Dr. Steven Aung
Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Extension and
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta
Clinical Associate Professor, New York University College of Dentistry
- President, Canadian Medical Acupuncture Society
- President, World Natural Medicine Foundation
- President, International Buddhist Friends Association
DR STEVEN KH AUNG is a geriatric and family physician and a traditional Chinese medical (TCM) practitioner and teacher. He seeks to blend Eastern, Western and natural medicine in his medical clinic in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. At the University of Alberta, Dr Aung is an associate clinical professor in the Departments of Medicine and Family Medicine and adjunct professor in the Faculty of Extension and the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr Aung founded the Certificate Program in Medical Acupuncture at the University of Alberta in 1991, and he is the program’s chief instructor, examiner and curriculum consultant. He is also a medical acupuncture consultant for the University of Alberta Hospitals, the Cross Cancer Institute and the Caritas Health Group (Edmonton General Site, Misericordia Community Health Centre, Grey Nuns Community Health Centre) as well as the Glen Sather University of Alberta Sports Medicine Centre and the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Team. He is an active member of the Acupuncture Committee, Province of Alberta.
Dr Aung is a founding member and current president of the World Natural Medicine Foundation, the Canadian Medical Acupuncture Society and the International Buddhist Friends Association. He is an associate clinical professor, Division of Surgical Sciences (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery), New York University College of Dentistry, David B Kriser Dental Center—and he holds visiting professor appointments at the Beijing University of TCM and Research Institute, Capital University of Medical Sciences (Beijing), Heilongjiang University of TCM (Harbin, China), Showa University School of Medicine (Tokyo), California Institute for Human Science (Encinitas, California) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is also a vice-president and standing council member of the World Academic Society of Medical Qi Gong, Beijing, and Vice-Chair representing North America for the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Beijing.
Dr Aung has been a World Health Organization advisor on acupuncture nomenclature and cancer pain control, and he currently serves as a WHO advisor in the standardization of acupuncture (indications, training and safety). Dr Aung, who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Acupuncture the Australian Medical Acupuncture College and the International College of Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics, was awarded a Professional Excellency from the Academie Diplomatique de la Paix in 1986. He was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence (Office of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Alberta) in 2002 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003. Dr Aung is the founder and president of the World Congresses of Medical Acupuncture and Natural Medicine (Beijing 1987, Beijing, 1991, Edmonton 1995 and Edmonton 2000). In 2005 he was inducted into the Ancient Mystical Order of the Rosicrucian International Humanitarian Award as well as recipient of a Physician of the Century Award, and he is also a recipient of the Order of Canada 2006. He is the author of several articles and books on various aspects of TCM as well as Chinese calligraphy and painting. His primary interest is the integration of TCM and Western biomedicine within the context of a more natural and compassionate approach to primary health care for all.
INTEGRATIVE COMPASSIONATE MEDICINE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND BEYOND
There are many complementary medical modalities. Some pertain to visualization, some to the ears and the auditory system, some to touch, some to oral treatments and medications and so on. Even though there is tremendous variety in these areas, most of the effective diagnostic and treatment protocols are associated with energy. Many of these modern complementary and integrative approaches are oriented toward prevention and self-care. In terms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), these are regarded as various aspects of Qi (vital energy).(1) TCM diagnosis encompasses various techniques such as inquiry, inspection, palpation, auscultation/olfactory as well as other specific procedures such as auricular, tongue, hand and Shen (spirit) diagnosis. This is a holistic, integrative process, and the treatment follows along the same lines, with the aim being to relieve the pain and restore the harmony and well-being of the patient. Western medicine is well known for its scientific approach, and this is very useful for accurately detecting and measuring various pathophysiological conditions such as those pertaining to heart disease, cancer and arthritis. However, biomedicine is oriented toward pharmaceutical and surgical treatment and has not yet developed a concept of the holistic human being. It is excellent in emergency situations in order to quickly stabilize patients and monitor their state of relative homeostasis. For longer term care and prevention, TCM and the various complementary therapies have a vital role to play. The different systems of primary care should work together in a harmonious manner for the health and well being of our dear patients. We should always try to use the best of the various approaches in a competent, conservative, communicative and compassionate manner. Safety and efficacy must continue to be our primary concerns as family physicians and practitioners.