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Plenary Session 04: "The Implementation of Integrative Medicine - A Chinese Perspective" presented by: Joseph Sung, MD, PhD

08:30 - 09:15, Regency Ballrooom, Terrace Level

Joseph Sung, MD, PhD

Vice-Chancellor and President, Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine

The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Presentation Synopsis

While the conventional Western medicine establishes its solid foundation based on state-of-the-art technology, objective clinical evidence, well defined therapeutic mechanisms, standardization of treatment and rigorous research methodology, it is limited by the lack of holistic approach, individualized treatment and awareness of the inter-relationship between the environment, psychosocial factors and the physical illness. In contrast, the time-honored CAM has established a distinct system to strive for the balance and harmony between the environment, spiritual, mental and physical well-being. CAM adopts an individualized holistic approach that emphasizes patient-practitioner therapeutic relationship and tailor-made management. It is generally perceived as a more natural treatment modality and the use of CAM has been increasingly accepted in developed countries. In United States, the total expenditure on CAM is comparable to that of conventional medical services. Yet, the development and acceptance of CAM is hampered by the empirical nature of practice, which lacks the support from robust evidence and biological basis. Furthermore, owing to the fundamental difference in the conceptual framework between conventional Western medicine and CAM, there is substantial difficulty in applying the conventional research methodology on evaluation of CAM treatments. 


To reconcile the two completely different systems of medical practice, the concept of “Integrative Medicine” has emerged in recent years. Integrative Medicine combines conventional Western medicine and CAM in the disease management. It aims to synergize the strengths and compensate the shortcomings of conventional Western medicine and CAM so as to provide the best patient care: delivery of medical care based on robust evidence and theoretical basis through a holistic, individualized approach of healing the mind, body and spirit. 



Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung, Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine, has been Vice Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) since 2010. Professor Sung graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1983 with the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB, BS) degrees. He was conferred a PhD in biomedical sciences by the University of Calgary in 1992, and Doctor in Medicine (MD) by CUHK in 1997. In 2011, Professor Sung was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) as an Academician in recognition of his contributions in the field of gastroenterology. Professor Sung also holds fellowships and memberships from many professional societies and associations: he is a Fellow of Hong Kong College of Physicians (FHKCP), Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (FHKAM), Fellow of Royal College of Physicians (FRCP Edinburgh, London, Glasgow), Fellow of American College of Gastroenterology (FACG), Fellow of Royal Australian College of Physicians (FRACP), Fellow of Royal College of Physician (FRCP Thailand), and Fellow of American Gastroenterological Association (FAGA).