Why Integrative Medicine is a Distinct Medical Specialty
Integrative 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.