Danna Park, MD, On the Benefits of Mind-Body Medicine

Danna Park, MD“Mind-body medicine is one of the most underutilized tools in health care today, and can make a huge difference in a patient’s experience and ability to heal,” says Danna Park, MD.

Dr. Park should know. A graduate of the Residential Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, she is as well-rounded a physician as one could hope to find. She specializes in integrative medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics, and is board-certified in all three specialties, having earned her integrative medicine certification through the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM).

As the director of Mountain Integrative Medicine, PLLC, in Asheville, NC, Dr. Park provides integrative medicine consultations for adults and children with a variety of conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, and ADD/ADHD. She also works with people who are well and simply want to optimize their health.

In her practice, Dr. Park utilizes a number of mind-body modalities for patients and families, including guided imagery, HeartMath®, and clinical hypnosis. These tools can be very powerful when incorporated into medical care, she says, such as when a patient is undergoing cancer treatments, or when preparing for or recovering from surgery. “In addition to decreasing the PTSD-type symptoms that can accompany cancer diagnosis and treatment,” she explains, “these modalities also have demonstrable benefits in decreasing pain medication use and complications after surgery.”

But mind-body techniques are also powerful preventative medicine, Dr. Park points out. Because they affect the interface between the cardiac, nervous, immune, and endocrine systems, these techniques can decrease inflammation, improve cortical and executive function in the brain, and improve overall well-being. Some of the beneficial outcomes reported are improved quality of life, decreased symptoms, and improved blood sugar control in patients with chronic illness like asthma and diabetes.

Mind-body medicine tools can also be highly useful for providers’ self-care, Dr. Park says. With a career-long interest in the relationship between healthcare provider well-being and better patient care and outcomes, she frequently gives presentations and workshops for healthcare provider groups and organizations on practitioner resilience and self-care.

“Having practical easy-to-use tools to improve resilience and decrease the physiological effects of stress is so important for us as providers,” Dr. Park says. “Techniques that are heart-based are particularly beneficial because they work so quickly.  We don’t have to wait until our next day off or for vacation next month – we can decrease the physiological and psychological effects of stress right away.  And studies show that these kinds of interventions improve patient care as well, which is a win-win for everyone.”

If you would like information about healthcare provider resilience workshops or well-being initiatives for your practice or organization, contact Dr. Park at mountainintegrative@outlook.com or 828-333-3339.  For information about becoming board certified in integrative medicine through ABPS, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). The ABOIM is a Member Board of the ABPS.

HeartMath is a registered trademark of Quantum Intech, Inc.

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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.

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Internal Medicine
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Emergency Medicine
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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.

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