June 2012 John Weeks Integrator Round-upon Education

Consortiums of medical schools (CAHCIM) and CAM educators (ACCAHC) jointly sponsor International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Georgetown, October 24-26

On October 24-26, 2012, Georgetown University will host a historic collaboration: the International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ICECIM). Jointly sponsoring are the 51 medical schools of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) and the 16 complementary health organizations of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). The principal organizer is Aviad Haramati, PhD, integrative medicine leader at Georgetown and a long-time leader in cross-fertilizing the conventional and CAM educational institutions and organizations. ICECIM is EXPECTEDto draw a multidisciplinary group of 200-300 educators. ICECIM’s program committee and planning committee (on which I serve) are thoroughly integrated. 

Comment: In 2004-2005. I had a chance to work with Haramati and a mixed group of 25 educators in integrative practice fields to create the National Education Dialogue (NED) to Advance Integrated Health Care: Creating Common Ground. At that time, CAHCIM was not willing to formally co-sponsor with ACCAHC. The reluctance made sense: CAHCIM was young, and ACCAHC was just emerging, under the leadership of Pamela Snider, ND, in that NED process. The open alliance on this project is terrific. As Integrator adviser Clyde Jensen, PhD, taught me to consider in 2000: “Those who are educated together practice together.”


University of Calgary medical acupuncture program for MDs enters 22nd year

The University of Alberta has just begun the 22nd year of what it calls “one of the few academic university-based medical acupuncture programs in North America.” The Medical Acupuncture Program is described as: “Over 200 credit hours of intensive graduate-level instruction in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and clinical practices as it relates to medical acupuncture and modern biomedicine. Instruction is provided through lectures, workshops, demonstrations, clinical practice, and examinations. The program is designed to be taken on a part-time basis and to be completed in nine months. It is presented in four modules (levels), each worth 50 credit hours. Each module consists of two 3-day weekend sessions, (Friday through Sunday) held approximately one month apart.” 

Comment: The main such short course in the US for educating medical doctors is the so-called Helms program. Like the Calgary program, the Helms course was originally linked to the UCLA and later Stanford from 1982-2008 via continuing education. I had not been aware of the durability of the Calgary program as a part of a medical school. Notably, in the less rigid guild environment of Canada, the course is open to MDs, dentists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and chiropractors.


Organization called “the official voice of CAM in the United States” featured in Redwood’s Healthy Insights Today

The name of the feature by Dan Redwood, DC is “Developing Collaboration Among CAM Professions, Forging Integration with Conventional Health Professions.” Redwood examines, via interview, what he calls “the only organization in the United States with full participation of the councils of colleges and accrediting agencies from all the licensed professions defined as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by the National Institutes of Health—chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and massage therapy.” Redwood adds: “As such, ACCAHC comes closer than any other group to being the official voice of CAM in the United States. The organization is the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). Redwood chooses to portray the organization through the comments of its executive director, John Weeks, the very same character, re-hatted, who is writing this Round-up.

Comment: Okay, that was a a bit of a round-about set up. In the interview, Redwood gave me time to speak about the accomplishments made over the past 8 years via the commitments of leaders of 16 national organizations and literally scores of deans, presidents, CEOs, executive directors and faculty members. I am proud to be a part of what is arguably the broadest, deepest, most accomplished interprofessional initiative in North America. (Let me know if I am unaware of some organization or initiative!) Pamela Snider, ND first organized and directed ACCAHC in 2004-2006 via a support from Lucy Gonda. Snider wrestled the first participants into declaring a shared vision and mission. Anyone wondering why I have shifted more of my work from writing to organizing will understand fully through reading this interview. We’ve created an exceptional platform through which we are fostering health-focused change.


Input invited on core competencies in integrative pain management for primary care physicians

The director of a new integrative medicine program at the University of Washington, Heather Tick, MD, has initiated a process to develop core competencies for integrative pain management for primary care physicians. Tick led two sessions on the topic at the International Research Congress for Integrative Medicine and Health in Portland in May 2012. Tick sent a note to attendees after the meeting in which she invited broad input on “an initial draft of core competencies in Integrative Pain Care (IPC) recently completed by a broadly representative task force of health care professionals.” She writes: “For an initial investigation, we are seeking your input regarding the extent to which each of the draft competency statements is necessary for primary care physicians (i.e., family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and combined internal medicine-pediatrics specialties). A web-based questionnaire is now available to provide your input. In addition, we welcome your suggestions for refinements in the wording of the statements and any other IPM core competencies that you think should be included.  Your responses to this questionnaire are anonymous and will provide important input for further development of these competency statements.” The Survey Monkey link is here.

Comment: I asked Tick if I might forward her message to the Integrator list and she said yes. Comment away! While I am assuming that her definition of primary care physicians includes osteopaths but does not extend to naturopathic physicians or others who believe they work in a primary care capacity, there is no restriction on who can comment on the proposed standards.