A new breed of OBGYNs are helping to transform OBGYN care by incorporating integrative obstetry into their practice, and they’re raising the bar.
Learn how these doctors, nurses and other OBGYRNs are working together to improve women’s health.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded the first clinical award to a healthcare integrative OBGYn.
The award is the first in the nation to go to a women’s OBGYNA, and it was awarded by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The ACOG’s chief medical officer, Dr. David M. Balsamo, is a former member of the Obama administration’s Council of Advisors on Women’s Health and author of the new ACOG Women’s Healthcare Guidelines.
The new award is one of several to be awarded by ACOG to OBGYNS, and the first one is to be made in New Jersey, where Balsamo has been practicing for the past three decades.
Balsamos OBGYNI is the only integrative doctor to receive an ACOG certification, and he’s already seen firsthand how women who have had obstetric surgery and who are seeking a vaginal birth can benefit from the knowledge he’s gaining from a two-year residency at the ACOG, which offers advanced education in the field.
“The fact that I’m now working with a full-time doctor at a prestigious medical school and working with the same patient that we’re working with in New York is a pretty good testament to the integrative care model,” Balsamaos told ABC News.
“And I think it’s important to be able to share that with my patients, to say, ‘Look, you can have the same results with us and with a different doctor.'”
Balsamo said he’s also seeing a shift in women’s attitudes toward the idea of an OBGYNE as a provider.
“What I think is going on is people are thinking, ‘Oh, I need to be an OBGE.
I need my provider to know everything,'” he said.”
I think we’re starting to see more of a shift toward the notion of a provider-led model.
And that means that women are being more comfortable with having a provider as their primary health care provider.
And so we’re seeing a change in the way that women feel about having an OBGI.”
Balsamao said he sees his OBGYNH as a key part of that change, and that it’s crucial for women to feel comfortable being their own primary care provider and being able to make their own decisions about their health care.
“Women have a right to know what is going to work for them, and to know how to make the most of that information,” he said, adding that there’s a “very big disconnect” between women’s healthcare and their OBGYNCs.
“We’re really talking about a health care system that is about empowering women,” he explained.
“And that means a lot of what we do is to empower women, and a lot has to do with how we’re able to connect with them in a way that they are comfortable with.”
The ACOG is one organization that has taken an active role in this shift, Balsamso said, with its first integrative-care OBGY nurse becoming the first OBGYNJ to receive its ACOG Certification.
“There are many providers in the world that are using the ACog, and we are now working to expand our network,” he told ABC.
“There’s an opportunity for people who want to be providers in a health-care setting to connect to these providers.
We are working with our partners at the CDC and other health care institutions, as well as the U.K.’s National Health Service, to provide a platform for providers to connect.”
The Obama administration awarded the ACGOs ACOG-Certified OBGY Nurse Fellowship to OBGs and obstetricians, with the goal of making these nurses “part of the health care workforce.”
The ACGOG-certified OBG nurse will work with providers in their practice to develop an integrated training plan that includes a combination of health and wellness components.
The fellowship will help train these OBGs to provide comprehensive, integrative health care services for women and families, while working to ensure women have the knowledge and skills they need to navigate a diverse and changing health care landscape.