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Integrative Medicine Exam Description

Updated June 2013

The Written Examination — What to Expect

The written examination is a 200 question, multiple-choice examination. Candidates are given a 4 hour testing session and most candidates complete the examination in this time. The American Board of Physician Specialties uses computer-based testing administration for all written exams. Our exams are offered at a network of testing centers throughout the U.S. and Canada and are given during month-long testing windows in May and November of each year. Registered candidates are able to select the time, date, and testing location that is most convenient for their schedule, which may include evening or weekend hours at select centers.

Integrative Medicine Examination Description

The outline below provides details of the subject areas (domains) covered on the certification examination and the approximate percentage of questions from each area. This domain listing is provided to help candidates prepare for the exam and is based on a comprehensive practice analysis of the key topics and knowledge in the specialty, as identified by practitioners, instructors, and other leaders in Integrative Medicine. Candidates should review this outline carefully and focus study on the areas listed. Each question on the exam is linked to a specific domain. No question is meant to be obscure or tricky. The information in the outline is meant to serve as a study aid only and not as a guarantee of success in taking the certification examination.

The Integrative Medicine domains listed below should also be used by candidates applying under eligibility option 7e (the limited time option). Candidates should refer to the domain listing when showing how Integrative Medicine is applied in their practice or how their training, education and CME credits are applicable to Integrative Medicine. Candidates are responsible for showing how the CME hours or practices they are submitted as proof eligibility align to one or more of these domains.

Integrative Medicine Examination Domains

  Domain % of Exam Questions
1 Nutrition
Macro/Micro nutrients (including nutrient deficiencies)
Therapeutic Diets (e.g. Gluten-free, Mediterranean)
Elimination Diets
Social/Cultural Influence on Diet
Environmental Factors (e.g. pesticides, mercury, local and/or organic sourcing)
Functional Foods
15
2 Dietary Supplements, Botanicals and other Natural Products
Adverse Effects/Drug Interactions
Quality Control
Evidence for safety/effectiveness for High-Frequency, Evidence-Based Supplements
15
3 Mind-Body Medicine and Spirituality
Mental and Emotional Influences on Health (e.g. stress, optimism, resilience, positive thinking)
Physical Influences on Mental/Emotional Health (e.g. sleep, exercise, diet)
Self-Regulation Therapies (e.g. biofeedback, hypnotherapy, meditation)
Placebo/Nocebo
Spirituality and Health (e.g. coping, attitudes, transpersonal healing)
Religion and Health (e.g. beliefs, practices)
14
4 Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Manipulative and Body-Based Medicine (e.g. osteopathic, cranial-sacral, chiropractic,
massage)
Energy Medicine (e.g. therapeutic touch, Reiki, Healing Touch, tai chi, qi gong, light) Movement Therapies (e.g. yoga, Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, Trager)
Expressive Arts (e.g. art, music, dance, sound)
10
5 Whole Medical Systems
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Ayurveda
Traditional Medical Systems (e.g. Native American, Shamanism)
Homeopathy
Naturopathy
8
6 Lifestyle, Prevention and Health Promotion
Social Factors and Health (e.g. family, community)
Barriers to Change and Motivational Interviewing
Physical Activity
Environmental Factors (including exposures and benefits)
Risk Reduction (including epigenetic considerations)
Self-care
Sleep
Healthy and Unhealthy Behaviors (including addictions)
13
7 Integrative Approaches (including conventional medicine)
Women’s Health
Men’s Health
Pediatrics
Geriatrics
Cardiovascular Health
Gastro-Intestinal Health
Cancer
Mental Health
Respiratory Health
Dermatology
Neurology
Pain Management
Rheumatology
Endocrine
Infectious Disease
Allergies
Death and Dying
Palliative Care
Diagnostic Techniques
15
8 Foundations of Integrative Medicine
Philosophy
History
Ethics
5
9 Professional Practice of Integrative Medicine
Prioritization
Risk-Benefit
Doctor-Patient Communications
Evidence-based principles
Medical/Legal
Cost-Effectiveness
Critical Assessment of Unproven Diagnostic and Treatment Methods
5

Integrative Medicine Examination Study References
You may wish to use the study materials to prepare for the written certification or recertification examination. All questions appearing on our examinations have been written based on the material presented in these study references.

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