Understanding Integrative Medicine
Integrative Medicine is a medical specialty that combines best practices from conventional medicine and alternative therapies to deliver the best possible care to the patient. Physicians who specialize in this discipline are committed to not only symptom-driven treatment but also health promotion and general patient wellness to ensure optimal care. As a result of this novel approach, a strong relationship between physician and patient tends to develop as they work together to help the patient be as healthy as possible.
Dr. Mimi Guarneri, MD, is a founding member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® – the nations’ first Member Board dedicated to providing board certification to physicians who specialize in this emerging field. Dr. Guarneri is also a cardiologist who recognized that taking a holistic approach to heart health can have a profound impact on potentially preventing avoidable diseases later in life. She recently told Fine Magazine that “Through research, education and the construction of our own healing programs, we value and recognize the wisdom of all healing traditions.”
Integrative Medicine also tends to prioritize natural and less invasive treatments whenever possible, although the top priority is to deliver the best possible care possible using all available means. As Dr. Guarneri explains, “it is easy to diagnose and prescribe medication. But what is the root cause [of the patient’s condition)]? Integrative medicine studies the individual’s stress level, nutrition intake, possible environmental toxins and where he/she is mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Then, we better understand the entire picture.”
With Integrative Medicine, the focus is placed on the whole person and identifying ways to make that person as healthy as possible through lifestyle adjustments, nutrition education, exercise and other therapies. The ultimate goal of this approach is to improve patient satisfaction by strengthening the relationship between provider and patient, reduce instances of avoidable health conditions like obesity and diabetes, and alleviate some of the burden on the healthcare system as a whole over the long term.
To learn more about Integrative Medicine, and to determine if your physician is credentialed through the American Board of Integrative Medicine or other Member Board administered by the American Board of Physician Specialties®, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®