Why Qualified Integrative Medicine Physicians Should Seek Board Certification

Integrative Medicine Weil

The reason physicians who practice integrative medicine should seek physician board certification is to demonstrate that he or she has achieved a mastery of the core competencies required to provide patients the best care possible. The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM), a specialty board affiliated with the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), was formed to administer exams that are developed using the most rigorous standards for measuring medical knowledge, experience level, and skill set for physicians who practice this growing specialty.

Integrative Medicine Founder Supports the ABOIM’s Mission

The ABOIM is fully endorsed by the founder of integrative medicine, Andrew Weil, MD, who applauds the formation of the board as an important step in the ongoing development of the specialty.

“As a founder of the field of Integrative Medicine, I strongly support the American Board of Integrative Medicine,” Weil said. “The formation of ABOIM marks an important milestone in the development of the field. Finally there’s a way for qualified physicians to present themselves as experts in offering competent integrative care to patients.”

Benefits of Integrative Medicine Certification

In addition to providing a platform for demonstrating competency, physician board certification with the ABOIM and the ABPS is beneficial to Diplomates in many other respects. Board certification is often a key factor in career growth, and it frequently is one of the first things a potential employer will investigate about an applicant. In addition, integrative medicine board certification gives qualified physicians access to:

  • Unlimited board certification attestation for active ABPS Diplomates
  • Opportunities to participate in Member Board development and governance
  • Emeritus certification for retired Diplomates
  • Use of the ABOIM certification mark
  • Opportunities for dual-boarded certification and recertification
  • Career networking opportunities

Eligibility for Initial Board Certification in Integrative Medicine

To qualify for initial board certification in integrative medicine, candidates must first meet the general requirements set by the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). These prerequisites include graduating from an accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school in the U.S., Canada, or internationally, and holding a valid and unrestricted medical license in the United States, its territories, or Canada.

The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) has additional specific requirements:

  • Completion of a residency accredited by ACGME, AOA, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).
  • Current or previous board certification by a Member Board of ABPS, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC.
  • Completion of an ABOIM-approved fellowship in integrative medicine.
  • Submission of an up-to-date curriculum vitae detailing medical school attendance, degrees obtained, and chronological work history.
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation from Diplomates of an ABPS, ABMS, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC board of certification.
  • Completion of a self-query of the National Practitioner Data Bank and submission of the resulting report, which can be found here.

Once applicants meet these eligibility criteria, they must pass a computer-based written exam to obtain ABOIM board certification. All ABPS certifications are valid for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.

To learn more about physician board certification for qualified integrative medicine practitioners, contact the ABPS today.

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
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
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