by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports   The 213 professionals certificated by the Institute of Functional Medicine  The Institute of Functional Medicine recently shared with the Integrator data on the growth of their new certificate program.

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports
The 213 professionals certificated by the Institute of Functional Medicine

The Institute of Functional Medicine recently shared with the Integrator data on the growth of their new certificate program. Presently 213 have been certificated, in 2013-2014.  The organization’s leaders expect another 200 or so in 2015 “if our tracking is correct.” Of the current group, 63% are female and 10% international. Nearly two-thirds of those certificated are MD/DO (65%), with chiropractors next (12%) then nutrition professionals (10%), naturopathic doctors (7%), and nurse practitioners (6%). In a separate note, IFM shares that 25 medical schools or residency programs “currently incorporate functional medicine in their curriculum.”

Comment: I learned this while assembling some data on the number of medical doctors who have been educated to a set standard in the field of integrative/functional medicine. We know that the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine has certified roughly 2500 and that the U Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine has roughly 1200 graduates. Together with IFM, the total pushes 2850, with some overlap. What other programs belong in this set?

APHA elevates complementary/integrative/traditional medicine group to section status

The co-chair of the recently renamed interest group of the American Public Health Association, Integrative, Complementary and Traditional Health Practices, Elizabeth Sommers, PhD, MPH, LAc, sends news that, after 20 years, the group has been elevated to “section” status by APHA.  The group has over 400 members with “growing ‘sister’ groups in South Africa and Australia,” says Sommers. These are part of a “wide net” that includes practitioners, academics, researchers, students, consumers, policy-makers.  Sommers said a common bond is “recognition of the importance of self-care and health promotion.” Members of the new APHA Section are “involved in many practices and look toward trans-disciplinary approaches to yoga, massage, Tai Chi, nutrition, Ayurveda, naturopathic healthcare, Traditional Asian Medicine, herbal care, spirituality, Indigenous healing practices, relaxation and mindfulness.”

Comment: Sommers, who produces a public health haiku daily, also sent this with the news: “Embracing fullness/Vision of global health and/Renewal for earth.” Great to see this earned recognition. The next APHA Annual Mtg. in New Orleans, Nov. 16-19. Sommers urges “folks involved in CAM to consider joining APHA and getting involved.


Hospital group begins campaign promoting disease as an economic engine

The group is called the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care. On its website the group lays out evidence of the economic impact it is seeking to protect. Hospitals are major economic engines in their communities. They have created 5.5 million jobs – one in every nine in the United States. This “contribution” totals $900-billion of economic activity. A recent appeal to members stimulates concern over $121.8-billion in federal budget cuts in recent years. The group is focused on keeping access to cutting edge technologies. Patient stories of gratitude are solicited top put human faces on their desire to protect the status quo.

Comment
:  We know that something is terribly awry when those nominally in charge of our medicine show such a profound remove from responsibility for assisting us to health. This should be called the Coalition to Protect the Medical Industry. Remember the phrase in the kiddy book: “’More’ said the baby, ‘more, more, more.’” Like a military base threatened with a shut down or a Port District questioned for its taxing authority, the hospital organization seeks to maintain its position by sowing the fear. Imagine a day when we are invited by hospitals to a campaign promising to give each person access to health coaches and successful, self-care technologies that will, in a staged way, allow them to cut their employment and transition to a community-based, economy of health creation.  Meantime, while reflecting on this, a colleague sent this note:  “I’m at the docs for a stress test. His $120K Mercedes is parked outside with a vanity plate that reads STENTS ! American Healthcare at its best.”

American Acupuncture Council offers seminars to bring acupuncturists up to speed on insurance changes under the Affordable Care Act

The American Acupuncture Council (AAC) is offering a series of live conferences around the country on insurance issues and the Affordable Care Act. While generally set for any acupuncture practitioner who works with 3rd party payment, the themes include Section 2706, “Non-Discrimination in Health Care.” Content includes specific looks at some states where acupuncture is directly included in benefits. ACC is the leading provider of malpractice coverage to acupuncture practitioners.