A snapshot of the size and maturation of the licensed integrative health and medicine fieldsSo what are we talking about when we look at the licensed “complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)” or integrative health and medicine disciplines? The following chart, from

A snapshot of the size and maturation of the licensed integrative health and medicine fields

So what are we talking about when we look at the licensed “complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)” or integrative health and medicine disciplines? The following chart, from page 10 of the 2013 Clinicians and Educators Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions (CEDR) provides these data.

Profession  

Estimated
Number
Licensed

 

Total
Accredited
Schools

 

Total
States
Licensed

 

Year
Accrediting
Agency
Established

 

Year
Accrediting
Agency
Recognized
by U.S.

 

Year
Standardized
Exam Created

Acupuncture
Oriental medicine
 

28,000

 

61

 

44

 

1982

 

1990

 

1985

Chiropractic 
(medicine)
 

72,000

 

15

 

50

 

1971

 

1974

 

1963

Massage
therapy
 

280,000

 

88^

 

44

 

1982

 

2002

 

1994

Direct-entry
midwifery
 

2,000

 

10

 

26

 

1991

 

2001

 

1994

Naturopathic
medicine
 

5,500

 

7

 

18*

 

1978

 

1987

 

1986

* Current number. The 2013 book says 16.
^ Accredited by Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.
Source: Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (2013)

In addition, current numbers of integrative health and medicine practitioners educated or certified to a set standard are: roughly 2,800 medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy certified by the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine; 1,100 medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy who have completed the University of Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine; and 1,349 board certified holistic nurses (as various levels of nurse certification and training) via the American Holistic Nurse Credentialing Corporation.

Comment: The total here is roughly 387,500 licensed “CAM” plus another officially board certified group of approximately 4,000 integrative MDs/DOs and holistic nurses. For reference, there are roughly 880,000 licensed medical doctors and some 3.3 million nurses. These are typically, whether their preference or not, entrenched in a disease-focused industry. The numbers suggest that it serves those in this field to work in a coordinated fashion to advance the values, practices and disciplines associated with integrative health and medicine. The book that includes this chart is freely available as a PDF at this site.