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Bernard Brom qualified as a medical doctor in 1965. While specializing in gastroenterology he became dissatisfied with medicine and his lifestyle and in 1971 gave up medicine and travelled around the world in a VW kombi for almost 6 years.
He returned to South Africa and started an integrative medical practice. He very soon specialized in the non-drug treatment of ill-health, and after studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbal medicine and homeopathy realised that conventional medicine’s focus on disease had moved doctors away from lifestyle management and how to support health.
Instead of focusing on TCM and alternative therapies he immersed himself in exploring how a person becomes ill and how to support the person back to previous health. This did not require breaking away from the conventional medical model, but rather shifting the focus away from the disease model and the use of dangerous drugs towards lifestyle medicine and supporting health medicine. His approach was that while treating the disease and symptomatic approaches using drugs had their place, it needed to be within a model of medicine that was much more supportive to health improvement.
Dr Brom was chairman of the South African Acupuncture Medical Association and the founder and chairman of the South African Society of Integrative Medicine (SASIM). He was also one of the founders and the first Chairman of the Traditional and Natural Health Alliance, an organization working towards a balanced and appropriate regulatory process for natural products.
He has also written extensively on integrative medicine, both in medical journals and in his monthly newsletters. He founded the Complementary Medicine Journal in 1996 which became the Journal of Natural Medicine in 2000.
His non-medical interests include walking in nature, growing organic vegetables, deep discussion on the meaning of life and his own inner spiritual journey.