Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University
150 E. Huron, Suite 1100
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Melinda Ring, MD, Director

312-926-DOCS (3627)



Osher Center for Integrative Medicine (OCIM) at Northwestern University, formerly known as Northwestern Integrative Medicine, is committed to optimizing the wellness of each of their patients through empowerment, education, and patient-centered care.   They consciously blend the very best of conventional medicine with evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine practices from around the world to deliver the highest quality, personalized health care.  First begun in 1997 by Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, the team has now grown in size to 19, which includes a wide array of practitioners, physicians, and allied health professionals as well as an accomplished group of class instructors.  In 2014, the program was recognized for its excellence and commitment to integrative medicine by a multi-million dollar gift from San Francisco businessman Bernard Osher, thus becoming the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University.  The Osher gift connects Northwestern with the four other Osher Centers for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; at Harvard Medical School; at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; and at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine has been directed with distinction by Melinda Ring, MD since 2007.  In this unique center physicians work in close partnership with complementary medicine providers to offer whole-person care.  The center offers integrative medicine consults, integrative primary care, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, nutrition counseling, health psychology, bodywork, energy therapies, smoking cessation, and a range of wellness classes.  The OCIM is identified as the leading regional resource for reputable information on lifestyle and complementary medicine.  
With an average of 2,800 patient visits per month, OCIM has been able to expand programming to provide whole-family integrative care and underwrite the provision of care for patients with varied disease types.  Collaborations with other Northwestern Medicine departments exist for the benefit of patients with cancer, neurological disease, heart conditions and women’s health issues.

The following are a few of the recent accomplishments of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine:

New evidence-based research projects including:

  • PRIMIER launch.  OCIM was chosen as one of the initial 10 leading integrative medicine centers to participate in Bravenet’s innovative research study looking at patient care outcomes in integrative settings.
  • ACTIVATE Cancer Care: a pre- and post-acupuncture assessment for patients undergoing chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment.  
  • ESTOY LISTA: A study that seeks to examine the biopsychosocial impact of a Spanish language community yoga intervention for Hispanic cancer survivors and their care providers 
  • Development of an eHealth mindfulness training & education tool to enhance mindfulness research and clinical delivery 
  • A study of acupuncture in post-cardiac surgery patients to reduce adverse outcomes

Integrative Medicine Conferences hosted by OCIM in October 2013:

  • National Student Conference for Integrative Medicine (NSCIM) – The only integrative medicine conference in the nation fully planned and organized by medical students.  Over 150 students were able to experience complementary/alternative medicine, learn from world-renowned scholars and researchers, and connect with like-minded students to form a nation-wide network.
  • Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) Annual Meeting – A membership that currently includes 57 highly esteemed academic medical centers and affiliate institutions gathered to discuss research, clinical practice, education and political advocacy.
  • International Congress for Clinicians in Complementary & Integrative Medicine (ICC-CIM) – The inaugural clinical congress for integrative medicine. Convened by CAHCIM, hosted by Northwestern. Over 300 clinicians and trainees from around the world attended to share practices, research, and ideas.

Medical Education:

  • Medical Student Education – Launched in September 2009, our annual integrative medicine elective is offered to fourth-year medical students and trainees to provide both didactic and experiential learning in integrative medicine.  OCIM will add an additional elective for third year students in the coming year due to demand for this rotation.  As well, OCIM is coordinating with the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University to develop an integrative medicine track and wellness program within the medical school. 
  • Grand Rounds – OCIM hosted quarterly grand rounds lectures that provided an opportunity for physicians, healthcare providers, students and caregivers to learn about the recent advances in integrative medicine clinical care and medical research.