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Certification in AM: Process and Criteria

Medical doctors (MD), osteopathic doctors (DO), nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) in the U.S., and medical doctors in Canada, can seek certification in Anthroposophic Medicine through the American College of Anthroposophic Medicine (ACAM). Naturopathic doctors (ND) in the U.S. and Canada can seek certifcation through the Society for Physicians of Anthroposophic Naturopathy. Applicants must fulfill the certification requirements, as outlined in the "International Core Curriculum for medical student’s and physician’s training in Anthroposophic Medicine". Applicants can complete all of these requirements through the training programs of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM) or other equivalent, accredited training programs. For a full copy of the ACAM Certification Criteria, click here.

An Application Portfolio form is available here, as a tool for keeping track of hours and work carried out in the course of study.

The International Core Curriculum outlines a course of study of 1000 hours, broken up into five main areas:

. Contact Time (250 hours): This portion is met through conference attendance and learning. Participation in the four-year cycle of the training conferences, plus participation in the three-year Clinical Mentoring Program, fulfills this requirement. Click here to learn more about upcoming annual training week offerings.

B. Independent Work (250 hours): This portion is built on the understanding that as part of any training program, participants dedicate at least one hour of preparatory reading, review of materials, and/or time exploring other resources for each hour of "contact time" learning. To fulfill this requirement each applicant must submit a "learning portfolio", with a list of materials and subjects studied during the course of training. Specific dates and exact hours of study do not need to be recorded for this section, just a list of topics and materials worked with over the training period (e.g. "Oncology chapter in Matthias Girke's anthroposophic textbook, "Internal Medicine,' pages xx-yy", or "first five lectures of Steiner's "Course for Young Doctors", etc.) and a general indication of hours spent. 

C. Mentored Practice Hours (250 hours): This portion is built on the expectation that applicants will be incorporating Anthroposophic treatments into their own clinical practices. Hours are awarded based on an expected ratio of four hours of patient care for every hour of direct mentored teaching. Three years of participation in the PAAM Clinical Mentoring Program fulfills this requirement. Other equivalent clinical experience (such as work in an Anthroposophic inpatient facility) can also fulfill this requirement with proper documentation.

D. Project Work (150 hours): The description in the Core Curriculum states:

  • "Guideline for the total length: 30,000 characters in the form of 1-3 papers (or an equivalent);
  • The project can also be a publication;
  • The topic is related to Anthroposophic Medicine and the trainee's current continuing medical education (CME);
  • The paper shows the trainee's ability to independently work with the fundamental elements of AM. Examples of what it can contain are:
    i.   An elaboration of specific case work,
    ii.  A characterization of a disease pattern,
    iii. A characterization of a medication or non-medicinal therapy.
  • It can also consist of one of several papers published during the CME period.
The European description of 30,000 characters is roughly equivalent to 4600 words, or 8-10 pages, single-spaced (depending on font size). One of the three possible projects can be fulfilled through PAAM activities like webinar teaching, such as offering a presentation within the webinar series regularly offered by PAAM. Documentation for this section does not need to include specific hours, but should include a list of textbooks, articles, journals, or Anthroposophic lectures you worked with as part of the portfolio.

E.  Three Case Studies Preparation (100 hours): This is an expansion over the previous (pre-2018) requirement of two case studies for certification. An outline for the content and scope of the case studies is now included:

      • Each case study is individual and this can also be reflected in the way that it is portrayed. The three case studies should show that the applicant is familiar with the fundamentals of Anthroposophic Medicine and can independently make a diagnosis in the sense of Anthroposophic Medicine, and can also develop a therapy and evaluate the course of the illness. It should include information about the following aspects:
        i.     Medical history
        ii.    Current findings
        iii.   Diagnoses
           iv.   Anthroposophic-anthropological aspects in the sense of Anthroposophic Medicine
           v.    The elements, diagnosis of the members of the human fourfold nature, three-folding, etc., to the extent discernible (possibly with references)
        vi.   The need for healing and finding the therapy (the reasons for the choice of therapy and a description of a few aspects of the medicine chosen (possibly with references)
        vii.  The treatment and the course of the illness (possibly with an evaluation of efficacy)
        viii. Possible prognosis

It is recommended that a list of references also be included with each case study. These three case studies should then be presented as part of the certification application.

Case guidelines and resources are provided here; however, please note the document refers to the prior requirement of two case studies rather than the newly-established requirement of three case studies. 

Examination: The certification process finishes with a conversation about the applicant's case studies. This will generally last about sixty minutes, and needs to be done with at least two members of ACAM, or other designated physicians. The examination will include discussion of at least one of the three cases  that have been prepared.

Additional ACAM criteria are as follows:

  1. The applicant shall be licensed to practice medicine as an MD or DO, or NP or PA within the United States, or licensed as an MD in Canada.
  2. The applicant shall be of high moral and ethical standards and be in good standing in the general medical and anthroposophic communities.
  3. The applicant shall be committed to the ongoing development of the knowledge and practice of anthroposophic medicine.

The Board will review the application, request additional information or clarification as needed, and contact the applicant to schedule a time for discussion of the clinical cases. If certification is not granted, the Board will provide feedback to the applicant, including recommendations for additional study or training.

An application can be downloaded here or may be obtained from the ACAM Secretary by contacting Dr. Joan Takacs by phone or email at (503) 234-1531 or joantakacs@gmail.com.

*Naturopathic doctors (ND's) can pursue certification through the Society for Physicians of Anthroposophic Naturopathy, https://span.wildapricot.org

**MD, DO, NP and PA applicants who started their anthroposophic training prior to October 1, 2018 can still request to be certified in accordance with earlier ACAM certification requirements. The window for certifying under those older criteria will close in September 2023.

Physicians' Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM)
PO Box 4039
Grand Junction, CO 81502
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