First International Clinical Congress a Success

Record attendance and positive feedback for Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine

By Karolyn A. Gazella

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If record attendance from healthcare practitioners from around the world is an indicator of success, this conference hit the mark. Convened by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and held in collaboration with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on Oct 29–31, 2013, the conference featured keynotes from two leaders in the field of integrative medicine: Tracy Gaudet, MD, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND.

The New Face of Healthcare

Gaudet’s talk on transforming healthcare featured details about her work at the Veterans Health Administration.
Pizzorno discussed personalized medicine and utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) support tools. “No, AI tools will not replace the doctor,” said Pizzorno. “Nothing will ever replace the critical doctor-patient relationship. However, AI tools can decrease the amount of time doctors have to spend collecting information, improve understanding of each unique patient’s biochemical individuality, and free up time for the doctor-patient interaction.” Pizzorno is the founding president of Bastyr University, author of several widely acclaimed books, and a leading authority on the subject of science-based natural medicine.
The conference also featured several panel discussions and many concurrent sessions. The clinical content offering was very diverse. In one session, healthcare providers learned about integrative management of rheumatoid arthritis. Another session discussed the philosophy and uses of Shamanism. Other sessions covered Tai Chi, endocrine disruption, veganism, diabesity, and the business of integrative medicine.
“The content was intentionally very diverse—and in some cases may have even pushed the boundaries a little,” explained conference co-chair Melinda Ring, MD, who is the medical director of integrative medicine at Northwestern University. “One of our goals was to demonstrate that integrative medicine is not just about using acupuncture to avoid surgery or taking a supplement rather than a drug. It’s about the restoration of health and aspects of healing that go beyond the body and embrace body, mind, and spirit.”


Learn More

The mission of the convening organization is to advance the principles and practices of integrative medicine within its academic institutions. Presently there are 56 academic health centers and affiliate institutes that belong to the Consortium of Academic Health Centers. For more information, visit

About the Author

Karolyn A. Gazella is the publisher of the Natural Medicine Journal and the host of the Natural Medicine Journal Podcast series. She also co-hosts the Five to Thrive Live weekly radio show on the Cancer Support Network, which is also widely available as a podcast. She has been writing and publishing integrative health information since 1992 and is the author or co-author of several books and booklets on a variety of holistic health topics.