Integrative Medicine Goes Mainstream with Board Certification from the ABOIM

Integrative MedicineThe field of Integrative Medicine has grown in stature over the past decade, in part as a response to the perceived shortcomings of the healthcare industry in the United States. Andrew Weil, M.D., founded the field of Integrative Medicine and continues to be one of its most prominent advocates. Dr. Weil outlined the weaknesses of the current healthcare system in a 2012 interview with Philadelphia Magazine. In it, he said that health care in the U.S. is far too expensive; that it emphasizes disease treatment ahead of disease prevention; that it does not keep people well; and that it offers little incentive for people to take care of themselves.

The answer, Dr. Weil said, is Integrative Medicine. It is, he insisted, “the most practical way to transform our healthcare system and bring lower-cost, health-enhancing treatments into the mainstream for all to benefit from.” Indeed, so well-received were the principles of Integrative Medicine that departments specializing in the field were founded at prestigious universities such as the University of Arizona (the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine) and Duke University (Duke Integrative Medicine).

Now, the specialty has reached an important milestone in the evolution and maturity of the field. The formation of the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM), with inaugural board certification examinations scheduled for 2014, has created a benchmark through rigorous testing and eligibility standards. This development helped advance the field of Integrative Medicine to a new level of recognition and credibility within academic circles, as well as with the general public. Board certification with the ABOIM indicates that a practicing physician who specializes in Integrative Medicine has demonstrated a mastery of the knowledge and core competencies required to provide the finest medical care possible. Eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Completion of residency training in a program approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • Current or past completion of board certification granted by the ABPS, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) Board

In addition, ABOIM applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Completion of an ABOIM-approved Fellowship in Integrative Medicine
  • Graduation from an accredited four-year naturopathic college
  • Graduation from an accredited National Certification Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) college
  • Graduation from an accredited Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) college
  • A combination of education and experience, including current ABIHM board certification, active practice of integrative medicine, Integrative Medicine in Residency training, and/or significant CME credits earned in integrative medicine

To learn more about the ABOIM, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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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.

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