Naturopathic Group Announces 2016 Barcelona Conference as Field Moves Toward W.H.O. Status

Logo for ICNMThe 3rd International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine has been announced for Barcelona, July 1-3, 2016. The event, while young, boasts 140 Supporting Partners. Organizers suggest that over 50 nations will be represented totaling 500 delegates. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2015. The conference has in the past been a key organizing site for the World Naturopathic Federation (WNF) which, among other things, is a strategy for the field to formally work with the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). That group is now functioning with an Interim-Committee. (See photo.)

Comment:  I was curious on hearing of the first ICNM conference in 2013 to see how well it would be attended. The link in time to the desire of many in the naturopathic field to gain W.H.O. status proved fortuitous for the ICNM; similarly, the ICNM has been good for the WNF aspirants. I was interested to see North America’s Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (now the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health) on the list of nominal “Supporting Partners.” The site does not say what constitutes sponsorship.  It’s early: the ICNM site is yet in formation with its organizing team and chair not yet noted.

Notably absent among the 140 is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the organization the represents the naturopathic profession in the United States. A query to AANP netted a reply that they’d just received a request and are processing it. However, many of the schools associated with the AANP in Canada and the United States are among those listed, as is the Naturopathic Medical Student Association. Meantime, the AANP’s commitment to the WNF, led for the AANP by Tabatha Parker, ND – a WNF interim-committee member – and AANP past-president Michael Cronin, ND, is evident in this article and video. One of the interesting dances in that act for the W.H.O. is how to knit together many of the organizations on the ICNM site into a more formal relationship: the “naturopaths” of India, the “heilpraktikers” of Germany, and the “naturopathic physicians,” subsets of whom have broad prescribing rights. Curious how this process with two thus far mutually supportive, but separate, conference and organization, will continue going forward.

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