What is the American Board of Integrative Medicine?
The American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM) was formed to provide physicians who practice Integrative Medicine the means to demonstrate that they have mastered the core competencies necessary to provide the best medical care possible. Integrative Medicine focuses on the whole person, with decisions about prevention and treatment made based on medical evidence. It also makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare modalities, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
Board Certification Through the ABOIM
Becoming board certified through the ABOIM® also reflects a physician’s commitment to adhering to the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) Medical Code of Ethics. The ABPS is the only multi-specialty certifying board in the United States to offer Integrative Medicine board certification. As a relatively new specialty, it continues to evolve. Becoming certified through the ABOIM shows a physician’s willingness to position him- or herself at the forefront of that evolution. Yet, even as Integrative Medicine continues to gain wider acceptance, its basic foundational tenets remain constant:
- Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease – including mind, body and spirit
- Use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
- Appropriate consideration given to use of less-invasive and less-harmful interventions, when possible, while addressing the whole person in addition to the disease
- The concept that medicine is based on good science, is inquiry-driven and open to critical consideration of new paradigms
- Healthcare is best provided as a partnership between physician and patient
In addition to scientifically sound treatment concepts, an Integrative Medicine practitioner espouses the broad concepts of health promotion/illness prevention and healthy living. Practitioners also are expected to exemplify these concepts and to remain open to self-exploration and self-development. The ABOIM’s rigorous, clinically based exams are designed to allow qualified physicians to demonstrate their proficiency in all of these concepts.
Eligibility Requirements for Board Certification in Integrative Medicine
To be eligible to apply for initial board certification in integrative medicine, an applicant must first satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS. These include being a graduate of a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine, and holding a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, its territories, or Canada.
The American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®) has its own eligibility requirements that include:
- Completing an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency or a residency accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
- Current or previous board certification granted by a Member Board of the ABPS, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the AOA, the RCPSC, or the CFPC
- Completing an ABOIM-approved fellowship in integrative medicine or one of three other training options
- Submitting a current curriculum vitae that includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order
After applicants are deemed eligible, they must successfully complete a computer-based written exam in order to earn board certification in integrative medicine. For information about dates and fees for the application and the exam, click here.
Once granted, all ABPS certificates are good for a period of eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.
To learn more about the ABOIM, or for more information about eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS. ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists®, Inc.