Integrative Medicine: Better Health through Individualized Nutrition

Integrative MedicineOne of the underlying tenets of Integrative Medicine is a willingness to take a broad view of different aspects of patient care. This might be particularly true when it comes to nutrition. For an integrative medicine physician, taking a broad view of the effect nutrition has on overall health often means more than merely recommending the standard dietary reference intake (DRI) for servings of fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy. It means ascertaining the individual dietary requirements of patients in order to develop personalized plans that optimize macro- and micro-nutritional intake.

A physician who wishes to fill this vital need for his or her patients can demonstrate the experience and knowledge of the core competencies necessary to practice this emerging specialty through board certification with the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®).

Objective data gathered through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and other studies contributed to the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services jointly issue the guidelines every five years. The most recent government dietary guidelines take into consideration many of the same tenets as Integrative Medicine, such as:

  • Taking into account a patient’s lifestyle (sedentary vs. active)
  • The influence of nutritional balance on overall health
  • How a mindful approach to eating patterns can contribute to better health
  • The ability of food (as opposed to nutritional supplements) to meet nutritional requirements

Ideally, each patient will use the guidelines as a starting point to determine his or her optimal nutritional intake. A physician who has achieved board certification through the ABOIM has demonstrated that he or she is equipped to help develop a dietary plan that is geared toward a patient’s individual bio-chemistry. This is in keeping with the foundational precepts of Integrative Medicine − an affirmation of the physician-patient relationship, with an emphasis on providing “whole person” health care.

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) manages the ABOIM, which provides the only path to physician board certification in Integrative Medicine. To learn more about the ABOIM, or for information about how the ability to develop a patient’s nutritional plan and other aspects of the specialty are measured for board certification purposes, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official board certification 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