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David Eisenberg, MD

Course(s) Taught: History of Integrative Healthcare

David M. Eisenberg is currently the Executive Vice President for Health Research and Education at the Samueli Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His landmark national surveys (New England Journal of Medicine, 1993 and JAMA, 1998) documented the remarkable extent to which the US population routinely uses and pays for complementary, alternative and integrative medical therapies. These data were referenced by the US Congress in its creation of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine and, subsequently, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, recently renamed the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

From 2000-2010 Dr. Eisenberg served as the founding Director of the Osher Research Center at Harvard Medical School and the founding Chief of the Harvard Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies. He simultaneously served as the Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. His current educational and research interests include: (1) studies to assess the safety, clinical and cost effectiveness of complementary and integrative medical therapies; (2) the systematic evaluation of herbal medicines using state of the science technologies; and, (3) novel multi-disciplinary strategies to optimize lifestyle and self-care behaviors (e.g. diet, cooking, mindfulness, exercise and behavioral optimization) to prevent, treat and manage common medical conditions. Related to this third area of focus, he is the founding director of the “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives” continuing education conference, which has been offered eleven times and attended by more than 4000 health care professionals since 2006.

Dr. Eisenberg is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He completed his fellowship training in general internal medicine and primary care and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

In 1979, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Eisenberg served as the first US medical exchange student to the People’s Republic of China. In 1993, he was the medical advisor to the Emmy Award winning PBS Series, “Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers”.

Dr. Eisenberg has served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federation of State Medical Boards with regard to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine research, education and policy. From 2003-2005 Dr. Eisenberg served on a National Academy of Sciences Committee responsible for the Institute of Medicine Report entitled, “The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public.” He is currently a member of the US National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Skills Committee. Dr. Eisenberg has authored numerous scientific articles involving complementary and integrative medical therapies and continues to pursue research, educational and clinical programs relating to integrative and lifestyle medicine.

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