WHO publishes Benchmarks for Anthroposophic Medicine

Human sculpture on desk in doctor's room
Photo: C. Fischer

In 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced its intention to integrate traditional and complementary medical concepts into health systems in a targeted manner. Within this framework, training standards have already been developed for various established procedures such as Ayurveda or traditional Chinese medicine. Now, for the first time, the organisation has published globally valid standards – benchmarks – for anthroposophic medicine. These benchmarks describe access criteria for training programmes, their duration and content, and demonstrate the international relevance of anthroposophic medicine. The publication was preceded by a process lasting several years during which experts mapped the training programmes for anthroposophic medicine according to WHO criteria and just under 90 international experts examined the benchmarks in a peer review process. Anthroposophic medicine was represented by the International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations (IVAA), which collaborated with the Medical Section at the Goetheanum (Switzerland). The anthroposophic paediatrician Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, whose achievements include many years of experience working on international missions for the non-profit organisation Doctors Without Borders and who has already taken an active role as an expert on WHO committees on several occasions, played a central part.

“As more and more countries define guidelines for traditional, complementary and integrative medicine, the WHO has developed the benchmarks for anthroposophic medicine as reference points. These benchmarks can be used to guide policymakers, health workers and training institutions”, says Dr Kim Sungchol, Head of the Traditional, Complementary & Integrative Medicine Unit at WHO. Because anthroposophic medicine takes an interdisciplinary approach, the new training standards apply to all health professions, including doctors, therapists, pharmacists and other care providers. “We are ready to support every country with implementing the WHO training standards in their respective national education and training regulations”, explains Dr Thomas Breitkreuz, IVAA President and Medical Director of Paracelsus Hospital in Unterlengenhardt. “This is a great opportunity to offer even more people access to high-quality anthroposophic healthcare.”