Growing Trend Toward Integrative Medicine
A new report by the consultancy Pure Branding says that more doctors are utilizing integrative medicine concepts in their practices. With more than 1,000 integrative MDs and DOs included, the survey was the largest pool of currently practicing integrative physicians ever surveyed in a landscape report, the firm says. To understand the reasons behind the rising prominence of integrative medicine it would help to first understand what it is. As defined by the survey, integrative medicine is a medical practice that:
- Treats the roots causes of illness instead of the symptoms
- Treats the patient as a whole person
- Focuses on achieving optimal health and healing
- Emphasizes the relationship between the physician and patient
- Takes into account the patient’s lifestyle and environment
According to the study, integrative medicine physicians reported greater personal satisfaction from their practices when compared with the overall population of MDs and DOs. A majority of the doctors surveyed also said that their quality of life was better since beginning their integrative medicine practice. The study also found that, on average, integrative doctors spend at least twice as much time with their patients as conventional doctors, and in a trend that’s expected to continue, younger doctors are more likely to make a quicker transition to integrative medical practice. The lack of integrative training in medical schools had little bearing on how physicians viewed integrative medicine as most said they adopted an integrative philosophy after graduating from medical school. Further findings of the survey include a strong focus on nutritional protocols to support patients’ health and the recognition that the spiritual lives of patients play a significant role in their health care.
“I think what is happening now is there is a sea change in the number of integrative physicians that is now reaching critical mass,” says Dr. Leonard A. Wisneski, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Colorado who cooperated in the release of the report.
Integrative Medicine Certification Through the ABOIM
The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) stands ready to meet the growing demands in the field of integrative medicine by offering physician board certification through the American Board of Integrative Medicine ® (ABOIM®). The ABPS is the only multi-specialty certifying board in the United States to offer integrative medicine board certification.
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 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
- Submitting a current curriculum vitae that includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order
- Submitting three letters of recommendation from Diplomates of an ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC board of certification.
- Completing a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submitting the report. You can find a self-query report here.
After applicants are deemed eligible, they must pass a computer-based written exam to earn ABOIM board certification. Once granted, all ABPS certificates are good for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.
For more information about ABOIM certification, contact the ABPS. We would be happy to answer your questions and give you more details about our eligibility requirements.