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Report from ABIHM in St. Petersburg

By David Forbes, MD, AHMA Past-President

I have just recently returned from the ABIHM Board Review Course in St. Petersburg, Fl. Executive Director Steve Cadwell, Board member Barbara Bakus and I staffed an AHMA table and met with the ABIHM Board leadership over several days, and I would like to report on several important issues regarding ABIHM and the relationship between ABIHM and the AHMA.

First, as you may be aware, the American Board of Integrative/Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) has been in the process of undergoing significant change. Movement is occurring to merge interests with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in an endeavor to further hone an Integrative Medicine Board Exam and increase the clout and credentials that such certification would bring. Next year will in essence likely be the final full year that the Board Review Course and Exam as it currently stands will be offered (the exam will likely be offered extending into early 2013). The proposed merging process, we anticipate, will include “grandfathering” of current ABIHM diplomates, making the value of becoming certified over this next year a highly valuable proposition that any interested physician (MDs and DOs) should strongly consider. Now is the time!

Secondly, the relationship between the AHMA and ABIHM continues to grow stronger and stronger. We have long enjoyed a close relationship, based on a common ground of origin (leaders from the AHMA began the ABIHM in the 90s) and a common philosophy. The AHMA has had the privilege of watching ABIHM thrive and grow now for over a decade, establish itself as the only board certification body for the overall field of holistic and integrative medicine, and create the model from which now further shifts and growth will occur. As this process moves forward, the ABIHM and the AHMA are continuing to explore how we can continue to work closely together to promote the values that we hold in common and hold so dear, a heart-based truly holistic approach to healthcare. ABIHM has been deeply supportive of our recent decisions to emphasize transformative healing work for the healer as a primary mission and focus, and it is clear that our missions have a deeply complementary relationship, akin to the yin/yang, right-brain/left-brain balance of holism itself. We have pledged our core support for the ABIHM’s forward trajectory and for our future together as “sibling” collaborators toward our common goals.

If you are not certified yet by ABIHM, I urge you to do it next year! It is a deeply valuable experience, an unparalleled exposure to the best of holistic/integrative education, and a credential that is only going to exponentially increase in value over the coming years. Make your plans to get it done – you won’t be sorry. We will be updating you periodically as the latest news develops, and you can also go to the ABIHM website to further pursue any interest – www.holisticboard.org.

David Forbes