How Integrative Medicine is Practiced in Clinics Across the United States

Integrative MedicineIntegrative Medicine’s growth as a specialty in the United States has happened, in large part, because of the wide variety of illnesses and maladies that can be effectively treated using its tenets. A whole-person approach to medical care encompasses more than just symptom management. The practice of Integrative Medicine is not merely reactive. Symptom management through traditional medicine is important, of course, and a qualified practitioner of Integrative Medicine is more than capable of treating specific health threats. What the Bravewell Collaborative has found, though, is that patients throughout the country have begun to demand an increase in Integrative Medicine availability in a wide variety of fields.

In a recent study of 29 clinics around the country where Integrative Medicine is practiced, the Bravewell Collaborative found, among other things, that:

  • 90 percent offer consultative care
  • 62 percent offer comprehensive care
  • 45 percent offer primary care
  • 97 percent offer geriatric care
  • 86 percent offer adolescent care
  • 72 percent offer OB-GYN services
  • 62 percent offer pediatric care

The list of most commonly treated conditions at the surveyed clinics reads like a daily patient list for any clinic or emergency department in America: chronic pain, gastrointestinal complaints, depression, stress, cancer, and more. What was truly unique about the survey was that it revealed that in half of the cases at those 29 clinics, interventions from four different types of treatment methods were employed: mind-body, dietary/biological, movement/energy, and manual intervention. This, more than anything else in the survey, demonstrated the broad-minded approach that Integrative Medicine has become known for among the general public.

The Bravewell study concluded that the “strong affiliations to hospitals, healthcare systems, and medical and nursing schools as well as the [29] centers’ collaborative work with and growing referrals from their own health systems that Integrative Medicine is now an established part of healthcare in the United States.”

This fact led to the development of the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) by the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). To learn more, or for information about eligibility requirements for the ABOIM, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official certifying 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.

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