Institute of Medicine to Become National Academy of Medicine

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The Einstein Memorial Sculpture (copyright Robert Berks, 1978) at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. Photograph by Alex Jamison, courtesy of National Academy of Sciences.

At its 152nd Annual Meeting on April 28, 2015, the membership of the National Academy of Sciences voted to change the name of the Institute of Medicine to the National Academy of Medicine. The newly named National Academy of Medicine will continue to be an honorific society and will inherit the more than 1,900 current elected members and foreign associates of the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Medicine will join the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering in advising the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.

The vote amends the National Academy of Sciences’ constitution to change the name of the Institute of Medicine to the National Academy of Medicine, effective July 1, 2015. This change is part of a broader internal reorganization to more effectively integrate the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Reports and studies on health and medicine will continue uninterrupted as activities of the Institute of Medicine, which will become one of the six program units operating under the direction of the integrated academies.

More Integrated Approach

“The establishment of the National Academy of Medicine is a significant milestone in our history,” said National Academy of Sciences President Ralph J. Cicerone, PhD. “It is an acknowledgment of the importance of medicine and related health sciences to today’s global research enterprise. It will also better align us to take a more integrated, multidisciplinary approach to our work, reflecting how science is best done today.”

“Today, science, engineering, and medicine share many common areas of interest in the pursuit of discoveries, advancing knowledge, and solving problems of people and society,” added National Academy of Engineering President C. Daniel Mote Jr, PhD. “Having three national academies under one roof shows the ongoing collaboration among the people who are tackling today’s grand challenges.”

“This is indeed a momentous occasion,” said Institute of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau, MD, who will be the first President of the National Academy of Medicine. “This change recognizes the important achievements of medical and health researchers, clinicians, and policymakers in improving health and medicine both nationally and globally. We look forward to expanding our work together with the other academies, and I am confident that this development will enhance our ability to provide evidence-based advice aimed at improving the lives of people everywhere.”

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council—provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. ■




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