Integrative Medicine Eligibility Requirements
Updated April 2014
To be eligible for certification in integrative medicine through the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) an applicant must:
ABPS General Requirements:
- Be in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the American Board of Physician Specialties, be known in his/her community as an ethical member of the profession and be an active specialist in Integrative Medicine.
- Be a graduate of a recognized college of medicine confirmed by a copy of an allopathic/osteopathic degree or a letter of verification from the institution where the degree was earned. In the case of foreign medical schools, an English translation of the document is also required. Graduates of foreign medical schools must also include a copy of their Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate. Canadian medical schools and medical training programs are considered equivalent to U.S. medical schools and medical training programs.
- Hold a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, its territories or Canada.
- Submit a current curriculum vitae, which includes medical school experiences and degrees earned, in chronological order.
ABOIM Specific Requirements:
- Residency – All applicants must have completed residency training in a program approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or have a current board certification granted on or before December 1, 2001. The ABPS accepts medical residencies approved by the RCPSC and CFPC, including approved residencies outside Canada.
- Board Certification – All applicants must currently hold, or previously have held, board certification granted by an American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) Board or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Board. Well-qualified candidates meeting ALL other requirements except current or previous board certification will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Candidates asking the board to waive the requirement for board certification must submit a completed application for board review and are encouraged to include a brief letter to the board detailing the education, experience, or other factors that the candidate feels should serve in lieu of board certification.
- Integrative Medicine – Experience & Education – All applicants must qualify under one (1) of the following:
- Have completed an ABOIM approved Fellowship in Integrative Medicine OR
- Have graduated from an accredited 4-year naturopathic college OR
- Have graduated from an accredited Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) college OR
- Have graduated from an accredited Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) college OR
- Limited Time Eligibility Option:
- Applicants with a minimum of one year clinical practice in Integrative Medicine who submit completed applications no later than December 1, 2016 may qualify under the following eligibility requirement (7e). This option is being offered for a limited time to allow current practitioners and leadership in integrative medicine to obtain Board Certification. As more fellowships and instruction in integrative medicine become available, this option will be phased out.
- The board acknowledges that many MDs and DOs have become proficient in integrative medicine through extensive training from CME, self-study and clinical experience. The board will consider physicians with a minimum of 500 points of documented training and experience in integrative medicine subject areas, as demonstrated by alignment with domains listed in the exam description. See “Notes on the Limited Time Option” at the bottom of this page for more details on the documentation required.
- For each year of clinical practice in Integrative Medicine, up to a maximum of five years, 50 points will be awarded (250 points max)
- For active Diplomates of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (www.abihm.org) 200 points will be awarded. Active status is defined as having a current, unexpired certificate.
- For successful completion of category 1 AMA CME in Integrative Medicine subject areas, 1 point will be awarded for each documented hour of CME. (No max – credits must be earned within the past 8 years.)
- For successful completion of category 2 AMA CME in Integrative Medicine subject areas, 1 point will be awarded for each documented hour of CME (Max 150 hours – credits must be earned within the past 8 years.)
- For individuals completing an Integrative Medicine in Residency program, 1 point will be granted for each program hour, as documented on the completion certificate.
Additional Application Requirements:
- Submit an integrative medicine application form complete with the required application processing fee, two (2) passport-size photographs taken within the last 90 days and notarized signature.
- Sign and submit the ABPS Background Check Authorization form.
- Sign and submit the ABPS Examinations Issues and Appeals Process form.
- U.S. physicians must do a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submit a sealed (unopened envelope) copy of the report as part of the application process. For information on performing a self-query of the Bank, go to the website www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov for information. All Canadian physicians must request and submit a testament statement from each province in which a license is held, verifying that there have been no disciplinary actions against the applicant.
- Provide three (3) Letters of Recommendation from Diplomates of any ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC Board of Certification. All letters of recommendation must be printed on letterhead, must be dated within the twelve months prior to the submission of the application, and must include an original signature, author contact information for the author, and should indicate the board certification(s) held by the author. Copies are not acceptable. These letters do not need to be mailed directly to ABPS, but can be included with the applicant’s materials and certification application.
- Payment of appropriate fees. To view fee schedule, click here.
Notes on the Limited Time Option
The following document details the documentation requirements and most frequently asked questions concerning the points system for the limited time eligibility option. It also includes the ABOIM Points Summary form that must be used when submitted documentation for this option.
Download Notes on the Limited Time Option
The ABOIM recommends that the applicant keep a copy of all application documents submitted to the ABPS.