Prof. Adam I. Perlman
  • Duke University, USA
  • 2015-06-16
  • 972회 열람
  • 프린트

Prof. Adam I. Perlman


Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
Duke University, USA


Duke Integrative Medicine
3475 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27705
Email: adam.perlman@duke.edu




He had a presentation at ICCMR 2015.

[Keynote Lecture 5] The Pebble in the Pond: Integrative Leadership and Transformative Change




Q1: How did you enter CAM research field?

A1: My original interest in CAM came from actually studying martial arts. I studied martial arts for many years. And as I started to do things like tai chi and qi gong, I wondered why we didn’t integrate more of that into conventional medicine at the time, western medicine in the US. I actually went to medical school with that interest to integrate, look more complementary medicine into the conventional system. That desire evolved over time and one of the things I came to realize when I was doing my medical training was that we needed more research to help us understand what works and what doesn’t work, and what should be integrated into the system. I ended up doing a research fellowship when I was in Boston University after I did internal medicine. And that sort of launched my research career.


Q2: What do think the integrative medicine is?

A2: I think integrative medicine is defined many different ways by many different people and by different cultures. I was talking about this just a little while ago with some colleagues. I think that on one level, integrative medicine means “integrating” complementary medicine into the care of patients. But, I think that’s a very superficial level. I think on a deeper level, it’s really about an openness to things that aren’t currently typically integrated, to at least from the USA’s point of view, an openness to things that come from other healing traditions, like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Korean Medicine, as well as a different approach to the care of the patient. What I mean by that is that integrative medicine is not, in my opinion, simply substituting an herb for a medicine. The herb is really, just a natural form of medicine. A right of way of treating imbalances in the body. But, integrative medicine goes beyond that. It really is about taking a “whole person” approach to care, recognizing that what impacts on our health, well-being goes beyond pathophysiology and the need to just treat pathophysiology.

There are issues that are mental and emotional, there’re certainly issues that are physical or physiologic. And there are issues that are spiritual that relate to purpose and meaning in life. All of those, issues within all of those areas must be addressed for someone to really obtain the optimal health and well-being that they can obtain. I think that broader approach is a big part of integrative health. I think the final component is much more emphasis on prevention. Traditionally, certainly in the United States’ system, I think it’s true in many if not most of the systems in the world, there’s been much less emphasis on preventing disease and much more about treating disease once it happens. I think there’s an interest in integrative medicine in that it really tries to help people develop healthier life styles, healthier ways of living so that diseases don’t develop. I don’t think that’s unique to integrative medicine, I think that the conventional systems are also interested in that, but integrative medicine has had a focus on prevention in a really, since its inception.


Q3: As a director, please introduce what specialties and characteristics of Duke Integrative Medicine are.

A3: I’ve been honored to be the executive director for Duke Integrative Medicine now since 2011. We have a beautiful 27,000sq ft. Integrative Medicine Center on the center of the Living campus of Duke University. And it actually has won a number of awards, totally green building, it’s a beautiful example of a healing environment. Inside of that building is, it’s obviously most important, what goes on inside, we have a number of things that we do. We have a clinical program, we have integrative primary care, we offer integrative medicine consults. You could have primary care, just go there for some specific issue, see a integrative medicine physician. We also have acupuncture, massage, mind body medicine, classes on mind body stress reduction, you could be in a class on yoga. We have psychologist to address sort of emotional as well as stress related issues.

We also do a lot with professional and public programs. We’ve trained over 1,000 people to be integrative health coaches. We’ve trained probably over 3,000 people in mind body stress reduction and we offer a number of other types of programs for the public and for professionals. We’re very proud of the work that we do in that area as well. We do some work as well with students and education, have a medical students’ column and rotate in other students and that’s also an important component of what we do.


Q4: Would you please give a main message of your keynote lecture?

A4: Today, I spoke about something about a pebble in the pond. It was really a talk about leadership and the concept being that a pebble drops into a pond and the ripples have a broader effect. And how can we learn to be leaders that can have that broader effect on the health care system. Leadership is something that I’m personally interested in within the space if Integrative Medicine. We’re recently funded by a group called The Bravewell Collaborative to develop a leadership training program in Integrative health care. That program is at integrativehealthleadership.org, we have a website that talks about what that is. But basically, it’s a year long training program to help people to be better leaders, help the members understand more about the business of Integrative Medicine, so that they can help to take the research that many of the wonderful investigators who are at this conference are doing and a lot of the clinical models that come from many healing traditions and integrate that into our health care systems in a way that’s sustainable, in a way that aligns with not only the clinical goals but the financial goals of the organization.

With that in mind, what I spoke about today was sort of the core concepts that we put together around what does it take to be an effective leader within the integrative space and bring about really sustainable transformation of our system. What does it take to be that pebble. The core of that being this concept of informed mindfulness. Learning to be not only present and aware in the moment but also coupling that with the informed piece, the skill sets and the knowledge, the beliefs, the values coupled with the awareness that you can then begin to develop effective teams ultimately move out and be that pebble that causes sustained transformation of our system and really our health care culture.


Q5: What is the happiest moment in doing research?

A5: There’s a lot that I find rewarding about research. I would say that, first of all, it’s wonderful to help bring together a group of individuals because no research is done by one person. And it’s wonderful for me when I’ve had the opportunity to bring together a group of individuals who feel passionate about the question we are trying to answer, the research that we are doing, to work together, sort of in the tranches as we say and complete a research project that then can be disseminated broadly and have impact.

And that’s the way I used to always think about what motivated me and still do, what motivated me to become a researcher. I enjoy my clinical work, but I felt like solely being a clinician, I could impact a good amount of people that I might see in my career and that’s important. But if I can also do a meaningful research project that transforms perhaps to some degree the way others practice, that broadens the impact. And that is particularly exciting for me. If I can do that in way that brings others together so that we do it as a part of a group of like-minded individuals working towards the same purpose, I find that extremely gratifying.


Q6: An advice or share comments for young researchers in this field.

A6: I had the opportunity to meet with some of the young researchers at the student lunch today at this conference. That was a wonderful opportunity. I emphasized initially the importance of relationships. I think sometimes as a young researcher, we or they contend to be, when I was a younger researcher, I tended to be so focused on learning the skills and the methodology and the statistics. That’s all of course very, very important, but even in the early stages and perhaps, especially in the early stages of one’s career, to make sure that we’re developing relationships with those around us. I think that’s particularly important.

I also think it’s important to really focus on understanding what one’s passion is. Sometimes, young researchers can be pulled in a direction by a more senior researcher that maybe isn’t in alignment with what they feel passionate about. It isn’t always terrible to spend a certain amount of time doing that if that allows them to learn some skill sets and things that they can then translate and bring into another environment but at some point, they need to be able to break away and make sure that what they are doing and pursuing is a part of their research career really is in alignment with what they find purposeful and meaningful. And I think that’s particularly important message.