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									                                                         GLOBAL ADVANCES IN HEALTH AND MEDICINE
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Globalization of Healthcare
Michele Mittelman, RN, MPH; Patrick Hanaway, MD

         lobalization—the increasing transnational circu-                                Asia, when on the recommendation of his Chinese and                         Author Affiliations
                                                                                                                                                                     Michele Mittelman,
         lation of money, goods, people, ideas, and infor-                               Nepalese wives, the founder of the Tibetan Empire,                          RN, MPH, is one of
         mation worldwide—is generally recognized as                                     King Songtsen Gampo (605-650), convened the first                           the editors of Global
one of the most powerful forces shaping our current and                                  recorded international medical conference. He invited                       Advances in Health
future history. How is it affecting healthcare, and in that                              physicians from China, Nepal, India, Kashmir, and                           and Medicine. Patrick
                                                                                                                                                                     Hanaway, MD, is the
context, what is the purpose and significance of Global                                  Persia (Iran) to traverse the Silk Road to the Tibetan                      cofounder of Family to
Advances in Health and Medicine (GAHM), publisher of                                     Plateau, the “Roof of the World,” and to bring with                         Family, Asheville, North
this journal? Our goal is not homogenization but rather                                  them medical texts from their various traditions to be                      Carolina; the chief

to provide an opportunity for integration, convergence,                                  translated into Tibetan for syncretistic study.1                            medical officer of Genova
                                                                                                                                                                     Diagnostics, Asheville;
and collaboration across cultures. By respecting and                                           This initial foray into multinational healthcare                      and past president of
conserving the richness and diversity of each new medi-                                  was so successful that subsequent 8th-century King                          the American Board of
cine, we embrace globalization.                                                          Trisong-Detson (Gampo’s descendant) organized a sec-                        Integrative Holistic
      Globalization is of course not new; it began in the                                ond multicultural medical conference. Physicians
Renaissance and particularly with the 15th- and 16th-                                    were invited from China, Nepal, India, Kashmir, Persia,                     Correspondence
century voyages of exploration by Columbus,                                              and the Turkic regions of central Asia (including what                      Michele Mittelman,
                                                                                                                                                                     RN, MPH
Magellan, and others. Since the beginning of time,                                       is now Afghanistan) to a second multicultural medical
there have been interactions and exchanges among dif-                                    conference. Again, each attendant was obliged to pro-
ferent peoples and cultures. However, the current                                        vide at least one medical text for translation and dis-                     Citation
magnitude of globalization is unprecedented and yet                                      cussion.1 The proceedings were synthesized in a single                      Global Adv Health Med.
still expanding rapidly. Fueled by advancement in tele-                                  great book, the Gyu-zhi (“The Four Medical Tantras”),
communication technologies and incentivized by                                           which became the foundation of all subsequent                               Key Words
immense economic rewards, this multinational devel-                                      Tibetan Buddhist medicine and is still studied today.                       Globalization, medicine,
opment informs innovation in nearly every society on                                     Interesting to note, in 2008 and 2011, the Men-Tsee-                        healthcare, convergence,
                                                                                                                                                                     Chinese, Japanese,
the planet. Economically, national boundaries are dis-                                   Khang, the Tibetan Medical Astrological Institute                           Tibetan, Ayurveda,
solving to give way to single global markets for labor,                                  whose purpose is to preserve and promote Tibetan                            traditional, holistic
manufacturing, finance, and service. Now taken to be a                                   Medicine, published the first English translation of the
“given” at the strategic level in every major field of                                   first 3 tantras of the Gyu-zhi. Tibetan medicine has
endeavor, the international exchange of ideas poses                                      become globalized, and as a result, local practices of
operative questions that concern not whether or why                                   
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