This past November, David Molony, United States vice chairman to the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS), along with representatives Angela Tu and Ming Tian, attended the Third International Congress on Traditional Medicine in Beijing, China, speaking out and voting on international policies regarding the future of Chinese and Oriental medicine. More than 1,500 delegates from 33 countries attended the academic gathering, which was sponsored by the federation and organized by the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Other select participants attending the Congress from the United States included Ming Ming Molony, Yun Lau, Doreen Chen, Michelle Lau, Lixin Huang, and Brian Lau.
The WFCMS is an international, nongovernmental, nonprofit organization of Chinese medicine societies and individuals, the purpose of which is to advance Chinese medicine and assist in the development of integrative medicine to benefit the health of all people. Planning for the organization began in April 2000, and reached a critical juncture in June 2002, when the State Council of the People’s Republic of China endorsed the formation of the federation and pledged 1.2 million yuan (approximately $145,000 U.S.) toward its creation.
The federation was officially launched by the Chinese government in September 2003. Since its inception, the federation has worked to develop educational, licensure, and research policies for use internationally, with the assistance of the World Health Organization and its member institutions. This important formative phase of the WFCMS will provide a template of how traditional medicine, especially Chinese and Oriental medicine, will be viewed by government agencies internationally.
During the opening ceremony of the Congress, Wu Yi, Vice Premier of the State Council and Minister of the Health Ministry (the equivalent to the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the U.S.) provided a warm welcome to the participants. She was followed by Gao Qiang, Vice-Standing Minister of the Health Ministry, She Jing, president of the WFCMS, and Mr. Molony. The text of Mr. Molony’s speech follows at the end of this article.
To have a U. S. spokesperson so closely follow the Chinese health ministry at the opening ceremony of this international congress clearly demonstrates our delegation’s importance to the future of our profession internationally. All three of our delegates play important roles in communicating with this international body. As such, it is essential that their respective national organizations continue to give input toward being effective representatives for this international cooperative organization. Due to technology, it is extremely important we recognize that we are, as a profession, involved in a health care market that grows smaller and better organized with each passing year. As such, we have a great need to communicate, nationally and internationally, to insure the highest and best treatments are afforded the patient community via increased availability and access to Chinese and Oriental Medicine, as practiced by fully trained, clinically competent practitioners.
In the two days following the opening ceremony, hundreds of research papers were delivered at the Congress, and more than 100 vendors provided information to the attendees and participants. Delegates met to discuss issues such as doctoral-level education requirements, accreditation, and certification. It was also decided that the 2005 Congress will be held in Paris, France during the first weekend of October.
Text of David Molony’s Address to the Third International Congress
Congratulations to the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies’ Third International Congress on Traditional Medicine from the American Association of Oriental Medicine and the United States’ Oriental medicine practitioners.
As vice chairman of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, and executive director of the AAOM for 13 years – and its vice president for two years – I want to welcome everyone to the Third International Congress. Our colleagues hail from every race and creed, including white, black, Chinese, Korean, Hispanic, and Japanese. We have been working diligently to bring our field of medicine into the 21st century and, by reaching high and using the high Chinese educational standard as an example, we have been able to build the base of the future of our profession responsibly, while working with the World Health Organization in its efforts in enhancing public health internationally.
The WFCMS is very happy to be the international organization to represent acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners of high qualification and training, along with professionalism and expertise. Only the Chinese could make this happen, and we want to personally thank the Chinese government for their foresight, the Chinese Health Ministry and its representatives, Wu Yi and Gao Qiang, for their strong support, and Drs. She Jing, Li Zhen Ji, and Shen Zhi Xiang for their strength and resolve in bringing so many different people together into something so great and momentous as the WFCMS Third International Congress. Without their ability and capability, this congress, and indeed this organization, would not have happened.
The lectures and academic quality of this congress shows our profession’s international goals of excellence in international academic exchange and research, intergovernmental alliances in health care research on traditional medicine, and collegial interchange of health care information for the best interests of the world.
I also want to thank the staff of the WFCMS, my fellow representatives of our profession from all over the world, who have participated in bringing this organization to fruition, and also the presenters and exhibitors that will make this conference illuminating and enjoyable. I look forward to meeting my colleagues and friends – and future friends – as we participate in this historical congress here in Beijing, China. The WFCMS leadership wishes to give a warm welcome to you all.