American Academy of Environmental Medicine
|Robin Bernhoft, M.D.|
|President-Elect: Alvis L. Barrier, M.D., FAAOA; Secretary: James F. Coy, M.D.; Treasurer: James W. Willoughby, II, D.O.|
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), founded in 1965 as the Society for Clinical Ecology, is an international association of physicians and associated professionals interested in the clinical aspects of ecological or environmental illnesses. The academy aims for recognition of ecologic illness as a medical diagnosis.
Composed primarily of traditionally-trained M.D. and D.O. physicians from many specialities, the principal goals of the AAEM are physician education and the expansion of medical knowledge about often-overlooked effects on human health of environmental exposures encountered in everyday life.
The AAEM opposes the use of mercury-containing compounds in any product for human consumption, including mercury in vaccines. The AAEM also opposes water fluoridation and has called for a moratorium on food from genetically modified crops. The AAEM has been cited as an illegitimate organization by Quackwatch, for promoting the diagnosis of multiple chemical sensitivity.
The Society for Clinical Ecology was founded in 1965, and inspired by the ideas of Theron Randolph. Clinical Ecologists claimed that exposure to low levels of certain chemical agents harm susceptible people, causing multiple chemical sensitivity and other disorders.
Members of the academy may have a background in the field of allergy, and their theoretical approach is derived in part from classic concepts of allergic responses, first articulated by Randolph. Thus, they may find cause-and-effect relationships or low-dose effects that are not generally accepted by toxicologists.
In 1984 the Society changed its name to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
Objectives of the academy
Some of the objectives of the academy are:
- To demonstrate that the concepts and techniques of environmental medicine are applicable to all fields of medical practice in which the physician is directly involved in patient care,
- To have the concept of optimal dose immunotherapy and the rotary diversified diet recognized as safe and effective, and
- To promote education and research in environmental medicine.
The academy aims at expanding the understanding of interactions between human individuals and their environment, with the ultimate objective of improving the individual's total health. The AAEM works towards the greater recognition, treatment and prevention of illnesses induced by exposures to various biological and chemical agents encountered in our environment, such as in air, food and water.
Criticism of legitimacy
Quackwatch lists the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) as a questionable organization, and its certifying board, the American Board of Environmental Medicine as a dubious certifying board. They are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
The academy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education.
Activities of the academy
The academy holds meetings and seminars and provides information on diagnosis and treatment of ecologic illnesses.
The academy publishes a directory of members, which includes the procedures they employ in their practices. Proceedings of seminars, including some tape recordings, also have been published. The academy publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Environmental Physician.
- Letter of Jennifer Armstrong MD, FAAEM, BIBEM, President, American Academy of Environmental Medicine (PDF file) to US Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, April, 2009
- Genetically Modified Foods
- Barrett, Stephen. "Questionable Organizations: An Overview". Quackwatch. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Inquiry into Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (PDF file), Parliament of South Australia, 2005
- Page on AAEM by Healthfinder.gov
- "Specialties & Subspecialties". American Board of Medical Specialties. Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- "American Academy of Environmental Medicine". Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- Nicholas A. Ashford, Claudia Miller, Chemical exposures: low levels and high stakes. 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons, 1998. ISBN 0-471-29240-0
- Randolph, Theron G. (1962). Human ecology and susceptibility to the chemical environment. Springfield, Ill: Thomas. ISBN 0-398-01548-1.
- Moss, Ralph W.; Randolph, Theron G. (1980). An alternative approach to allergies: the new field of clinical ecology unravels the environmental causes of mental and physical ills. New York: Lippincott & Crowell. ISBN 0-690-01998-X.
- Randolph, Theron G. (1987). Environmental medicine: beginnings and bibliographies of clinical ecology. Fort Collins, CO: Clinical Ecology Publications. ISBN 0-943771-00-5.