Embargoed materials for Complementary & Integrative Medicine Conference

he North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, May 24th-27th, 2006.

The study included 130 complementary/alternative medicine schools accredited by a federally-recognized accrediting agency in one or more of five disciplines: chiropractic, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine and direct-entry midwifery. Also included were 28 conventional academic medical schools that are part of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine.

Survey responses were received from 93% of conventional medical school programs and 61% of complementary/alternative medicine programs. Overall, 34% of complementary/alternative medicine schools noted formal relationships with conventional medical programs.

The results indicated that more than 50% of the relationships between the two disciplines were based on informal contacts, while 15% to 30% were formal relationships. Specifically, conventional programs were more likely to have formal relationships with schools of acupuncture (32%) and massage (20%) and less likely with chiropractic (12%) and naturopathic medicine (8%).

Approximately 85% of respondents from both medical and complementary/alternative medicine schools agreed that "creating a fully integrated healthcare system will require that institutions/programs like ours develop stronger, multi-dimensional, inter-institutional relationships" with programs of the other disciplines.

The respondents noted that strengthening and deepening these relationships may be achieved by strategies that incorporate materials on best practices, including the sharing of sample agreements created by other institutions, and focused meetings on the topic. These were viewed as top strategies for enhancing inter-institutional relationships.

"Conventional and complementary/alternative educational programs presently have a significant web


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