Brad Jacobs, MD, ABOIM Diplomate in Integrative Medicine, on the Personal Experience That Changed His Opinion about Healthcare

Brad Jacobs, MDWhen I look back on my life, I can recognize pivotal points that have made me who I am today. My exposure to the martial arts, for instance, showed me there was a different way to view the world. It led me to the understanding that we humans are energetic beings and whole systems, and that the perspective of conventional medicine is but one among many.

This opened my mind to a world of possibilities, and over time I grew to understand that what I took as fact was actually an illusion.

Some years ago, my viewpoint was tested when a family member who is HIV positive went into liver failure and fell into a coma. No one knew why. At the time she was on AZT as HIV treatment and had just delivered a baby who was HIV negative.

I started doing research to learn more about her condition, and thanks to friends, I found out from the Center for Disease Control that the HIV drugs may have been causing mitochondrial toxicity, which was a new concept back then.

I advised the attending physicians that she needed basic nutrients, like Vitamin B2, B12, and B6. There she was lying in a coma in the ICU, and their response to my suggestion was, “No, we can’t do that.”

Basically, I said, “Look, you’re giving her medication that’s toxic and expensive, and that may or may not help. What’s wrong with giving her vitamins?”

They were unmoved, so I decided to give it to her anyway. I started doing it in the ICU, and the nurses, who knew what I was doing, would walk out of the room. Eventually, the doctors found out, but they didn’t want to talk about it.

Later, I learned that my family member was one of four HIV patients who had fallen into a coma like this, and she was the only one who survived. I had long known in theory that I wanted to change the healthcare system, but this experience galvanized my desire to do so, and it confirmed for me that improving the healthcare system was how I wanted to spend my time.

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
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June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

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