What is Integrative Medicine 

The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health has developed the following definition: “Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.” Advocates say that integrative medicine is not the same as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) nor is it simply the combination of conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine. They say instead that it “emphasizes wellness and healing of the entire person (bio-psycho-socio-spiritual dimensions) as primary goals, drawing on both conventional and CAM approaches in the context of a supportive and effective physician-patient relationship.


In the 1990s, physicians in the United States became increasingly interested in integrating alternative approaches into their medical practice, as shown by a 1995 survey in which 80% of family practice physicians expressed an interest in receiving training in acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and massage therapy.  In the mid-1990s hospitals in the United States began opening integrative medicine clinics, which numbered 27 by 2001.  The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine was founded in 1999 and by 2015 included 60 members, such as Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and Mayo Clinic. In 2015 it was renamed Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. The goal of the Consortium is to advance the practice of integrative medicine by bringing together medical colleges that include integrative medicine in their medical education. The American Board of Physician Specialties, which awards board certification to medical doctors in the U.S., announced in June 2013 that in 2014 it would begin accrediting doctors in integrative medicine.


Meet the Integrative Experts