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Growing Trend Toward Integrative Medicine

 Growing Trend Toward Integrative MedicineA new report by the consultancy Pure Branding says that more doctors are utilizing integrative medicine concepts in their practices. With more than 1,000 integrative MDs and DOs included, the survey was the largest pool of currently practicing integrative physicians ever surveyed in a landscape report, the firm says. To understand the reasons behind the rising prominence of integrative medicine it would help to first understand what it is. As defined by the survey, integrative medicine is a medical practice that:

  • Treats the roots causes of illness instead of the symptoms
  • Treats the patient as a whole person
  • Focuses on achieving optimal health and healing
  • Emphasizes the relationship between the physician and patient
  • Takes into account the patient’s lifestyle and environment

According to the study, integrative medicine physicians reported greater personal satisfaction from their practices when compared with the overall population of MDs and DOs. A majority of the doctors surveyed also said that their quality of life was better since beginning their integrative medicine practice. The study also found that, on average, integrative doctors spend at least twice as much time with their patients as conventional doctors, and in a trend that’s expected to continue, younger doctors are more likely to make a quicker transition to integrative medical practice. The lack of integrative training in medical schools had little bearing on how physicians viewed integrative medicine as most said they adopted an integrative philosophy after graduating from medical school. Further findings of the survey include a strong focus on nutritional protocols to support patients’ health and the recognition that the spiritual lives of patients play a significant role in their health care.

“I think what is happening now is there is a sea change in the number of integrative physicians that is now reaching critical mass,” says Dr. Leonard A. Wisneski, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Colorado who cooperated in the release of the report.

The American Board of Physician Specialties® stands ready to meet the growing demands in the field of integrative medicine by offering physician board certification through the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM). To learn more about this specialty, which makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches and disciplines in order to improve health and healing, or for more information about integrative medicine certification, contact the ABPS today.