May 2012 John Weeks Round-up on Education

CAM educator consortium ACCAHC to represent integrative health in the 3 year IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education

The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) announced on in an April 13, 2012 release that it has become a founding sponsor of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. According to the release, IOM established the forum to:

” … help operationalize recommendations from two significant reports produced in the centennial year of the Flexner Report that both revolutionized and polarized health professional education after its publication in 1910. The Lancet Commission’s Educating Health Professionals for a New Century (2010) and the IOM/Robert Wood Johnson Report on The Future of Nursing (2010) each stressed inter-professionalism, team care and the importance of educating professionals for leadership and as change agents The Lancet Commission also focused on the globalization of healthcare and the need to better integrate health professional education with primary care, healthcare delivery and community and public health.”

ACCAHC, a consortium of 16 principally education-oriented organizations centered in the 5 licensed CAM disciplines, plans to “will urge whole person, integrative, health and wellness-focused explorations” during the 3 year forum. ACCAHC found an unnamed donor to support the organization’s participation with over 30 other medical organizations including the councils of colleges for medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy and public health. States Elizabeth A. (Liza) Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, ACCAHC chair and ACCAHC member on the IOM committee: “ACCAHC is excited to bring our core values of whole person, wellness-focused, patient-centered, integrative practices to this Global Forum with our academic colleagues from other disciplines and other nations.” After its commitment to join, ACCAHC received a $30,000 philanthropic grant to support the participation. Goldblatt’s alternate will be ACCAHC executive director John Weeks. This is ACCAHC’s third significant engagement with on IOM initiative.

Comment: This is a very exciting involvement, personally of course, and for integrative health ideas as we embark on the 100 years after the Flexner century. The ACCAHC disciplines will have a lot to learn from their colleagues. We also believe we have some important content to bring to the table. In a discussion before the ACCAHC board made this huge commitment to sponsor – another $30,000 is yet needed to support costs – one member said: “Wouldn’t the best innovation be to graduate professionals who focus on wellness, on getting people healthy, and helping them stay healthy.” What a bodacious thought! Then again, what Flexner recommended was way outside the box of health professional education in his time. Who wants to enter the 22nd Century wondering if we ever get over being merely reactive in our healthcare treatment?

The Global Forum will develop two, 2-day forums each year from 2012-2014 on topics on innovation in health professional education. Some may be particularly of interest for the integrative community. Each will be an exceptional networking opportunity. Mark the dates for the 2012 forums (August 28-29, November 29-30) and sign-up here for the IOM for updates on content.   


Surveyed acupuncturists back educational requirements for experience in integrated environments and team-care

The preliminary report of the 2012 Annual Survey by the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine found 76% agreed with the statement that “AOM training should be required to include clinical training in settings such as community clinics and/or hospitals.” Of AAAOM members who responded, the percent responding affirmatively was higher, at just over 80%. Similarly, 65%/73% agreed that “AOM training should be required to include clinical training on a team with other medical professionals.” Notably, respondents also agreed (73%/81%) with this statement: “Accreditation standards for AOM programs should be consistent with standards for other healthcare professions, such as Physician Assistant, Nursing, Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Physical Therapy.” The findings were marred by a response rate of just 7%.

Comment: Credit the AAAOM with trying to reach the entire profession. The professional association partnered with both the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to mail to 18,000 licensed acupuncturists and 5,000 students. The chief focus of the survey was the profession’s controversial move toward establishing a First Professional Doctorate (FPD). Findings on this topic are also available. The low response rate was likely due to AAAOM asking respondents to read two complex documents on the FPD before responding.

Meantime, the findings noted above suggest a profession whose involved leaders see their future less in silos and solo practices and increasingly in teams and multidisciplinary practices. The high percent seeking to align accreditation standards with other allied health fields suggests a recognition of the value of acquiring shared language.