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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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