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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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine