Did you know that an anesthesiologist (the doctor that puts you to sleep and keeps you alive during surgery) wasn’t even considered a field or specialty in medicine until 1941!1 Could you imagine undergoing surgery without anesthesia? Barbaric! Thoracic surgery (chest surgery) wasn’t approved until 1970, and bariatric (obesity) medicine has yet to become an official specialty.1
It makes you wonder… what will we think about the medicine physicians “practice” today in another 75 years? And who decides what the specialties should be?
It wasn’t until 1934 that the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education (AMA/CME) in conjunction with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) sponsored the Liaison Committee for Specialty Boards (LCSB).2 Basically, the LCSB is a board consisting of four people from the AMA/CME and four from the ABMS. The objective of this group is to “act in the public interest by contributing to the improvement of medical care by establishing the qualifications for candidates and by evaluating the individuals who apply for certification.”2
Functional medicine, in my opinion, is the future of medicine. This approach focuses on “the underlying cause of disease and addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories, and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease.”3
Even though a total of 71 academic institutions, including some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, such as Dartmouth, Harvard, and Yale, have participated in functional medicine education courses,4 this specialty has yet to be approved.
As the advances in medicine continue to evolve faster than the speed of light, I pray that we can keep up.
1 – http://www.surgery.org/media/news-releases/credentials–recognized-medical-specialty-boards
2 – http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-medical-education/our-people/liaison-committee-specialty-boards.page?
3 – https://www.functionalmedicine.org/What_is_Functional_Medicine/AboutFM/
4 – http://www.functionalmedicine.org/themovement/pilot-projects/
Ask a Nurse is sponsored by Perfect Form Center for Wellness & Anti-Aging.
column by HOLLIE HILL, RN, BSN, CFO
BIO: Hollie is a critical care nurse and co-creator of Perfect Form Center for Wellness & Anti-Aging. She was awarded Nurse of Year Award for Excellence on May 9, 2014 by the Polk County Organization of Nurse Executives. For more information, go to www.perfectformwellness.com, or call Hollie at (863) 299-9111.