What if We Knew Chronic Disease Could Be Reversed?

Dr. ShorrockSeven years ago, Nicole Shorrock, MD, experienced a personal and professional crisis after her 37-old husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Treatment of this chronic illness involved aggressive and expensive medication that, at best, could only slow its progressive neurological decline. According to modern medicine, MS is incurable.

At the time, Dr. Shorrock, a pediatrician in El Dorado Hills, California, had been practicing medicine for 10 years. A strong nurturer even as young child, she had entered medicine eager and excited to learn how to heal patients, reverse disease, and, ultimately, foster a true sense of well-being. Although she had practiced up-to-date pediatrics, mastering conventional medicine to the best of her ability, she found herself increasingly frustrated, as she was seeing a growing number of patients with chronic illnesses. She didn’t know why these illnesses were plaguing them, and didn’t know how to treat them.

In retrospect, Dr. Shorrock points to the limitations of her medical training. She had been trained how to stop symptoms of an illness and didn’t realize that even though treating symptoms soothed her patients, it did nothing to reverse or stop the progression of their underlying illness. More importantly, she says, she didn’t realize that these seemingly trivial childhood conditions, if left unaddressed, would progress to serious chronic diseases in adulthood – until her husband’s MS diagnosis completely changed her outlook.

At a leading MS center, she was terrified as she listened to a neurologist describe her husband’s treatment options and prognosis. When the doctor said her husband would need daily injections of immunosuppressant medications for the rest of his life, she thought, “That’s not right.” And when he said that nutrition didn’t matter, she knew she could no longer put faith in a conventional approach. She says that the illness of the person who was closest to her had created a vulnerability that allowed her to open up and question all that she had learned.

As scary as it was for Dr. Shorrock and her husband to abandon the comfort of conventional MS treatment, she knew they had to do it. So, she began exploring integrative medicine. She especially liked that integrative medicine focused on the root cause of illness, that it embraced a holistic approach that addressed mind, body, and soul with time-tested treatments like nutrition, herbs, and homeopathy.

Through a regimen of healthy nutrition, yoga, meditation, and a personalized approach to support his immune system, her husband reversed his chronic disease, a feat that she had thought was impossible. Dr. Shorrock’s exploration of integrative medicine continued, and eventually, she built it into her practice. Today, she is committed to helping her patients reverse their chronic illnesses.

She says that when she began practicing functional integrative medicine, for the first time, her outer learning resonated with her inner knowing, a powerful combination that created healing opportunities for her patients.

Dr. Shorrock demonstrates exemplary dedication to reversing chronic illness through an integrative approach to medicine that treats the root causes instead of the symptoms. Our Member Board, the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®), offers board certification in integrative medicine for like-minded physicians inspired by Dr. Shorrock’s story. For information about the ABOIM, contact the ABPS today.

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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