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Explore (NY). 2013 Sep-Oct;9(5):285-91. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2013.06.006.

Competencies for optimal practice in integrated environments: examining attributes of a consensus interprofessional practice document from the licensed integrative health disciplines.

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American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, San Francisco, CA. Electronic address:



The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) is committed to advancing human health through the advancement and integration of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions within the American healthcare system. This will involve the maturation and integration of the licensed CAM professions into conventional healthcare delivery, and in turn, it will involve the development of competency in integrative healthcare and interprofessional education within the CAM professions.


In 2010, ACCAHC resolved to identify the competencies necessary for this transformation, and in the process, discovered a parallel process of competency development within conventional healthcare, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), representing the six major conventional healthcare professions.


The ACCAHC competency document, its development, and its similarity to the IPEC document are discussed. The ACCAHC competency document identified two domains of competence that were not present in the IPEC document: evidence-informed practice and institutional healthcare practices. These two domains of competency are discussed with respect to their significance in both CAM and conventional healthcare practices.


ACCAHC's goal is to foster collaboration among its member professions and with conventional healthcare professions, and to use these competency documents to improve and optimize healthcare delivery, practices, and outcomes in America. It is hoped that ACCAHC's competency document will catalyze interaction with IPEC leading to the adoption of a single shared competency document that will meet the needs of all healthcare providers and educators.


Academic consortium for complementary and alternative health care; Acupuncture and oriental medicine; Chiropractic; Collaborative practice; Complementary and alternative medicine; Interprofessional competencies; Massage therapy; Midwifery; Naturopathic medicine

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