Integrative Medicine, Complementary Alternative Medicine and Health Round-up February 2012 featuring the topics of:   Policy, Research, Integerative Centers, Integrative healthcare professions, academic medicine and health, healthcare media updates, CAM research, practice and people.

Author-clinician Peter D’Adamo, ND and University of Bridgeport establish Center for Generative Medicine  

On January 26, 2012, the University of Bridgeport and Peter J. D’Adamo, ND announced the “collaborative launch of the Center for Excellent in Generative Medicine. According to the release, the COE “will continue to train naturopathic doctors while broadening the College of Naturopathic Medicine’s curriculum.” David Brady, ND, Bridgeport’s vice provost for health sciences called D’Adamo “a giant in the field of naturopathic and integrative medicine (who) has made transformational changes in the way thousands of doctors treat their patients.” D’Adamo, the author of the 1996 international best-seller Eat Right 4 Your Type, which promoted the ideas of blood type, diet and personalized nutrition, has published over 20 books. The most recent is the Textbook of Generative Medicine. States D’Adamo: “I believe that today we embark on a project that holds great promise for humankind and I am especially proud that this initiative has found a partner in the University of Bridgeport, a recognized educational world leader in the field of integrative medical education.” According to the release, the Center also will sponsor research in the fields of nutrigenomics and epigenetics. D’Adamo’s speech at the January 24, 2012 ceremony is here

Comment: I have been intrigued to see D’Adamo move toward this affiliation in recent years. Since an important stint for his profession’s national organization as the founding editor of ahead-of-its-time Journal of Naturopathic Medicine in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he has mostly practiced and written as a solo-operator. As the release notes, the Center was 2 years in discussion and planning. The concept of a generative medicine is an attractive one. It nestles nicely with a favored phrase for the work of the integrative practice community: health creation. 

 

Brian Berman, MD joins Tai Sophia Institute Board of Trustees 

Maryland-based Tai Sophia Institute has appointed Brian Berman, MD to its board of trustees. Berman is co-founder of the The Institute for Integrative Health (TIIH), director of Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland and a former Bravewell prize winner. He was also the founding chair of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM). 

Comment: Pleasing always to see these interlocking directorates established between the complementary and alternative education and practice community and the integrative medicine community. Another excellent example is the role of Ben Kligler, MD, MPH, the current CAHCIM chair, on the board of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

 

Data points on a decade of growth in naturopathic medical education 

Coquina Deger, MBA, the editor of the newsletter of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), offered interesting data on the evolution of naturopathic medical education in a recent reflection on her 10 years in the job. Since 2002, the pool of students applying to the 7 accredited programs has grown from 617 to 1,119. New enrollments increased from 265-606 in 2011. The number of accredited schools in North America was at 5 in 2002 and is anticipated to be at 8 total campuses when Bastyr University adds it San Diego campus in late 2012. (The other new programs are the British Columbia-based Boucher Institute and the ND program at National University of Health Sciences in Chicago.) Deger’s note lists additional markers of growth.

Comment: Some of you will know that I began my work in the integrative health field in the 1983 working for a little educational entity called the John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine. JBCNM was the second of two schools, then housed in a former Seattle elementary school. At the time, that profession that was fighting with itself about whether it could sustain two schools or if all resources should go to the mother ship, then called the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. At the time, the total number of licensed NDs in the United States was fewer by half than the number of students today

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International effort? Organized attacks on CAM programs in UK universities surface in Australia  

Heather McLeod, a New Zealand educator and leader in integrative medicine writes that “the concerted effort against CAM at UK universities that you reported on in January 2012 is now making its way to Australia.” McLeod sends as example this link. McLeod’s upcoming report in her next New Zealand Center for Evidence-Based Research in CAM (ENZCAM)  newsletter notes that “more than 400 doctors, medical researchers and scientists have formed a powerful lobby group to pressure universities to close down alternative medicine degrees. According to McLeod, the new group, entitled Friends of Science in Medicine, “wrote to vice-chancellors this week, warning that by giving ‘undeserved credibility to what in many cases would be better described as quackery’ and by ‘failing to champion evidence-based science and medicine’, the universities are trashing their reputation as bastions of scientific rigour.”  The group is also campaigning against insurance coverage. Chiropractic is a favorite target. 

The story has jumped the ocean and was reported here in the New York Times. McLeod reports that presently in three Australian universities offer courses in some form of alternative therapy or complementary medicine, including traditional Chinese herbal medicine, chiropractics, homeopathy, naturopathy, reflexology and aromatherapy. An international connection is noted. David Colquhoun, a professor of pharmacology at University College London who has called for ending of alternative-medicine programs in Britain, is also a member of the Australian group.

Comment: The passion of these antagonists deserves a DSM code. Perhaps the starting place of an international counter-insurgency is to begin defining the nature of CAM-phobia. Is it linked to Nature Deficit Disorder? Unfortunately, phobias continue to shape themselves into public policy in many arenas and nations. Phobias presenting themselves as rational are particularly dangerous.