Get an Online Medical Degree in Integrative Medicine [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Andrew_Heyman_Integrative_MedicineGuest: Dr. Andrew Heyman
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Andrew Heyman, MD MHSA is an internationally recognized expert in Integrative Medicine. He is currently the Program Director of Integrative and Metabolic Medicine at The George Washington University. Prior to assuming this role, he spent 16 years at the University of Michigan, serving to build one of the largest and most successful academic-based Integrative Medicine programs in the United States.

Segment overview: Dr. Andrew Heyman, MD, who will be a speaker at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium, Revolutionary Strategies for Complex Disease in Sydney in 2016, discusses a new online integrative medicine program.


Health Professional Radio – Integrative Medicine

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you for joining us today. Our guest in studio today is Dr. Andrew Heyman, one of the key speakers at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium to be held in Sydney, Australia this coming April. And he’s here in studio today with us to talk about the latest in online Integrative Medicine, a brand new program that he’s here to talk about as well as tell us what he’s going to be educating Australian Healthcare Professionals on in the spring. How are you doing this afternoon Dr. Heyman?

Dr. Andrew Heyman I’m great, thanks.

N: Thank you so much for lending us some of your time. One of the keynote speakers at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium, that symposium being entitled Revolutionary Strategies for Complex Diseases. Now you’re gonna be in Sydney in April of this year to educate Australian Healthcare Professionals on a wide variety of topics relating to Integrative and Metabolic Medicine, is that correct?

H: That’s correct.

N: And this is the first time that you’ve been to this particular symposium?

H: Yes it is.

N: Is there anything, in particular about Australia’s make up for area there that lends a little bit more acceptance to Integrative Medicine as opposed to some of the other places that maybe you’ve been a speaker?

H: Oh I love coming to Australia, I’ve been there a couple of times. I know good friends and colleagues there and they have a really wonderful community of healers and practitioners and the public which is extraordinarily interested in topics related to health and wellness. And I think some of it is part of the society of Australia but I think it’s an outdoor lifestyle, it’s a lifestyle that really appreciates nature and its connection to the natural environment. And so I think by extension of that, there’s a deeper appreciation for living a higher quality of life, and one that is focused on health and wellness. Additionally, just because of where it is geographically, they obviously have a very strong influence from the Pacific Rim. And so we also find a number of experts and practitioners who were infusing the medical community with traditional Asian healing practices, which is in fact where I started. So when I was seventeen I was originally trained in traditional Chinese medicine but in the United States. And so Australia then has a real mixing pot of the old and the new, with their strong emphasis on wellness and lifestyle so I really love going there for that reason.

N: Now BioCeuticals just happens to be Australia’s leading provider of practitioner only nutritional and therapeutic supplements, they’re at the forefront of evidence based Integrative Medicine. As an Integrative Medicine Specialist talking about some of the new advances, I understand that there is a new Integrative Medicine Program that you’re going to be telling some of the practitioners in Australia about doing this symposium.

H: That’s right. So the world has changed and Integrative Medicine has been coming out of the shadows over the last several years and into the light in a sense. We see this specifically within the United States but it is also a worldwide phenomenon. It’s mostly being driven by public interest and it’s really forced the medical community to examine the practices and therapies and approaches that are contained within this sort of broad umbrella of Integrative Medicine. But what’s happened as a result, is as we looked more closely at the evidence, we realized that there is a tremendous amount of value already proven for these approaches and practices and it makes more sense. To me, it’s insane that as a physician I was thought the two major remedies for any ill would be either be drugs or surgery without almost any attention to lifestyle, nutrition, stress management, exercise, appropriate use of dietary supplements and herbs, traditional healing practices, let alone all the new advances and regenerative and anti-aging medicine, that to me is a much saner way of practice. And so we’re finding Universities are really beginning to embrace, offering a higher level education with respect to Integrative Medicine and I think that the crowning achievement recently, at least in the US, has been for the first time ever, a truly sanctioned Board of Integrative Medicine. Meaning that physicians can now be eligible to take a Board exam and to be considered a specialty just like Cardiology or Family Medicine or General Surgery. It’s the first time this has happened and even through inclusion of more traditional medical specialties. So it’s a real see-change for us in that regard. My work at George Washington University reflects that because we’ve now recently instituted a graduate level Integrative Medicine Online Program to ensure that there’s a higher level of education for people who are interested and learning these approaches.

N: These some really exciting brand new developments in the acceptance of some of the more non-traditional modalities. In your opinion, what are some of the misconceptions that have been done away with to allow these advancements in thought and opinion and what are a couple of the misconceptions that we still have to get out of the way in order to further advance our understanding of Integrative and Metabolic Medicine?

