Integrative Medicine in the DOD and the VA

Integrative Medicine DODIn recent years, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have begun to recognize the healthful benefits to Integrative Medicine, and have rolled out several new programs to both active duty personnel and veterans. At the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®), a member board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we are especially glad to see this because it speaks to the incredible scope of benefits that Integrative Medicine can provide to patients of all ages and of all health. This medical specialty combines the best practices of both contemporary and alternative medicine to improve mind, body, and health.

Integrative Medicine focuses on not only treating problems but also making a person as healthy as they can be overall. Often, this includes incorporating all-natural, holistic remedies, alternative treatments, and other methodologies to address concerns. With Integrative Medicine, treatment is always started as conservatively as possible and then adjusted as needed. According to a recent guest editorial in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the DOD and the VA have begun to incorporate Integrative Medicine in some very exciting ways.

Specifically, these Departments have been making a renewed effort to identify effective pain management techniques to help those who experience chronic or acute pain beyond standard drug therapy. For example, one of the pain management techniques that is getting plenty of attention is the use of battlefield acupuncture, which has shown early strong results because, as the guest editorial explains, medical acupuncturists have already delivered “rapid, safe, and effective pain relief in wounded warriors over many years.”

Of course, this is just one small step toward incorporating Integrative Medicine into the military healthcare system, but it is a clear indication that we are taking steps forward. If you are interested in learning how the ABOIM is working to support our Diplomates with the VA and the DOD, or you are a physician who specializes in Integrative Medicine and you are considering pursuing board certification, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®.

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
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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