How Some Prominent Specialties Incorporate Integrative Medicine

Integrative MedicineWhile “whole patient” care and treatment is the foundation of Integrative Medicine, the concepts of this holistic method for health care lend themselves very well to incorporation by specialists across the medical spectrum. For example, noted cardiologist Mimi Guarneri spent years focusing on treating the symptoms of heart disease with surgery and medicine before she became an outspoken advocate of prevention. Her research and experience as a cardiac surgeon helped her conclude that the best way to help her patients was to shift the primary focus to lifestyle and environmental causes of heart disease, with allopathic treatment and medicine at the top of a healthcare pyramid whose base is a mindful approach to prevention.

Dr. Guarneri founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and is a founding member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM). As such, she is one of the most visible and outspoken proponents of using the concepts of Integrative Medicine to enhance the care and treatment of patients. Yet, cardiology is only one of many specialties that incorporate the tenets of Integrative Medicine for better care. Here are a few other examples:

  • Orthopedics − The spine is the source of a number of potentially debilitating conditions that can lead to surgery later in life. Spine specialists have begun to recommend that patients focus on diet, exercise and core strengthening as ways to mitigate the effects of spinal deterioration with age.
  • Oncology − At cancer centers around the country, Integrative Medicine has moved front and center as a way to help patients and family members cope and thrive physically and psychologically. Better overall health and quality of life optimization are the priorities.
  • Dermatology − Skin care that incorporates the best of conventional dermatology and established holistic concepts has become more prevalent. This is particularly useful for patients who prefer to limit their exposure to pharmaceuticals.
  • Allergy treatment − While the use of “evidence-based” and clinically proven allergy medicine remains a vital component for helping allergy patients, studies are ongoing about the efficacy of treatment methods used for centuries in China, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Pediatrics − In addition to evidence-based medicine and vaccination programs, many pediatricians have begun to focus on employing “whole patient” care, including child development tools such as reading often to toddlers and pre-K children.

To learn more about how Integrative Medicine is incorporated within various specialties, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). The ABPS is the official multi-specialty certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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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