Institute of Medicine

Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental American organization founded in 1970, under the congressional charter of the United States National Academy of Sciences.[1] The IOM is part of the United States National Academies, which also includes:

Its purpose is to provide national advice on issues relating to biomedical science, medicine, and health, and its mission to serve as adviser to the nation to improve health. It works outside the framework of the U.S. federal government to provide independent guidance and analysis and relies on a volunteer workforce of scientists and other experts, operating under a rigorous, formal peer-review system. The Institute provides unbiased, evidence-based, and authoritative information and advice concerning health and science policy to policy-makers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large.

As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in a field relevant to the IOM's mission as well as for their willingness to participate actively in its work. The President of the IOM is Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D.; the Executive Officer is Dr. Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S.



The Institute and The National Academies use a unique process [2] to obtain authoritative, objective, and scientifically balanced answers to difficult questions of national importance. Their work is conducted by committees of volunteer scientists—leading national and international experts—who serve without compensation.

Committees are carefully composed to assure the requisite expertise and to avoid bias or conflict of interest. Every report produced by IOM committees undergoes extensive review and evaluation by a group of external experts who are anonymous to the committee, and whose names are revealed only once the study is published.

The majority of IOM studies and other activities are requested and funded by the federal government. Private industry, foundations, and state and local governments also initiate studies, as does the IOM itself.

The IOM works in a broad range of categories, including: mental health, child health, food & nutrition, aging, women’s health, education, public policy, healthcare & quality, diseases, global health, workplace, military & veterans, health sciences, environment, treatment, public health & prevention, and minority health.

The reports of the IOM are made available online for free by the publishing arm of the United States National Academies, the National Academies Press, in multiple formats.


The Institute of Medicine is both an honorific membership organization and a policy research organization. The Institute's members, elected on the basis of their professional achievement and commitment to service, serve without compensation in the conduct of studies and other activities on matters of significance to health. Election to active membership is both an honor and a commitment to serve in Institute affairs.

The bylaws of IOM specify that no more than 65 new members shall be elected annually. The announcement of newly elected members occurs at the IOM Annual Meeting in October. The number of regular members plus foreign associates and emeritus members is currently about 1,700.[3]

An unusual diversity of talent among Institute members is assured by the charter stipulation that at least one-quarter be selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences, as well as law, administration, engineering, and the humanities.


The New York Times calls the IOM the United States' "most esteemed and authoritative adviser on issues of health and medicine, and its reports can transform medical thinking around the world."[4]

Notable members, past and present

  • Harold Amos, microbiologist and professor
  • Elizabeth Blackburn, biologist
  • Dennis S. Charney, dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City
  • Francis Collins, geneticist and leader in the Human Genome Project
  • Kenneth L. Davis, author, medical researcher and CEO of Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Maurice Hilleman, microbiologist
  • David Ho, pioneer in the use of protease inhibitors in treating HIV-infected patients
  • Leroy Hood, winner of the 2003 Lemelson-MIT Prize
  • Arthur Kellermann, professor and founding chairman of the department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University
  • Philip J. Landrigan, pediatrician and leading advocate of children's health
  • Susan Lindquist, a molecular biologist and former Director of the Whitehead Institute
  • Maclyn McCarty, youngest member of the research team responsible for the Avery-MacLeod-McCarty experiment
  • Mario J. Molina, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • Herbert Needleman, pediatrician and psychiatrist
  • Peter R. Orszag, 37th Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama
  • Nicholas A. Peppas, pioneer of biomaterials and drug delivery
  • Frederick Redlich, dean of the Yale School of Medicine from 1967 to 1972
  • James Rothman, winner of the 2002 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
  • Jeffrey Sachs, economist and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
  • David A. Savitz, director of the Disease Prevention and Public Health Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University
  • William Julius Wilson, sociologist
  • Elias Zerhouni, former executive vice-dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the National Institutes of Health under George W. Bush

See also


External links

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