Center for Integrative Medicine
Director: Brian M. Berman, MD
Professor, Department of Family Medicine
The Center for Integrative Medicine is dedicated to enriching current medical practice through evaluation of the scientific foundation of complementary medicine, integration of evidence-based complementary medical therapies and approaches into patient care and emphasis on a humanistic approach to healing that values mind, body and spirit and partners with patients in healing. The program was founded in 1991, established in the School of Medicine in 1997 and became an Organized Research Center in 2002. It is comprised of four inter-dependent divisions of research, education, patient care and informatics. Faculty members from the Center work collaboratively with departments and colleagues across the schools at the University of Maryland Baltimore, as well as with investigators nationally and internationally.
For the past nine years the Center for Integrative Medicine has been a National Institutes of Health (NIH) specialized center for research in complementary medicine with a broad-reaching program of clinical, pre-clinical and survey research investigating the safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness and mechanism of action of complementary medicine, as well as evaluating integration of these approaches into mainstream care. Areas of focus include traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, herbs and Qi Gong, and mind/body therapies; with disease areas of focus in pain related disorders such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, and low back pain. The Center also has a NIH planning grant for an international collaborative center with the Chinese University of Hong Kong investigating traditional Chinese medicine for functional bowel disorders.
The Center provides teaching in all four years of the medical school curriculum and a one-month elective for fourth year medical students. The Center also provides teaching to Family Medicine residents and offers a fellowship program, in conjunction with the University of Arizona, with clinical mentoring and on-line course modules. The aim of the education initiatives is to increase awareness and knowledge of complementary therapies among health professionals and facilitate the practice of integrative medicine. In addition, the Center is committed to increasing the pool of investigators dedicated to investigation of integrative medicine through both research fellowships and mentoring of junior faculty, as well as seed funding grants to University of Maryland faculty for pilot research studies.
In order to disseminate high-quality information on complementary and integrative medicine and to guide future research, the Center is involved in gathering and systematically reviewing the world-wide literature in complementary medicine. Two comprehensive databases (CAMPAIN & ARCAM) are available on the Center's website, in addition to the Cochrane Collaboration registry of complementary medicine trials and systematic reviews. The Center is the coordinating center for the complementary medicine field of the international Cochrane Collaboration.
The Center operates an out-patient clinic since 1992 at the University of Maryland's James L. Kernan Hospital where patients are offered both complementary and conventional medical therapies and integrative models of care for acute and chronic health disorders. The clinic is one of seven charter members of the Philanthropic Collaborative for Integrative Medicine's clinical network, whose purpose is to share best practices and ensure the economic viability of integrative medicine clinical practice.