Why More Doctors Are Embracing Scientifically Sound Integrative Medicine
An experienced physician knows that even when patients of the same age and with the same illness display similar symptoms, their treatment plans may be markedly different. This is because a physician must take into account a host of factors, including the patients’ general health, medications they’re currently taking, and lifestyle habits, just to name a few. In essence, what the physician is doing is viewing the patient as a whole person, not merely as an entity with an illness that must be eradicated. An experienced doctor also recognizes that effective treatment requires a partnership of sorts between the patient and the practitioner.
Today, more doctors are adopting the processes of integrative medicine that focus on treating patients in body, mind, and spirit. To critics, this holistic model may seem overly ambitious and based on less robust scientific principles than those found in conventional Western medicine. But, on the contrary, integrative medicine is rooted in diligent scientific inquiry. The practice of integrative medicine seeks nothing less than to achieve optimal health and healing by reaffirming the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, focusing on the entire person and body systems, and utilizing all therapeutic approaches and disciplines, with all conclusions informed by evidence.
To date, the National Institutes of Health has conducted more than 6,000 randomized controlled trials on integrative medicine, which have produced enough valid and reliable results that medical organizations now include integrative medicine in their clinical guidelines. According to the NIH, integrative medicine combines mainstream medical therapies with complementary and alternative medical therapies “for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.”
In light of this body of scientific evidence, many American university faculty leaders believe it’s critical to promote education and science in integrative medicine in order to provide the public with the best health care possible.
The American Board of Physician Specialties ® (ABPS) offers physician certification in integrative medicine through the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM). For more information about the ABOIM, which espouses the scientifically sound treatment concepts of integrative medicine and seeks to foster healthy living and illness prevention, contact the ABPS today.