Boards of trustees of healthcare organizations must provide leadership as their institutions seek to expand patient care into the areas of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. This requirement flows from the fiduciary duty of such boards to provide healthcare that promotes health and prevention, and relies on the effective, safe, affordable and least-invasive interventions.
CAM is defined as medicine used together with, or in place of, standard medical care. CAM considers mind, spirit and community as effecting health, advocates least-invasive interventions, and encourages physicians to be models of self-care. Several CAM practices, including acupuncture and stress management are already finding their places in medical centers.