Dr. Kelly McCann Discusses the Benefits of Integrative Medicine

Kelly McCann, MDIntegrative medicine blends the best of conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine. Conventional medicine typically relies on treatment options such as pharmaceuticals and surgery, while complementary and alternative medicine focuses on practices and therapies that aren’t often taught in medical school, such as acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, mind/body medicine, energy medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, lifestyle, and the use of supplements and herbs. These therapies blended with conventional treatment and modalities constitute Integrative medicine.

The ideal way to practice integrative medicine is with several different practitioners, including acupuncturists, psychologists, nutritionists and others together with a physician trained in integrative medicine. Integrative medicine provides physicians with more tools and takes a different approach than conventional medicine in that it views the patient as a whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Integrative medicine recognizes the patient’s innate ability to heal, fosters a partnership between the practitioner and the patient.  It is grounded in evidence-based science, with a focus on patient safety and utilizing the most appropriate, least invasive interventions available.

Why Patients Seek Integrative Medicine

Typically, patients come to integrative medicine because they are looking for answers to issues or complaints that conventional medicine has not addressed. Some patients also want to take a more proactive role in their health and see integrative medicine as a way to participate with their practitioner in improving their health. Although many chronically ill patients seek out integrative medicine, those with cancer, chronic fatigue or autoimmune conditions, some patients desire preventative care to maintain their health.

Integrative medicine is reshaping health care because it’s what patients want. They want treatment from physicians who know and understand them. They want to be active participants in their health care and prefer to do this as naturally and safely as possible while avoiding surgeries or toxic pharmaceuticals. As a practice that enhances the patient’s well-being and helps them heal, integrative medicine represents the future of medicine.

Kelly McCann, MD, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS).

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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