Integrative Medicine in the U.S.: Marginal to Mainstream, Problematic to Promising – A Talk by Prof. Barbara Sharf

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) have been gaining acceptance in biomedical institutions and conventional healthcare systems in the US. This research talk focuses on the vehicles of integration for CAM into mainstream health practices and how the institutionalization of complementary medicine occurs through media and communication. Prof. Barbara Sharf will present her past studies on integrative medicine, which examine the operationalisation of CAM. She will also discuss the challenges of practicing CAM, which include structural barriers such as insurance issues and healthcare system uncertainties. In her talk, Prof Sharf will be addressing the following questions:

  • How do centers of integrative medicine function in terms of historic development, organizational structure and clinical/educational practices?
  • How has each center attempted to become institutionalized within its respective community, including interface with conventional medicine and does this make institutions of CAM vulnerable to co-optation by conventional medical practice?
  • What is the future of integrative medicine in the US?

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