Some Notes on Susan Folkman, Ph.D.

Stephen Barrett, MD

In February 2003, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) announced that it was assembling a committee to identify major scientific and policy issues in "complementary and alternative medicine" ("CAM") research, regulation, training, credentialing and "integration with conventional medicine." As part of this process, it posted the names of 15 appointees and asked for public comment about their suitability. Here are IOM's biographical sketch of Dr. Folkman and the comments I submitted. Despite the fact that her center was promoting unscientific methods, she was retained on the proposed committee.

IOM Description (February 2003): Susan Folkman is internationally recognized for her theoretical and empirical contributions to the field of psychological stress and coping. Her work since 1988 has focused on stress and coping in the context of HIV disease and other chronic illness, especially on issues having to do with caregiving and bereavement. In addition, Dr. Folkman also serves as Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and the Osher Foundation Distinguished Professor of Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). She currently serves on the NIH/NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council and the NIH/Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, has chaired or been a member of various NIH proposal review committees, served on Institute of Medicine and NIH workgroups, and was co-chair of the American Psychological Association task force on ethics in research with human participants.

My Comments (Posted on February 23, 2003)

Overview of IOM "CAM" Committee

This article was revised on January 15, 2005.

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