The medical world and patients alike are searching for new solutions to chronic diseases that will not only mask symptoms but lead to full recovery. The place to find these answers is at the second SA Congress of Integrative Medicine from 17 – 18 November at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West.

“At this stage of Integrative medicine (IM), each one of us is still a pioneer. We all have one thing in common… we are inventing this wheel together. This is such a critical time, not only in Africa, but globally, that we cannot afford to miss out on opportunities to learn from global experts in this field. Nor can we afford to not support courageous efforts like these, in encouraging the medical community to learn about, accept and support Integrative Medicine. For those who are still new to the science, our conference is a wonderful opportunity to become part of this community of healers, who have been at the forefront of this emerging speciality since its inception,” says the Conference Chair, Dr Leila Sadien, integrative GP.

“Functional and Integrative medicine is currently the fastest growing speciality in medicine. As a psychiatrist, I realised that we too often dispensed medicines for symptom relief without comprehensively understanding the root cause of illness. I want to practice precise, personalised, evidence based medicine which explores the whole patient. For example, it is not enough to dispense antidepressants for a client experiencing low mood and lack of energy. I want to know how to address digestion, gut function, hormonal issues, understand the relationship between insulin resistance and hypothyroidism and the role stress plays in the gut-brain axis.

Dr Leila Sadien, integrative GP and Conference Chair.


I want to support the development of this new frontier in medical health care to revolutionise a system that is burdened with chronic health issues, the majority of which can be cured through precise lifestyle measures,” says Dr Siobhan Dawson, integrative psychiatrist.

“I look forward to the conference because of the wonderful networking opportunity with like-minded colleagues. There was such a good vibe at the first conference last May…I want more of it!” says Dr David Nye, integrative GP.

“The 2nd Congress of integrative medicine promises to be as, if not more, exciting than the first! It is such a great opportunity to hear some excellent speakers, all specialists in their fields, talk about common illness that we often see and how to manage them in a holistic, integrative way. We are guaranteed some new insights and cutting edge tools with which to treat our clients. Personally, I also find it incredibly useful to see what new products and technologies are out there and also to use the time between talks to meet new colleagues and connect with old ones,” says Dr Renee Usdin, integrative GP.

Dr Ernest Buitendag


Inspiring international speakers on current diseases

Dr Ernest Buitendag is an anaesthetist in Port Elizabeth, who will have some really interesting insights into the use of medicinal cannabis. We need to learn so much about it, in preparation for it being fully legalised here in SA.

Dr Kojo Carew form Sierra Leone has done amazing work with ozone in West Africa, in treating Ebola and other epidemics. “He heads up the West African Society of Integrative Medicine, so we hope to foster a good relationship between it and SASIM,” says Dr David Nye, Chairman of SASIM.

We look forward to hearing Dr Louise Lindenberg, a local autism spectrum specialist, talk about how to identify and treat patients on the spectrum, using diet, supplements and various other techniques she has honed over the years.

Dr John Parker from Cape Town Lentegeur hospital is a home grown medical revolutionary practicing psychiatry in one of the most notorious and deprived areas. He had an extraordinary vision that hasn’t just affected inpatients but has transformed the community, impacted stigma, created sustainability and boosted staff morale. Health practitioners often have brilliant simple solution, but how do we implement them to inspire change?

Dr Carolyn Ross


Dr Carolyn Ross has pioneered comprehensive treatment programmes in the US for eating disorders, binge eating and obesity. South Africa has one of the fastest growing rates of obesity. Can we afford to approach this epidemic in the traditional ways if it has such poor outcomes? Attend the SASIM conference for her and other speakers’ insights also including endocrinology, autoimmunity, women’s health and integrative treatment for mood disorders.

Dr Michelle Perro is a veteran Integrative paediatrician, with over 35 years of experience. She recently published a book “What’s making our children sick” Which explores the link between food and childhood chronic illness. With very few integrative paediatricians in Africa, we are absolutely delighted to have her sharing her invaluable knowledge! She has both directed and worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Perro has managed her own business, Down to Earth Pediatrics. She is currently lecturing and consulting as well as working with Gordon Medical Associates, an integrative health center in Northern California.

Dr Felice Gersch is an extremely accomplished integrative OBGYN. She is the director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, which focuses on holistic women’s health. Outside of clinical practice, she is an excellent speaker and lecturer and a prolific writer on numerous topics relevant to women’s health. She is currently writing her first book, on PCOS, which is due to be released soon. She has been awarded the Orange County Medical Association’s ‘Physician of the Year’ Award for the last 13 years consecutively, and Southern California’s ‘Super Doctor’ Award for the last several years. She also served as Assistant Clinical Professor of OB/GYN at Keck USC School of Medicine for 12 years, for which she was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award.

Dr Felice Gersh

New parameters and paradigm towards expanded thinking

Who better to clarify the timeous relevance of this pioneering conference than the founder of SASIM, Dr Bernard Brom: “Integrative medicine is functioning at the frontier edge of a new medicine which will encompass and include the new science of quantum consciousness, Newtonian science pushed to its edges and a very robust doctor-patient relationship which touches clearly into the art of medicine. Integrative doctors are already dealing with these new parameters and developing a paradigm to take us all into this expanded way of thinking about health and ill health.

The congress has great speakers to enrich our experience but meeting other Integrative doctors and sharing in the energy of this exciting form of medicine is just as valuable and enriching. I hope to see you all there and indeed I personally look forward to returning to that great energy of sharing that was so present last year.”

Not only will integrative and allied doctors find value and education here, also all doctors and practitioners are invited, who want to learn about more effective and deeply restorative ways to effect real and sustained health in their patients.

Dr Aly Cohen is a board certified internist, integrative rheumatologist and environmental health specialist. She will be talking about integrative rheumatology and the prevention of autoimmune disease as well as Western and Eastern evidence based treatment. Her second talk will look at common classes of chemicals influencing human health, in particular endocrine disruptors.


See the rest of the speakers, meet them, find the full programme and book here.
The Conference was initiated by the SA Society of Integrative Medicine (SASIM). See For enquiries call Elma Pollard at 0218550518.