The College of Medicine

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The College of Medicine (CoM) is a United Kingdom based organisation founded in 2010 for patients and healthcare professionals. It originated from the collapse of the Prince of Wales' controversial Foundation for Integrated Health, which was widely criticised for promoting integrated medicine and alternative medicine.[1] The College states that it aims to "promote a more politically and professionally transparent, patient centred, and sustainable approach to healthcare, using whatever social or therapeutic approaches are safe, effective, and empowering for patients".[2]

It argues that a greater focus on compassionate caring is necessary because of the frequency of National Health Service scandals about care, such as the Stafford Hospital scandal.[1]

Officers and Directors[edit]

Its officers and associates include former senior NHS staff. Its President is Graeme Catto, former President of the General Medical Council, and its officers and advisory council include Nigel Crisp former Chief Executive of the NHS, Muir Gray Chief knowledge officer to the NHS, and Baroness Ilora Finlay a past president of the Royal Society of Medicine.[1]

Its Directors are George Lewith, a Professor of Health Research at Southampton University, Michael Dixon, Christine Glover, former head of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Professor David Peters, a Clinical Director at the University of Westminster's School of Life Sciences.[3]

Membership[edit]

Membership is open to any registered healthcare or social care professional.[4] It is possible for some students/trainees to join as members, so long as the student or trainee is studying for a degree-level qualification that will lead to professional registration within one of the following health and social care fields;

Medicine, Nursing/Midwifery, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Psychology, Social Work, Allied Health Professions (including Arts therapies, Chiropody or Podiatry, Dietetics, Operating department practice, Orthoptics, Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, Prosthetics and orthotics, Radiography, Speech and language therapy), A statutory regulated Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) discipline (Chiropractic and Osteopathy) or a voluntary regulated CAM discipline recognised by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.

Links to the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health[edit]

One director of the College, Michael Dixon, is a former director of the Foundation for Integrated Health. A second director of the College, George Lewith, was a council member of the foundation[5] and his research unit at the University of Southampton played an important role in the development of the foundation.[6] The Foundation for Integrated Health has been criticised for its advocacy and promotion of alternative medicine under its euphemistic pseudonym "integrative medicine." Several commentators writing in the Guardian and the British Medical Journal, have expressed the opinion that the new organisation is simply a re-branding of the Prince's Foundation,[7][8][9][10][11][12] describing it as "Hamlet without the Prince".[1]

In support of this connection with Prince Charles, alternative medicine critic and pharmacologist David Colquhoun has argued that the College (originally called "The College of Integrated Health") is extremely well-funded[13] and seemed from the beginning to be very confident of the Prince's support, explicitly describing its mission as "to take forward the vision of HRH the Prince of Wales" in an early presentation.[14]

These claims have been contested by the College.[2]

Criticism[edit]

The College of Medicine has been criticised by Edzard Ernst in an article for the Guardian[15] and a letter to the BMJ, for the promotion of unproven and "disproven" alternative treatments which in his view is "outright quackery".[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Nigel Hawkes (2010). "Prince’s foundation metamorphoses into new College of Medicine" 341. British Medical Journal. p. 6126. doi:10.1136/bmj.c6126. 
  2. ^ a b George T Lewith, Graeme Catto, Michael Dixon, Christine Glover, Aidan Halligan, Ian Kennedy, Christopher Manning, David Peters (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine replies to its critics". British Medical Journal 343. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4364. PMID 21750060. 
  3. ^ "Professor David Peters". www.collegeofmedicine.org.uk. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  4. ^ |url=http://members.collegeofmedicine.eu/register/membership
  5. ^ Rouse, Rose (23 February 1999). "Prescribing the good life". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Lewith, George (January 2005). "Complementary Medicine Research Unit". Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2 (3): 399–407. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh109. PMC 1193549. PMID 16136220. 
  7. ^ Ian Sample (August 2, 2010). "College of Medicine born from ashes of Prince Charles's holistic health charity". London: The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Edzard Ernst (10 January 2012). "College of Medicine is a lobby group promoting unproven treatments". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Jane Cassidy (15 June 2011). "Lobby Watch: The College of Medicine". British Medical Journal 343. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3712. PMID 21677014. 
  10. ^ David Colquhoun (12 July 2011). "The College of Medicine is Prince’s Foundation reincarnated". British Medical Journal 343. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4368. PMID 21750061. 
  11. ^ James May (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine: What is integrative health?". British Medical Journal 343. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4372. PMID 21750063. 
  12. ^ Edzard Ernst (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine or College of Quackery?". British Medical Journal 343. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4370. PMID 21750062. 
  13. ^ David Colquhoun (July 25, 2010). "Buckinghamgate: the new "College of Medicine" arising from the ashes of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health". DC's Improbable Science. 
  14. ^ David Colquhoun (29 October 2010). "Don’t be deceived. The new "College of Medicine" is a fraud and delusion". 
  15. ^ Edzard Ernst (10 January 2012). "College of Medicine is a lobby group promoting unproven treatments". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ Ernst, E. (2011). "College of Medicine or College of Quackery?". BMJ 343: d4370. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4370. PMID 21750062. 

External links[edit]