ODS Surveys Dietary Supplement Education at Academic Institutions
The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, began conducting a survey on dietary supplement education in the nation's academic institutions in October and planned to conclude it in December. The survey's purpose was to learn the extent to which any significant, focused instruction on dietary supplements and their role in health and disease is being provided to graduate and health professional students in departments or schools of complementary and alternative medicine, nutrition, food science, medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacology and pharmacy, and kinesiology and exercise science.
Surveyed faculty will be asked to describe the instructional methods they use to provide instruction on dietary supplements and to provide ODS with materials describing each program's content. Other questions will identify what resources would be of value for incorporation into teaching activities about supplements and the factors working against providing more (or any) instruction on this topic.
ODS will use the survey responses to: 1) publish a report about the nature and extent of dietary supplement education in the United States at the post-baccalaureate level; 2) identify information and resource needs that ODS can provide or develop; 3) establish networks with an important group of stakeholders to ODS; and 4) determine the content of a one-week intensive practicum on dietary supplements that ODS will conduct for the first time in May 2007.
Over time, ODS hopes to promote, expand, and enhance high-quality instruction to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements. ODS also hopes to expand the number of qualified research scientists—particularly young investigators, minorities, and women—to undertake investigations on dietary supplements.
Stephen E. Straus, MD, Steps Down as NCCAM Director
Stephen E. Straus, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), stepped down from his leadership of the center for health reasons on Nov. 7, 2006. Straus will become senior advisor to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD.
During Straus' tenure as NCCAM's first director from 1999 to 2006, CAM research at NIH grew threefold. Studies encompassing a wide range of CAM practices including mind-body medicine, biologically based and manipulative practices, whole medical systems, and energy medicine have resulted in more than 1,500 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Results of NCCAM's first large clinical trials showed the effectiveness of acupuncture and glucosamine/chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Zerhouni named Ruth L. Kirschstein, MD, formerly the acting director of NIH, to be the acting director of NCCAM. Kirschstein has also served as the director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
Institute Offers Seminar on Integrative Therapies for Women's Cancers
The Institute of Women's Health and Integrative Medicine is offering a seminar on Women's Cancers in Portland, OR, on Jan. 26-28. The course is focused toward practitioners who seek to develop or further their expertise in the use of nutritional and botanical therapies in combination with conventional cancer treatments and management, the institute says.
The course is designed to give the practitioner advanced skills in evaluation and treatment of women's cancers with an emphasis on evidence-based natural and conventional therapies while also maintaining a respect for the value of clinical experience and empirical knowledge. This course will also pay specific attention to issues in comanagement: antioxidants with chemotherapy and/or radiation, drug-nutrient-herb interactions, maximizing therapeutic outcomes with complementary treatments, and minimizing side effects of conventional treatments.
For more information, see http://instituteofwomenshealth.com/conference, or call (503) 222-2322.The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, began conducting a survey on dietary supplement education in the nation's academic institutions in October and planned to conclude it in December.
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