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

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine