March 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Academic Integrative Medicine

by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports Bastyr teaching clinic ranks in the top among all Puget Sound primary care clinics A report card from the Washington Health Alliance once again found that, from the perspective of “patient

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports

Bastyr teaching clinic ranks in the top among all Puget Sound primary care clinics

A report card from the Washington Health Alliance once again found that, from the perspective of “patient experience,” the Bastyr Natural Health Center ranks among the top of all primary care facilities in the northwest. The study is entitled Your Voice Matters: Patient Experience with Primary Care Providers in the Puget Sound Region, 2014 Community Checkup Overview. The clinics were rated on four categories: timeliness, care and appointments; provider communication; courteousness of office staff; and the patient’s “overall rating of the provider.” In all areas, Bastyr ranked among the top performers. The WHA says that “effective communication between provider and patient is the most critical element of the patient’s experience.” This was the second report card in a row in which Bastyr’s patients ranked the facility highly. Bastyr’s release on the report is here.

Comment: I don’t suppose the anti-CAM and anti-naturopathic medicine “science-based prejudice” writers will decide to pick up on this evidence (a priori - by its positive outcomes for naturopathic care – “non-scientific”) and publish it to their audience.  Congrats to the Bastyr team.

Consortium publishes standards for competencies for integrative medicine fellowships

Leading educators in the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) have published, in the prominent journal Academic Medicine, a paper entitled Developing and implementing core competencies for integrative medicine fellowships. The paper, led by Melinda Ring, MD and Victor Sierpina, MD, is the result of a two-year CAHCIM commitment in 2010 to draft integrative medicine fellowship core competencies. The authors note that currently13 clinical fellowships in integrative medicine exist in the United States.

Comment: The publication and the CAHCIM project behind it are each timely. The integrative MD field is in what is expected to be the first year of test-taking for "Board Certification in Integrative Medicine" through the American Board of Physician Specialties. Those certified must already be certified in another MD specialty and then complete a recognized fellowship or a residential, US Department of Education-accredited program to become a licensed acupuncturist, chiropractic doctor or naturopathic physician.

Southwest Colleges of Naturopathic Medicine receives 2014 Business Excellence Award from Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine received the 2014 Business Excellence Award from the Tempe Chamber of Commerce on February 28, 2014.  A statement from the college includes this from Mary Ann Miller, CEO of the Tempe Chamber: “The Business Excellence Awards recognize outstanding businesses in our community. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine is an amazing company dedicated to their customers, their staffs and the community. We are proud they’re part of the Tempe Chamber, and we celebrate their continued success.”  The release notes that the award recognizes SCNM for its “innovation, growth and commitment to the community” including “ many educational and patient care ‘firsts’ [such as] a revised cutting-edge curriculum, the industry’s first job board,, and moving the teaching clinic to electronic medical health records.”  SCNM has also broken ground on a new 47,000 sq. foot building on the campus with a naturopathic pain/rehabilitation clinic, teaching kitchen, open-to-the-public library, healthy café, fitness area, and space for public courses.

Comment: Such an award is not only an honor and brag-point for the college. In this case, it comes via a multi-year commitment of SCNM president Paul Mittman, ND, EdD to participation with his local chamber. It also signifies a kind of community arrival. The institution is honored for its business practices and values, rather than specifically for its medicine and health care. Sometimes such a back door entrance of the medicine into consciousness can be the shortest distance to increased recognition of the institution’s broader healthcare mission.