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.

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
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