Physician Reverses Own Conditions With Integrative Medicine

Marvin Singh, MDDoctors are all healthy, and they rarely get sick. These are common misconceptions you may have heard before. The reality is that, while physicians may have all the information they need to keep their patients and themselves healthy, they often neglect their own health, struggle with work-life balance, and suffer from burnout. There is even a disturbingly high rate of suicide among physicians.

Marvin Singh, MD, a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®), knows firsthand the health struggles that even the most knowledgeable physicians can face. He told his story in a recent mindbodygreen article.

“A few years ago,” he says, “I was a bit over 200 pounds and my cholesterol panel was out of whack. My liver enzymes were well over the normal limit, and my doctor told me I had a fatty liver.”

Dr. Singh was shaken by his diagnosis. Knowing that in some people, fatty liver can cause hepatitis and lead to severe liver damage, he searched for a solution. “I didn’t want to develop diabetes or have heart attack, which I was at risk for,” he says. He began reading about lifestyle changes that could improve wellness and eventually restore his health, although, as a conservatively trained doctor, he was skeptical about the more holistic approaches. Researching integrative medicine, however, he was surprised, and encouraged, by the amount of solid data that supported it. So, in a quest to learn more, he enrolled in a two-year integrative medicine fellowship under Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

It was there that he embarked on the journey that changed his life. He learned about the health benefits of tai chi, yoga, mindfulness, proper nutrition, and exercise, as well as the many nutritional supplements and natural therapies available for common ailments. He learned, for instance, that by taking DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) instead of antacid, he could effectively treat his heartburn. Motivated by his health improvements, he committed himself to a healthy diet, with an emphasis on local and organically grown whole foods. Helped by his family, he cleared his pantry and refrigerator of sugar-sweetened beverages and cut back on processed foods. He increased his fiber intake and focused on consuming only healthy sources of fat. After a few weeks, he lost 10 pounds.

He began practicing daily meditation, became more physically active, and spent more time outdoors. In short order, his sleep improved and his cravings for carbohydrates subsided. Three months after beginning his health journey, he lost 40 pounds and was more energetic and mentally sharper. He also no longer needed his prescription antacid. And his cholesterol panel and liver enzymes? They had returned to normal levels. What’s more, Dr. Singh says, “I felt better than ever.”

Now that he has restored his health through natural means, Dr. Singh works to raise awareness about the life-changing benefits of a more holistic approach to medicine. The ABOIM, a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), supports the mission of dedicated professionals like Dr. Singh who serve as an inspiration for their patients and other physicians by supporting healthy living and wellness through integrative health care.

If you would like to learn more about the practice of integrative medicine, or the ABOIM, contact the ABPS today.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
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