Why Integrative Medicine is a Distinct Medical Specialty

Integrative MedicineIntegrative medicine, which encompasses a broad spectrum of medical treatment methods and care systems, has developed into a distinct medical specialty as more and more physicians have embraced it as an approach to patient care, and as the public has become educated about its foundational concepts.

The standard, accepted definition of integrative medicine is, by now, familiar to anyone in the healthcare field: “Integrative Medicine is 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.”

The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) developed the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) in recognition of the prominent place integrative medicine now occupies in the healthcare landscape. Many prestigious universities around the country, including the University of Arizona and Duke University, feature integrative medicine prominently. Respected and important medical organizations, such as the Cleveland Clinic and Sloan-Kettering, maintain centers for integrative medicine. In short, the debate about the efficacy of integrative medicine is over. The only question remaining is how widespread its practice will ultimately become.

The ABOIM exists to provide a platform for qualified physicians to demonstrate that they have accrued the necessary experience and mastered the core competencies required to provide the best possible care in integrative medicine. Respected physician leaders in the integrative medicine community comprise the founding board. They believe the field of integrative medicine has evolved into a specialty that needs to be recognized.

To learn more about the evolution of integrative medicine as a distinct medical specialty, or for more information about the ABOIM, contact the ABPS today. The ABPS is the official 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.

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