Integrative Medicine & the Years Ahead
Integrative Medicine is a medical specialty that is growing increasingly popular across the globe. For many years, complementary and alternative medicine have been extremely popular among the general public, but have remained a source of skepticism and controversy in mainstream medicine. Yet, there was no denying that patients were often taking treatment into their own hands, relying on chiropractors, acupuncturists, and other providers, usually without informing their physicians. As a result, the growth of Integrative Medicine was in many ways inevitable. This medical specialty combines the best practices of mainstream, traditional medicine with other therapies that help improve the mind, body, and spirit of the patient. For the patient, it’s the best of both worlds.
While Integrative Medicine is a relatively new specialty in the context of the healthcare sector as a whole, there is no denying that it is rapidly growing and in high demand. As Victor S. Sierpina, MD, explains in a recent post on The American Journal of Medicine Blog, the National Institutes of Health established the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (now called the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) in 1998. One of the goals of the Center was to begin to test the efficacy of many complementary and alternative medicine techniques that had been used – in some cases – for thousands of years but had never been properly tested in randomized clinical trials. The findings of these studies have since been published in conventional medical literature, which has helped legitimize many treatments that were previously seen as falling outside the scope of traditional medicine.
Integrative Medicine continued to grow as a specialty. As Dr. Sierpina describes, as of 2012, there were 54 medical and health professional schools in North America that offered Integrative Medicine programs, and new fellowships are being established with increased frequency for physicians who are interested in this practice. The American Board of Physician Specialties® also recently established the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), which provides board certification in Integrative Medicine to highly motivated physicians with extensive and verifiable firsthand experience in the field.
To learn more about Integrative Medicine and the eligibility requirements for board certification through the ABOIM, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®