by a functional nutritionist that Veronica changed course at that point and started a Masters Degree in Nutrition with the goal of helping others through a similar lifestyle-based, root-cause approach. After graduation, Veronica had her own health concerns for which she sought care from a functional medicine physician who discovered that she had gluten sensitivity and Hashimotos, which she was able to manage with diet alone for over a decade.

As she started her career as a nutritionist, Veronica recognized a common gap between people’s understanding of recommended changes and their ability to put them into practice, and therefore sought training in motivational interviewing / behavior change methodologies. She subsequently worked for several years as a nutrition coach promoting a habit-based approach to lifestyle change. Feeling limited by her scope as a nutritionist, Veronica returned to school to pursue a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Veronica Porterfield, MS, LN, MPAS, PA-C, IFMCP

Believing that she needed a solid grounding in conventional medicine to become a truly integrative provider, Veronica worked in an internal medicine and pediatric clinic in Virginia for about a year and half, at which point she accepted her first position in the functional and integrative medicine field at a practice on the outskirts of Philadelphia, where she was an integral member of the provider team for nearly 2.5 years. She brings not only this combination of training and professional experience to her work at AIM, but also her personal experience as a patient with autoimmune concerns including Hashimotos, food sensitivities, mast cell activation, dysautonomia, and mold and vector-borne illness.


Training

Veronica received her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, her Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Shenandoah University, and has completed extensive continuing education through IFM, A4M and the Kharrazian Institute.


Experience

She brings years of integrative and functional medicine experience as well as nutrition and lifestyle coaching to her care of patients, as well as her own personal experience with MCAS, Hashimotos, mycotoxin and vector-borne illness, and dysautonomia.


Areas of Expertise / Particular Interest

Areas of professional interest and expertise include autoimmune conditions, hormone optimization (thyroid, male and female hormones, among others), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), Lyme disease and other vector-borne illnesses, mold toxicity and mycotoxins, post acute COVID syndrome (PACS), GI concerns, metabolic issues (including blood sugar imbalances), lipid management as well as cardiovascular concerns, weight management, detoxification and longevity.


Philosophy / Approach

Embodying a truly integrative approach, Veronica utilizes lifestyle modifications, nutrition counseling, pharmaceutical interventions, herbs / botanical medicine and other supplements in the care of her patients, depending on her clinical judgement and a patient’s personal preferences.

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Professional Affiliations

Get to know Veronica

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU GIVE TO ALL PATIENTS.

Have compassion for yourself, your body and what you are going through, and give yourself time and space to learn what support your body needs to heal and to thrive, while also aiming to do just a little better at caring for yourself every day. Though it may feel like your body is working against you, has failed you or is an enemy, you are on the same team. Many of the issues we experience are actually a reflection of our body trying its best to manage a burden (of infection, toxins, blood sugar imbalances, food sensitivities, microbiome imbalances, etc), so rather than vilifying it, do your best to make peace with your body and support it. Our body doesn’t come with an owner’s manual – so we have an opportunity to create one.


FAVORITE THING TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?

I enjoy continuing education opportunities (actually really love and look forward to these), cycling, hiking, reading, painting, playing piano and spending time in nature.


IF YOU COULD SNAP YOUR FINGERS AND BE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD THAT BE?

New Zealand – I had the opportunity to travel there with my family in 2023. It was my first visit ever, but I felt strangely at home. The people and culture were especially lovely. We had a chance to travel extensively and experience the diverse natural beauty of both the north and south islands, but the area north of Auckland was a particular favorite.


WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”? WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO AND HOW DOES THAT IMPACT YOUR WORK?

My ‘why’ involves both my heart and my head. In my heart, I always knew that I wanted to work in a field that would allow me to improve the lives of others. Initially, I thought that would be through securing resources (clean water, a livable wage, improved human rights, etc) for those in need in developing countries. After I witnessed the power of functional medicine in action in my older child’s life – and experienced it for myself – I knew there was a huge opportunity to improve others’ quality of life right here at home. And intellectually, the approach to complex / chronic illness in western medicine has never made sense to me. I inherited a healthy skepticism regarding the ‘status quo’ of the medical and pharmaceutical establishment from my father, a radiologist, and witnessed my mother suffer from all the symptoms of thyroid disease for decades, though treated to the satisfaction of her providers. More fundamentally, it just made sense to me to get to the root of an issue – or as close to it as was reasonably possible – rather than spend a lifetime (and sometimes a fortune) indefinitely managing symptoms with medications that can cause side effects that are at times worse than the original problem.