Evidence-Based Traditional Asian Medicine Conference

Does acupuncture really work, or is the placebo effect at play? Can certain Asian herbs or diets treat cardiac disease or treat depression? What do we mean by Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda, and can we integrate these healing practices into Western medicine to ensure the most effective care? If so, how?

We invite you investigate these questions and more at the inaugural Evidence-based Traditional Asian Medicine (ETAM) ConferenceMarch 4th to March 6th, hosted virtually over Zoom by The Center for Asian Health Research and Education at The Stanford University School of Medicine. Join us and over 15 international medical experts to address key questions in ETAM, foster dialogue and learning, and identify areas of further research and development.

The conference will span three days and focus on three areas of interest:

  1. Thursday, March 4th, 4:30 - 7:30 PM PST: Nutrition for preventing and controlling chronic diseases
  2. Friday, March 5th, 4:30 -7:30 PM PST: Pain management, particularly low back pain
  3. Saturday, March 6th, 4:30 -7:30 PM PST: Mental health, especially depression


This conference is made possible through the generous donations of the Chi-Li Pao Foundation USA and the International Medical Services Department of Stanford Health Care.

Critical Questions

An increasing global interest in traditional Asian medicine has raised critical research questions:

Evidence: How do we increase the number studies conducted and their sample sizes?  Do we have effective strategies for combining results from different studies (meta-analysis)?  How do interventions used in research studies compare to interventions from community practitioners?

Safety: How do we assess and ensure the safety of treatments from Asian traditional medicine?  How do we avoid manufacturing problems with herbal products, including mistaking one herb for another, contamination of products, and mislabeling of ingredients?

Effectiveness: How do we best quantify effectiveness?  Should we compare treatments to placebo/sham treatments or compare treatments to accepted Western treatments?

Quality: Is there sufficient commitment and consensus on the study components required for high quality clinical research studies?

Trust:  What is the proper role of government in certifying and licensing practitioners in traditional Asian health?  Finally, how can research build public trust in traditional Asian medicine?

Historically, challenges in developing consistent research methodologies have hindered the development and implementation of traditional practices into modern medicine. We recognize that rigorous and thorough research is key to ensuring the most effective care and integrating traditional Asian medicine into the Western medical world. Therefore, we seek to promote quality investigation of traditional Asian medicine through clinical and randomized control trials, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews. We will also promote the development, evaluation, and application of meticulous research criteria to ensure the highest levels of safety and efficacy for our patients.

Asians make up 60% of the global population, 6% of the U.S., 15% of California, and over 30% of the Bay Area. Asians are the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S., and as our patient population changes, so too will our understanding and delivery of the practice of medicine. Recognizing the potential benefits of the diverse backgrounds, needs, and practices of our patients is crucial to evolving medicine for the 21st century.

Similar to other communities of color, there exist tremendous disparities in health outcomes and indicators among Asians in the U.S. Socioeconomic, cultural, and genetic factors likely affect these outcomes and indicators. There is a strong need to improve knowledge, education, and clinical care to reduce healthcare disparities among Asian subgroups.

Therefore, The Center for Asian Health Research and Education at The Stanford University School of Medicine was founded in 2018 to provide a common place for research, education, and clinical care support of disparate faculty, scholars, and community members. Our goals are:

  1. To increase research and knowledge in Asian and Asian American health
  2. To educate patients, providers, and the community about the health needs of Asians and Asian Americans.
  3. To improve the culturally sensitive an evidence-based delivery of healthcare to Asians and Asian Americans

We look forward to working together to advance these goals.