Institute of Medicine

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The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is one of the United States National Academies, and is a not-for-profit, non-governmental American organization chartered in 1970 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences; its purpose is to provide national advice on issues relating to biomedical science, medicine, and health. It works outside the framework of the government to provide independent guidance and analysis. It relies on a volunteer workforce of scientists and has a formal peer review system.

Each IOM report is evaluated by external experts who remain anonymous until the study is published. Though a majority of IOM studies are requested and funded by the United States federal government, other organizations also initiate studies, as does the IOM itself. The President of the IOM is Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D.

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[1], health sciences, environment, treatment, public health & prevention, and minority health.

The IOM is both a research organization and an honorary membership organization. The Institute’s members are elected on the basis of their professional achievements and capacity for service. They, along with other experts, serve without compensation in the conduct of IOM studies, workshops, and other activities on matters of significance to health.

A 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, law, administration, engineering, and the humanities.

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.

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