H: Well I think the biggest one as I’ve mentioned is that often I hear from my conventional colleagues and it’s almost the universal criticism that there’s no evidence, there’s no science behind this. And then when we begin to reveal the evidence and show the complexity of the approach and the deep knowledge we have of Biochemistry and Physiology and even Genomics and Proteomics and the strategic application of personalized approaches in that context and framework, it ends up being really a revelation because basically what it means is that the source of the criticism are typically institutions or individuals who just haven’t looked – they haven’t looked at the science. But when you begin to show it to them, they often surprised and even overwhelmed by the depths of the information that’s available. But it really takes a sophisticated practitioner who has a command of the science and can bridge that kind of cultural gap in a sense between the integrative community is doing and saying and what the conventional community is doing and saying. So one of the roles that I see in myself playing is as a translator so that I can operate in both worlds simultaneously and that’s where I think a lot of the messaging is lost. That we still have to respect everything that come before us in terms of conventional biomedical medicine, but then we also have to be able to effectively translate the best of what occurring in Integrative Medicine. It takes a unique person to be able to do that and there’s some wonderful people who have been able to achieve that aim and I’d like to think we’re doing the same thing at George Washington University and we do that in partnership with the Metabolic Medical Institute, which is a private educational organization based out of Florida. So we have a very strong relationship between those two programs to offer very high level graduate education in Integrative Medicine.

N: Now at this 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium being held in Sydney in April, you’re goanna be talking to Health Care Professionals in different fields and transmitting this information and making it easier for them to understand and accept the science behind Integrative and, for lack of a better term, non-traditional Healing modalities. What about the patients who be benefiting from these new advances and this increased understanding? Will you be talking to Healthcare Professionals about to make the patient understand and become more comfortable with something that they may have not been familiar with?

H: I think there are two issues there. One is a practitioner who might have broader knowledge with respect to Integrative Medicine and learning how to translate that in a way where patients can understand that. That’s an art in and of itself and it often gets to sort of the messaging and languaging the very specific words that you use that you know resonate with individuals. We tend of focus on terms like Health and Wellness and Lifestyle, Dietary Supplements and Natural Products, Traditional healing Methods. They’re keywords that you often find and within that there are other newer ones like Regenerative and Anti-Aging and some of them will resonate more than others and you have to be very sensitive to sort of where the patient is and what they’re willing to accept because words often have power and meaning and symbolism especially in a conversations like this. But often, more so, it’s going in the other direction, we know that the public is using a lot of these therapy, we also know that most of them, up to 70% don’t tell their provider because they’re so worried about what their provider might say about the use of those therapies and they don’t want to feel dismissed or disempowered in some way. And so as much as we spend time trying to educate providers on the messaging, we also have to educate the providers who are not acceptant, who don’t understand. We have to work very hard on that side as well.

N: Is there a website where we can get more information about your particular research and information about this new Online Integrative Medicine Program? Is it actually telemedicine or it’s simply an information portal about Integrative Medicine?

H: It’s actually a full Master’s Program that’s offered through the George Washington University in their Department of Health Sciences. So if anybody’s interested and they really want high level education and they want to get a Graduate Degree from a world renowned institution, they can go to the Department of Health Sciences at George Washington University, they can click on Integrative Medicine Program and we have actually several levels of training, we have a Graduate Certificate which is 18 credit hours, we have a full Master’s which is 39 credit hours and we recently developed the Fellowship which will likely be 36 credit hours and we take all comers, we’re not physician specific, we embrace anyone who’s interested in these approaches and therapies and the program is totally online.

N: And it’s totally accredited?

H: It’s accredited, it’s sanctioned through the University. It is a truthful Master’s Program.

N: Great. Alright, excellent.

H: And again just to finish, we also do that in combination with the Metabolic Medical Institute, again the organization out of Florida. They have a portion of our program that they offer and that’s online too. So there are all sorts of ways for people to get educated in the comfort of their own home. We know this is where academic training is going and we’re at the forefront at that regard. In George Washington University, in particular is one of the first universities in the United States to offer online education in the early 1990s. So we have a very long track record of delivering curriculum in a very high level.

N: Great, excellent. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. And we’ve been in studio this afternoon talking with Dr. Andrew Heyman, keynote speaker at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium entitled Revolutionary Strategies for Complex Diseases being held in Sydney, Australia this coming April. Dr. Heyman is an internationally recognized expert in Integrative Medicine, currently the Program Director of Integrative and Metabolic Medicine at the George Washington University, he’s held several leadership positions in the field of Integrative Medicine and He was the National Clinical Working Group Co-Chair of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine for four years. And he’s been in here with us talking about the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium that he will be speaking at in April and also about a brand new online Integrative Medicine Program that is a full Master’s Program fully accredited and being offered to anyone who’s interested in taking this advanced career degree online. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. Heyman.

H: Thanks Neal, a pleasure.

N: Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe through our podcast on iTunes.

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