Integrative Medicine Defined

Integrative Medicine Defined

Integrative medicine, as defined by the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM) and the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.

The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) offers integrative medicine certification through the ABOIM. Completion of the physician board certification process indicates that the Diplomate has proven mastery of the experience and knowledge required to practice integrative medicine. It also reflects the physician’s commitment to adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics. The ABPS is the only multi-specialty certifying board in the United States to offer integrative medicine certification.

Andrew Weil, MD, a visionary physician and author, helped establish the field of integrative medicine as a specialty. His ideas about the treatment and care of the whole person integrate scientifically-validated therapies of conventional medicine with select practices derived from areas sometimes considered to be complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). His defining principles of integrative medicine include:

  • A partnership between the patient and the practitioner
  • Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, 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

In addition to scientifically sound treatment concepts, the practitioner of integrative medicine espouses the broad concepts of health promotion/illness prevention and healthy living. Practitioners also are expected to exemplify these tenets and to remain open to self-exploration and self-development.

For integrative medicine certification qualification requirements, contact the ABPS.  ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

 

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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.

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