“Are You Taking Anything Else?” — All About CAMs


Ginseng for energy? Ginkgo boloba for memory? Aromatherapy for anxiety? Regardless of who walks through the door of the hospital or GP clinic, many of your patients will be using (or considering the use of) a complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). What’s your stance on this? Is it our place to separate the wheat from the chaff, or should we distance ourselves from engaging with complementary medicines at all? And are these treatments sufficiently regulated in Australia? This session will present the viewpoints of patients, regulatory bodies, and medical professionals to provide you an informed perspective on the place complementary medicines have in our daily practice.


Professor John Dwyer AO

Professor John Dwyer AO is an Australian doctor, professor of medicine and public health advocate. He is one of the founders of the organisation, Friends of Science in Medicine, and supports conducting robust research in complementary practices and adopting the ones that prove to be safe and effective. He has also been extensively involved in efforts to create structural reform within the Australian health care delivery system, including founding the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, which sees 54 organisations now speaking with one voice on the need for reforms to the Australian health care system.

Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos AM

A/Prof Vicki Kotsirilos is a respected general practitioner with many years of clinical experience, who emphasises the importance of lifestyle and preventative medicine with her patients. She practices Integrative Medicine – integrating the best of evidence-based complementary medicines into mainstream healthcare. She currently holds two adjunct Associate Professorial positions at La Trobe University and Western Sydney University, and has served on various federal and state government committees such as the Australian Drug Reaction Advisory Committee and the Complementary Medicines Evaluation Committee, Department of Health and Ageing, Therapeutics Goods Administration, and the Australian Federal Government. She is currently a Performance Assessor and Auditor for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a committee member of the Professional Services Review. Vicki is honoured to have served and continuing to serve on the various government committees.

Associate Professor Marie Pirotta

Marie is a general practitioner who has completed extensive primary care research on the use and evidence for complementary medicines. She is currently the medical advisor for the Health Complaints Commission and has previously been Chair of the RACGP National Steering Committee for Research, Vice Chair of the RACGP ethics committee, Treasurer for the Australian Association for Academic Primary Care, and a member of the Therapeutic Goods Administration committee that advises on regulation of complementary medicines.