National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM), known as the Institute of Medicine (IoM) until 2015,[1] is an American nonprofit, non-governmental organization. The National Academy of Medicine is a part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the National Research Council (NRC).

National Academy of Medicine
Formation1970 (1970) (as 'Institute of Medicine')
Victor Dzau
Formerly called
Institute of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine provides national and international advice on issues relating to health, medicine, health policy, and biomedical science. It aims to provide 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.

Operating outside the framework of the U.S. federal government, it relies on a volunteer workforce of scientists and other experts, operating under a formal peer-review system. As a national academy, the organization annually elects new members with the help of its current members; the election is based on the members' distinguished and continuing achievements in a relevant field as well as for their willingness to participate actively.


The institute was founded in 1970, under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences as the Institute of Medicine.[2]

On April 28, 2015, NAS membership voted in favor of reconstituting the membership of the IOM as a new National Academy of Medicine and establishing a new division on health and medicine within the NRC that has the program activities of the IOM at its core. These changes took effect on July 1, 2015.[1]


The National Academies attempt to obtain authoritative, objective, and scientifically balanced answers to difficult questions of national importance.[3] The work is conducted by committees of volunteer scientists—leading national and international experts—who serve without compensation. Committees are chosen to assure the requisite expertise and avoid bias or conflict of interest. Every report produced by committee 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. Victor Dzau is President and Chairman of the Council. His six-year term began on July 1, 2014. The Leonard D. Schaeffer Executive Officer is J. Michael McGinnis.

The majority of 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 academy itself. Reports are made available online for free by the publishing arm of the United States National Academies, the National Academies Press, in multiple formats.

The academy is both an honorific membership organization and a policy research organization. Its 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 specify that no more than 80 new members shall be elected annually, including 10 from outside the United States. The announcement of newly elected members occurs at the Annual Meeting in October. As of October 20, 2015, the number of regular members plus international and emeritus members is 2,012.[2] An unusual diversity of talent among NAM 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 called the NAM (then called 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]


The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health (Sarnat Prize) was established in 1992 and is awarded annually by the Academy to recognize individuals, groups, or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health. It is accompanied by a medal and $20,000.[5]

Notable members, past and present

See also

  • List of members of the National Academy of Medicine


  1. "Institute of Medicine to Become National Academy of Medicine". The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Archived from the original on April 28, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  2. "About the NAM". National Academy of Medicine. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  3. "Our Study Process". National Academy of Medicine. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  4. Gardiner Harris (August 25, 2011). "Vaccine Cleared Again as Autism Culprit" The New York Times.
  5. "The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  6. Shell E (January 1, 2002). "Chapter 4: On the Cutting Edge". The Hungry Gene: The Inside Story of the Obesity Industry. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-1422352434.
  7. Shell E (January 1, 2002). "Chapter 5: Hunger". The Hungry Gene: The Inside Story of the Obesity Industry. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-1422352434.
  8. "National Academy of Medicine Elects 100 New Members". National Academy of Medicine. National Academy of Medicine. October 17, 2022. Archived from the original on October 17, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  9. "Charles N. Rotimi, Ph.D. | NHGRI". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
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