Information for Mentors and Mentees
The American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) offers a voluntary mentorship program for candidates who have registered for certification. This mentorship program pairs experienced ABIHM physicians with those who are just beginning to learn about integrative holistic medicine. Many physicians who express interest in becoming diplomates of the ABIHM have been practicing integrative holistic medicine in some form for years. Others are drawn to explore a new approach to their practice, but have less experience with integrative holistic medicine. As social connection is an important component of the ABIHM philosophy, this peer mentoring process welcomes new candidates to our community in practical and meaningful ways.
The peer mentoring program is intended to help to guide new physicians through the process of gaining familiarity with the theory and practice of integrative holistic medicine, and also to facilitate partnership and mutual learning. Peer mentoring also serves as a venue into which new members to the community of integrative holistic medical practitioners are welcomed.
Diplomates of the ABIHM who participate in this program will offer guidance to physicians who are preparing for the board certification process. Peer mentors will also experience benefit, as teaching and consulting can serve to deepen the understanding of the science and clinical application of integrative holistic medicine for both parties. Mentors will also benefit from the joy of service to others. The mentorship program aims to facilitate the sharing of experiential information as well as practical and factual information. Hopefully, a meaningful relationship will develop as a result of this process. The mentor will receive a copy of the candidate’s personal journey statement, if desired by the candidate.
Mentors are asked to be available for brief personal, phone and/or email contact with a physician candidate/recent diplomate. It is not expected that mentors be expert in the entire course curriculum. Some physicians (especially those with limited experience in integrative holistic medicine) may be looking for a more intensive on-going mentoring/coaching relationship. An arrangement of this nature is not required of a mentor, but can be accomplished at the discretion of mentor and candidate. The primary expectation of the mentor is be available if requested, and to show support and guidance for candidates as they pursue board certification, personal growth, and the practice of integrative holistic medicine.
Those who are willing to participate in this valuable service opportunity as mentors should inform the ABIHM office so that we can make names available on a limited basis to physicians who register to take the exam. A mentor is expected to support only one physician at a time. Candidates or recent diplomates are also asked to let the ABIHM office know if they are interested in being assigned to a mentor. The candidate/recent diplomate is responsible for contacting the mentor, once all arrangements have been made in the ABIHM office. Though many candidates wish to be assigned to a mentor, this is a voluntary relationship. Please note we have a limited number of peer mentors; we suggest that candidates or recent diplomates make requests as early as possible.
Some typical questions posed to the mentor by a physician seeking guidance:
- Can I pass the exam by studying and attending the Review Course, or do I have to be in integrative holistic practice for a while?
- What do I need to know for the exam about botanicals, acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurveda, etc.?
- Any pearls for practice? What are the important points?
- What type of practice do you have? Do you take insurance, etc?
- How do I transition from an allopathic centered practice to a holistic one?
- What are the financial implications and how do I implement a business model to reflect integrative holistic medicine?
- What should I read? What other conferences are beneficial?
- How have other physicians undergone this transition?
- What are the best resources for understanding integrative holistic medicine?
To initiate the process of becoming a mentor or seeking a mentor, please contact:
Nancy Sudak, MD, ABIHM, Executive Director
The American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine
5313 Colorado St.
Duluth, MN 55804-1615
Phone: 218 525 5651
Fax: 218 525 5677