Most healthcare disciplines developed in isolated silos. Educational standards, institutional habits, accreditation, testing, and practice are typically products of self-referential world-views. Now the choices of patients, the characteristics of chronic diseases, and the known value of team care, call us out of our silos and into greater relationship.
We envision a healthcare system that is multidisciplinary and enhances competence, mutual respect, and collaboration across all CAM and conventional healthcare disciplines. This system will deliver effective care that is patient centered, focused on health creation and healing, and readily accessible to all populations.
The National Education Dialogue (NED) is a multi-year project of IHPC's Education Task Force. Through its working groups and larger meetings, NED promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration among educators from conventional and complementary and alternative healthcare institutions. NED advances specific recommendations of three important initiatives:
- White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (2001) (PDF)
- National Policy Dialogue to Advance Integrated Healthcare: Seeking Common Ground (PDF)
- 2004 Institute of Medicine Study Committee on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (PDF)
The National Education Dialogue's priorities include:
- promoting and supporting inter-institutional collaboration among educators, including the development of regional models
- developing CAM and conventional educational resources and materials to foster understanding of the value each discipline offers for quality care
- exploring shared values, skills and attitudes among disciplines
- creating a website of resources which can assist educators in advancing their local initiatives
The centerpiece of NED's work is facilitating model programs to foster inter-institutional partnerships in health professions education.
The NED Planning Team and Funders: Exercises in Balance
NED's central organizing principle is to bring together a balanced set of educator-leaders with an interest in collaboration and let them set NED's vision, mission and agenda. The strength of the current 25 person NED team is grounded in broad representation from three educator groups:
- leaders from the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, a national organization representing 31 conventional institutions (www.imconsortium.org)
- leaders from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ACCAHC), a national organization developed through the NED process whose core participants are leaders of the councils of colleges and accrediting agencies of the five CAM disciplines with federal recognition
- educational leaders of additional health professions that have a stake in the advancement of quality, integrated care, including holistic nursing, behavioral health, holistic medicine, functional medicine, public health and other allied health educators