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Three Leaders in Integrative Medicine – Part 4: Future

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine presents the first in its series of visual history interviews with more than 100 prominent leaders in the field of integrative East-West Medicine in China, "Tracing the development of integrative medicine in China: Perspectives from three prominent leaders."


Part 4 of 4: “What will the future bring for Integrative Medicine?”

Wu Xianzhong, former president (1989-1995) of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine, presents three goals for Integrative Medicine:

  1. Sorting through the theories of Chinese medicine and elevating them to a modern level
  2. Development of integrative treatment for major diseases
  3. Traditional medicine drug research

Wu also sets forward three levels of development integrative medicine, 1)  application of integrative medicine at the grassroots-level, 2) development of medical institutions and research at the city-level, and 3) theoretical studies and basic research at the national level.

Both Wu Xianzhong and Chen Keji, former president (1995-2008) of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine, agree that financial support presents limitations to the development of Integrative Medicine. But, research in IM has it its financial returns as well, for a clear integrative treatment plan can alleviate financial burden for both the patient as well as for the government. For future development, Chen Keji envisions multi-center studies with more clinical cases, more departments for participating, and the establishment of more schools for integrative medicine.

In the next 30-50 years, says Chen Kaixian, current president of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine since 2008, we can use methods from Chinese Medicine and Western medicine in combination to solve the health challenges we are facing and yield better results. We can also strive to use modern scientific technology to understand and explore the scientific understanding of the theoretical constructs of Chinese medicine, improve our knowledge of specific formulas, and improve the efficacy of Chinese medicine.


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