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|Prof. Adam I. Perlman|
Prof. Adam I. Perlman
Department of Medicine
Duke Integrative Medicine
He had a presentation at ICCMR 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.