When the GW Center for Integrative Medicine opened its doors to patients in April 1998, it became one of the very few complementary and alternative medicine practices in the United States based at an academic medical center. Our groundbreaking status brought with it the responsibility and challenge to define integrative medicine (IM), and with the highest standards of medical care to distinguish the practice of IM from the multitude of individual and largely unregulated alternative practitioners’ offices existing in most cities today.