A Passion for Integrative Medicine

Arti Prasad, MD“Leadership was my mother’s gift to me,” said Arti Prasad, MD, a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM). “She didn’t have much formal education, but she was a leader at home, in the community, for my family, and for my extended family.”

Today, her mother’s desire for all her children to be well educated is an impressive reality. Dr. Prasad’s brothers are engineers, her sister is a geography professor, and Dr. Prasad is the chief of internal medicine for Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, MN. It’s the latest stop in an accomplished career for the woman born in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Trained as a physician at Ghandi Medical College in Bhopal, India, Dr. Prasad immigrated to the United States in the late 1980s. Before she came to Minneapolis, she was chief of general internal, geriatrics, and integrative medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. There, she founded the university’s Center for Life, which is focused on holistic and integrative medicine.  Dr. Prasad said that when Hennepin Healthcare contacted her, she was not in the job market, and leaving sunny Albuquerque for frigid Minnesota was hardly an attractive proposition. “Why do you need me?” she asked.

We’re were looking for a leader and a change agent, they said.

“I asked myself, ‘What do you want to do with the next 10 years of your life? Can you take this on?’ And I decided I could.”

As one of only a handful of women heading an internal medicine department at a major teaching/research institution, Dr. Prasad wants no less than to transform integrative medicine so that it becomes infused throughout the healthcare system. “We don’t just need early detection of diseases,” she said. “We need true prevention before the disease has started to show up, and that means we need to learn how to eat well, live more naturally, and practice self-care.”

Integrative medicine takes into account all aspects of a person’s life and emphasizes treating the whole person. So, rather than focusing on one organ system, integrative medicine treatment addresses the emotional, functional, spiritual, and socials aspects of a person’s well-being. Thus, treatment can incorporate a variety of appropriate and evidence-based therapies and disciplines, including meditation, bodywork, acupuncture, stress management, exercise, and dietary changes.

In short, an integrative medicine practitioner embraces the treatment that is best suited to achieve optimal health and healing. That may mean using conventional therapy, therapy that might be considered “alternative” by some, or a combination of therapies.

One of Dr. Prasad’s areas of specialty is integrative oncology, focusing not only on cancer patients but also survivors of acute cancer treatments, who often still need to heal in mind and spirit. “I work with them to address gaps in cancer care,” she said. “That’s the healing work I do. I love it.”

If you find Dr. Prasad’s work inspirational and would like to broaden your knowledge of integrative medicine through board certification, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties®, of which the ABOIM is a Member Board. As a nationally recognized choice for physician board certification, we offer certification in a range of specialties.

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine