“Neutral” Members of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
January 15, 2005

In 2003, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) appointed a committee to identify major scientific and policy issues in “complementary and alternative medicine” (“CAM”) research, regulation, training, credentialing and “integration with conventional medicine.” In February 2003, it posted the names of 15 committee appointees and asked for public comment about their suitability. In March, in response to public comments, two of the less-qualified original members were dropped; and in April, David Nerenz, PhD, and Harold Sox, MD, were added. Joyce K. Anastasi, PhD, RN, FAAN, LAc, and Michele Chang, MPH, CMT, were added soon afterward. About half of the final 17 members had a direct or indirect economic interest in the project’s outcome, and several have actively promoted quack methods. The remaining members are listed here. As far as I can tell, none of them has written anything that would lead me to believe that they either harbor unscientific beliefs or have expert knowledge about “CAM” subjects. However, Dr. Sox has shown extremely poor judgment in permitting misleading “CAM” articles to be published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which he edits.
(The worst of them was a chiropractic puff piece that contained more than 30 errors.)

Margaret Buhrmaster
Margaret Buhrmaster is the Director of the Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR) for New York State. The ORR was originally created to support the Governor’s Regulatory Reform agenda and facilitate a more efficient and user-friendly rule making process, and is now also a central resource for research, policy development and identification of legal/regulatory issues relating to the practice and use of CAM. Prior to serving as Director, Ms. Buhrmaster served as a Legislator for Schenectady County, New York.

Gerard Burrow, MD
Gerard Burrow is Dean Emeritus of the Yale University School of Medicine. He was also the David Paige Smith Professor of Medicine and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale. Prior to coming to Yale, he was Vice-chancellor of Health Sciences and Dean of the University of California School of Medicine. He is a board-certified internist and an endocrinologist with a special interest in thyroid disease and an international reputation in thyroid disease during pregnancy. Dr. Burrow is the past president of American Thyroid Association and a recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Service Award. He has published over 150 articles in peer reviewed journals concentrating on thyroid disease and has written or edited six books, one of which is in the fifth edition, in addition to numerous chapters on diseases of the thyroid.

Larry Churchill, PhD
Larry Churchill is the Anne Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics at Vanderbilt University. He has expertise in many branches of ethics including: the allocation of medical and health care resources; experimentation with human subjects; policies governing informed consent in research; care at the end of life; and managed care. Dr. Churchill is also interested in philosophy, theology, and social medicine.Schenectady County, New York.

Albert Mulley, MD
Albert Mulley is Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Health Policy at Harvard Medical School, and Chief of the General Medicine Division and Director of the Medical Practices Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served on the Clinical Practice and Clinical Efficacy Assessment Committees of the American College of Physicians and on a number of Committees of the Institute of Medicine addressing issues in clinical research and clinical quality improvement. He has served as a Visiting Professor and Consultant for medical centers and health care systems in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and Japan. Dr. Mulley’s recent research has focused on the use of decision theory and outcomes research to distinguish between warranted and unwarranted variations in clinical practice. This work has led to development of research instruments and approaches, including shared decision-making programs, to support clinicians and patients in their decision-making roles, and to catalyze prospective clinical trials. These approaches have been shown to decrease utilization of high cost medical and surgical interventions while improving measures of patient satisfaction and decision quality, including stronger associations between patients’ personal preferences for health outcomes and the care that they receive.

David Nerenz, PhD

David Nerenz is currently a Professor in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) and Director of Health Care Studies in MSU’s Institute for Managed Care. He was formerly Director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Henry Ford Health System, an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University, and Chief of the Great Lakes Regional Health Services Research & Development Field Program and the Ann Arbor Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. He has conducted research and published articles on performance measures for integrated health care systems and quality of care measurement in managed care, and is currently a member of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research’s (AHCPR) Health Systems Study Section and has served on previous IOM committees related to the health of Gulf War Veterans and HIV care.

Mark Nichter, PhD, MPH
Mark Nichter is a is a Professor of Anthropology, Family and Community Medicine, and Public Health at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on health behaviors related to infectious and vector borne diseases, reproductive health, pharmaceutical practice, tobacco use and dependency, and health care seeking in pluralistic health care areanas in diverse populations throughout the world. He has experience on several transdisciplinary projects and networks. At the University of Arizona, Dr. Nichter also heads the Medical Anthropology Graduate program within the Anthropology department, and teaches courses in ethnomedicine, international health and applied medical anthropology in Western contexts. Dr. Nichter has served as the Health Social Science advisor to the international network of clinical epidemiology for over 15 years. Dr. Nichter previously served on the IOM Committee on Preventing Nicotine Dependence in Children and Adolescents.

Bernard Rosof, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Bernard Rosof is Senior Vice President for Corporate Relations and Health Affairs at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Prior to assuming a full time Hospital position Dr. Rosof was in the private practice of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology for 29 years. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at The School of Medicine of the State University of New York at Stonybrook and an Attending Physician at Huntington Hospital, Huntington New York, where he is also a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Rosof has been a driving force in American Medicine. He has chaired Committees and Task Forces for the State of New York, The Institute of Medicine, The American Medical Association, and various Specialty Societies. He has achieved national recognition in the areas of health quality and clinical practice guidelines and is the current Chair of the Physician Consortium for Performance Measures convened by the AMA. Dr. Rosof has spoken nationally and internationally on issues of Quality and Patient Safety. Dr. Rosof is Past President of the American Society of Internal Medicine and The Internal Medicine Center of Advance Research and Education. He became a Regent of the ACP/ASIM following the merger with the American College of Physicians, and is currently immediate past Chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians.

Harold Sox, M.D.
Since 2001, Dr. Sox has been the Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Previously, he was the Joseph M. Huber Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, as well as on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine, where he was the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of Ambulatory Care at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center. Dr. Sox was the President of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine during 1998-1999. He chaired the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force from 1990 to 1995, the Institute of Medicine Committee to Study HIV Transmission through Blood Products, and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Effects Associated with Exposures Experienced in the Gulf War. He chairs the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee of the Center for Medicare Services and serves on the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993 and to fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2002. His books include Medical Decision Making, Common Diagnostic Tests: Selection and Interpretation, and Graduate Education in Internal Medicine: a Resource Guide.

Overview of IOM “CAM” Committee

This article was revised on January 15, 2005.