College of Medicine (UK)

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The College of Medicine (CoM) is a United Kingdom based organisation founded in 2010 for healthcare professionals and those interested in an approach to healthcare which includes food,[1] social factors[2] (in partnership with the University of Westminster and Wellcome Trust) and integrated healthcare alongside medicines.[promotional language][citation needed] It describes its mission as follows: "We advocate for a new attitude to healthcare: one which forges partnerships across society, emphasises prevention, good food, exercise, and attention to the emotional as well as the physical."[3]

The organisation originated from the collapse of the Prince of Wales' controversial Foundation for Integrated Health, which was criticised widely for promoting alternative medicine.[4]

Officers and Directors[edit]

Its officers and associates include current and former senior NHS staff, its current Vice Presidents are Sir Muir Gray, currently Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS, Duncan Selbie, who is also Chief Executive of Public Health England and Harry Brünjes, founder of the Premier Medical Group. Its first President was Graeme Catto, former President of the General Medical Council.

Its Director is Michael Dixon.


The College is a membership organisation open to all,[5] with particular focus on events for healthcare professionals interested in integrated medicine.


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 former director of the College, George Lewith, was a council member of the foundation[6] and his research unit at the University of Southampton played an important role in the development of the foundation.[7]

The Foundation for Integrated Health promoted alternative medicine under the guise of "integrative medicine" and closed down in 2010 after an accounting fraud.[8]

When the College of Medicine was launched, several commentators writing in the Guardian and the British Medical Journal, expressed the opinion that the new organisation was simply a re-branding of the Prince's Foundation,[9][10][11][12][13][14] some describing it as "Hamlet without the Prince".[4]

Alternative medicine critic and pharmacologist David Colquhoun has argued that the College (originally called "The College of Integrated Health") is extremely well-funded[15] 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.[16]

The College responded to this initial criticism by stating that it aims were 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".[17]


The College champions[promotional language] social prescribing and is part of a wider consortium promoting the approach as a way to deal with health issues which may arise from social isolation, lack of exercise or stress. Social prescription allows healthcare professionals to signpost[promotional language] to a reading group or exercise class in the same way as they might prescribe an appropriate tablet.[18]

Its events [1] cover subjects such as social prescribing, the use of diet in managing conditions from diabetes to cancer, and student education.[19]

The College's recent work has focused around food, with conferences in 2016 and planned for 2017, highlighting the shifting consensus about what to eat (particularly around fat and sugar) and emerging science about the importance of the[clarification needed] [20] in digestion and health, as well as nutrition and mental health, the place of food in cancer treatment and in addressing diabetes and prediabetes.[21]

Then College also offers broader training for healthcare professionals such as:

  • an annual multidisciplinary student conference which tackles subjects from obesity to mental health
  • a two-day foundation course introducing GPs and nurses in particular to integrated care
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Medicine in partnership with the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ College of Medicine and food
  2. ^ Social prescribing
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Nigel Hawkes (2010). "Prince’s foundation metamorphoses into new College of Medicine". 341. British Medical Journal. p. 6126. doi:10.1136/bmj.c6126. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rouse, Rose (23 February 1999). "Prescribing the good life". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Lewith, George (January 2005). "Complementary Medicine Research Unit" (PDF). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2 (3): 399–407. PMC 1193549Freely accessible. PMID 16136220. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh109. 
  8. ^ Laura Donnelly (15 May 2010). "Homeopathy is witchcraft, say doctors". London: The Telegraph. 
  9. ^ Ian Sample (August 2, 2010). "College of Medicine born from ashes of Prince Charles's holistic health charity". London: The Guardian. 
  10. ^ Edzard Ernst (10 January 2012). "College of Medicine is a lobby group promoting unproven treatments". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ Jane Cassidy (15 June 2011). "Lobby Watch: The College of Medicine". British Medical Journal. 343. PMID 21677014. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3712. 
  12. ^ David Colquhoun (12 July 2011). "The College of Medicine is Prince’s Foundation reincarnated". British Medical Journal. 343. PMID 21750061. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4368. 
  13. ^ James May (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine: What is integrative health?". British Medical Journal. 343. PMID 21750063. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4372. 
  14. ^ Edzard Ernst (12 July 2011). "College of Medicine or College of Quackery?". British Medical Journal. 343. PMID 21750062. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4370. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ David Colquhoun (29 October 2010). "Don’t be deceived. The new "College of Medicine" is a fraud and delusion". 
  17. ^ 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. PMID 21750060. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4364. 
  18. ^ Social prescribing
  19. ^
  20. ^ Tim Spector - microbiome and health
  21. ^ Food. the Forgotten Medicine - whole conference online
  22. ^

External links[edit]