Over the past three decades, evidence has accumulated that demonstrates that the US healthcare system as currently structured is untenable given the cost of healthcare, poor outcomes associated with this cost, imminent shortages in many categories of health professionals, and underutilization of other health professionals. The system also faces other challenges, such as the lack of access to care and a growing demand by consumers for healthcare that offers choice, quality, convenience, affordability, and personalized care. Workforce analyses estimating needs and anticipated shortages of health professionals are projected on the current healthcare system, which generally does not include integrative healthcare and does not include complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners. This paper examines the opportunities and implications of going beyond the current paradigm of workforce planning and health professions education and offers recommendations that detail how the health of the public may be served by incorporating an integrative health perspective into health professions education and workforce planning, deployment, and utilization.
- integrative medicine