This R13 application requests support for a conference entitled 2012 International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine to be held at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC on October 24- 26, 2012. This conference is jointly sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), which currently comprises 50 medical schools in the U.S. and Canada, and the Academic Consortium of Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), which represents the principal CAM schools and disciplines. The site host for the conference is Georgetown University School of Medicine, a member of CAHCIM. The goal of the Congress is to advance the field of complementary and integrative medicine education through the sharing of best practices in the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of curricula and teaching methods;the strengthening of existing partnerships;and the development of new collaborations. This Congress will showcase original work through plenary sessions, symposia, poster presentations, and a number of interactive sessions including symposia and workshops, and should interest anyone involved in education related to complementary and integrative medicine. Three proposed areas to be addressed include: 1. the incorporation of complementary/integrative medicine into the continuum of life-long learning, from undergraduate education to postgraduate and continuing education (including dual-degree programs);2. The development and outcomes of integrative medicine education projects sponsored by the NIH R25 education grants (at both CAM institutions and medical schools);and 3. The development of inter-professional education initiatives (including integrative models of care). The Congress organization is overseen by the Planning Committee composed of the co-chairs of three committees (Program, Finance and Local Site and Fundraising) with liaison to CAHCIM and ACCAHC Executive and Steering Committees. The chairs and members of the committees are leaders from the conventional and complementary medical education communities of the United States, Canada and Europe, including leading investigators, and education directors. The Program Committee will determine the themes for the conference and select three keynote speakers. Applications for sessions (symposia, panel discussions, small group interactive sessions, education resources sessions and workshops) will be solicited, as will submission of oral and poster abstracts of ongoing projects. All will undergo peer review for quality in a process conducted by the Program Committee. Over 40 expert reviewers will be named through a process governed by the Planning and Program Committees. This will be the first such conference jointly sponsored by the ACCAHC and CAHCIM, but follows on three highly successful international research congresses. Our stated goal is to improve the training in integrative healthcare around the world.
Public scientific and educational meetings where new ideas are presented and peer- reviewed work is evaluated and discussed are crucial to the advancement of all disciplines. They afford a critical opportunity for scientists, educators, regulators, funders, and trainees to come together in a focused setting and explore data from important recent work in their respective disciplines, address issues of common concern, and provide much-needed thoughtful perspective regarding the emerging knowledge and understanding. With regard specifically to this congress for educators of complementary and integrative medicine, the general public will likely benefit by way of improved training of health care practitioners, enhanced research literacy of future providers and, hopefully, significant advances in therapeutics and other treatment approaches that make their first appearance at these meetings. NIH support of this particular international congress for educators will provide the venue for extending these benefits to a larger and more diverse audience, and especially to junior faculty and fellows in training.