To all accounts, the turnout of over 700 to the October 26-31, founding conference of the emerging Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) was a rousing success. But how did this organization, formed principally of MDs and DOs, succeed in its effort to create a more multidisciplinary gathering?
Figures released by executive director Nan Sudak, MD, were as follows: MD 492, DC 62, RN 28, PhD 21 (other), ND 20, LAc 11 and 87 “other.” The latter encompasses Ayurvedic medicine practitioners, nutritionists, pharmacists, physicians’ assistants and more. In addition, over 8 countries were represented, with a significant group from the Middle East.
AIHM invested in stimulating this multidisciplinary turnout through a program of selected and subsidized “ambassadors” from different disciplines. The emerging organization also held two pre-conference business meetings exploring significant collaborations with organizations linked to multiple integrative health and medicine professions.
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In a related move, AIHM continued to diversify its Board of Directors with a new chiropractor and two nurses. The board already included a naturopathic doctor, a licensed acupuncturist, and two individuals with close ongoing relationships with multiple non-MD/DO groups. (Alignment of interest disclosure: I am one of those latter two individuals on the AIHM Board.)
Comment: I am an interested party, as noted, and I have found the level of commitment to inclusion of this still MD/DO dominant organization remarkable. I’d judge the diversity of this conference good for a first time event in a very busy AIHM year. Some of us are betting on this being the best chance for creating a truly horizontally integrated and inclusive organization that can power-up our efforts to contribute to the move of our medical industry toward a system focusing on health creation. More to come.
This article originally appeared in The Integrator Blog.
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