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The Integrative Health and Medicine Movement: A historical and personal perspective

Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABOIM

The Holistic Integrative Medicine world opened to me when I conducted research with Dr. Dean Ornish in 1996. Never would I have imagined that my life would transform from a conventional interventional cardiologist to a preventive cardiologist, board certified in Integrative Medicine. The history of Integrative Medicine in conventional medicine began with the formation of the American Holistic Medicine Association and the American Holistic Nurses Association in 1978 and 1979 respectively. Pioneers like Gladys McGeary, Norman Shealy , Scot Shannon and many others recognized the need for a more comprehensive approach to patient care that treated the whole person, body, mind and spirit and embraced all global healing traditions. The next key step to the emergence of Integrative medicine as a profession occurred in the year 2000.The need to train and certify physicians in Integrative Holistic Medicine became the charge of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM). ABIHM under the leadership of Robert Anderson and Lee Lipsenthal offered the first board certification exam in 2000. It was in 2000, when the first board certification exam was given that I attended my first ABIHM annual conference.

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