How Primary Care Physicians Utilize Integrative Medicine

Integrative MedicineAny consideration of how Integrative Medicine is utilized by primary care physicians should begin with a definition. The American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM) and the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine define it as the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.

There is, perhaps, no more important relationship between patient and physician than that of the primary care physician with her or his patient. This relationship is focused on prevention and health maintenance, as well as on treatment of occasional illnesses and injuries. The dynamic goes hand-in-hand with the tenets of Integrative Medicine, which include:

  • A partnership between the patient and the practitioner
  • Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, disease – including mind, body and spirit
  • Use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
  • Appropriate consideration given to use of less-invasive and less-harmful interventions, when possible, while addressing the whole person in addition to the specific disease.
  • The concept that medicine is based on good science, is inquiry-driven and open to critical consideration of new paradigms

The “whole person” concept of medical care is uniquely suited for the primary care physician-patient relationship. In an ideal world, every patient would have a trusted physician to turn to and rely on, a medical expert who is every bit as concerned with keeping patients healthy as with treating disease and injury. A primary care physician who practices Integrative Medicine focuses on building a relationship with the patient, a relationship based on trust and the mutual goal of physical, mental and emotional wellness.

To learn more about Integrative Medicine and 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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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