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Dr. Brian Berman wins Daily Record Health Care Heroes Award for Advancements in Health Care

March 2010

WINNER 2010- Advancements in Health Care

Brian Berman, M.D., Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland

Brian Berman, M.D., founded the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1991 and has seen his ideas on low-technology and unconventional treatments move from the fringe to the mainstream. These days, everyone is talking about preventive medicine, mind-body wellness, and the use of ancient remedies such as herbs and acupuncture. But that wasn’t always the case.


The Center for Integrative Medicine was the first university-based center in the country to look at the connections among body, mind, nutrition and environment, Berman says. Now there are dozens.


As it happens, Berman’s timing was good. In 1992 the National Institutes of Health created an Office of Alternative Medicine, and since 1995 Berman’s center has been an NIH Center of Excellence.

Berman received his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, in 1978. He became a family physician but was frustrated by his inability to solve many of his patients’ problems.

His work has focused on treating the entire mind and body. Recently, he has partnered with the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, pioneering the use of acupuncture to help counter the effects of trauma on patients.

“We found that using acupuncture in combination with conventional care… really made a difference to their outcomes,” he says. The next step is figuring out how acupuncture works; Berman is currently heading research on that question.

The goal of his work, he says, is to “leverage the body’s ability to heal itself.”

— Karen Nitkin


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