Patient Experience With Integrative Medicine in Primary Care

Patient Experience with Integrative Medicine in Primary CareIntegrative medicine, as defined by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), is the medical practice that reaffirms the patient-practitioner relationship, focuses on the patient as a whole person, arrives at conclusions based on evidence, and uses all therapeutic approaches, disciplines, and healthcare professionals to achieve optimal health and healing. The University of Arizona Integrative Health Center (UAIHC), an adult primary care clinic with an integrative approach, recently performed a study to assess patients’ experiences with integrative medicine and evaluate the UAIHC’s performance.

First, it should be noted that patients who attend the clinic must complete a thorough health assessment of all areas of health and lifestyle such as diet, exercise, stress, sleep, relationships, and spirituality. Patients also commit to lifestyle changes and health care that emphasizes personal responsibility. Additionally, patients have access to a team of healthcare professionals, as well as groups and classes on nutrition, stress reduction, healthy body weight, yoga, and tai chi.

Patients Report High Satisfaction With the Integrative Approach to Medicine

During the study, 83 randomly selected patients completed surveys that asked about key aspects of integrative medicine including holistic care, promotion of health care and well-being, relationship and communication with practitioner, and overall satisfaction. The results were encouraging for the future of patient-centered, integrative medicine models. Their responses indicated they received whole-person care and established positive, caring relationships with practitioners who promoted patient self-care and well-being. In short, patients reported a high overall satisfaction with the UAIHC.

Fundamental Principles of Integrative Medicine

As integrative medicine becomes more accepted, its core principles stay the same:

  • Taking into account all factors affecting health, wellness, and disease.
  • Using both conventional and alternative methods to support the body’s natural healing.
  • Considering less invasive and less harmful interventions when suitable while addressing the whole person along with the disease.
  • Believing that medicine is grounded in good science and is inquiry-driven and open to new ideas.
  • Seeing healthcare as a partnership between the doctor and the patient.

Integrative Medicine Certification With the ABOIM

In light of the public’s longstanding low satisfaction with the American healthcare system, the study provides strong reason to believe that the integrative primary care approach may contribute to a solution. Family physicians seeking to provide optimal primary care by focusing on treating patients as a whole instead of focusing on symptom alleviation should consider board certification in integrative medicine through the ABOIM. Leaders from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (UACIM) were influential in the development of the ABOIM.

A Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties®, the ABOIM offers board certification to qualified and experienced family doctors who are committed to the innovative and evolving specialty of integrative medicine.

Becoming certified through the ABOIM also reflects a physician’s commitment to adhering to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics.

Benefits of ABOIM Integrative Medicine Certification

The ABPS is the only multi-specialty certifying board in the United States to offer integrative medicine board certification. Integrative medicine certification with the ABPS involves meeting eligibility criteria and passing a challenging computer-based exam. Once certified, however, you become a respected leader in integrative medicine as an ABPS Diplomate. This nationally recognized certification not only connects you with a community of physicians dedicated to advancing patient care and integrative medicine but also opens doors for career growth and job market mobility. It demonstrates your commitment to integrative medicine, showcasing your expertise to potential patients and colleagues.

Contact the ABPS today for more information about integrative medicine board certification. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty 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.

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