Growing Trend Toward Integrative Medicine

 Growing Trend Toward Integrative MedicineA 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.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
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