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.

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