Institute of Medicine - IOM


The Institute of medicine is a National Academy that provides science-based advice on biomedical science, medicine and health. The National Academy of Science was started by the Federal Government, however, the IOM is a private organization and does not receive federal appropriations for their work. Their mission is to be an adviser to the nation to improve health. Their work is done by carefully composed committees of volunteer scientists to avoid bias or conflict of interest. The institute has provided advice to policy makers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public since 1970. The Institute of Medicine's committees have a large range of subjects for their reports and/or studies. Some of their most current reports include:

Informing the Future: Critical Issues in Health
Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disaster: Hurricane Katrina
Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the way to Healthier Youth

The Institute also has roundtables or workshops to give an opportunity for, private and public, discussions on issues to achieve evidence -based dialogs. The federal government requests most their studies. The rest are requested by private industry, foundations, local government and the IOM itself. The objective of their work is to improve decision-making by identifying and synthesizing evidence to inform the deliberative process. The IOM has been recognized as a national resource of judgment and veracity relating to human health. Some of the many topics covered by the IOM are: aging, child health, diseases, education, environment, food and nutrition, global health, health sciences, healthcare and quality, mental health, military and veterans, minority health, public health and prevention, public policy, treatment, women's health, and the workplace. The IOM is organized into 8 oversight boards: Board on African Science Academy Development; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Food and Nutrition Board; Board on Global Health; Board on Health Care Services; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Board on Health Sciences Policy; and Board on Military and Veterans Health.

IOM Facts and Statistics

  • Formed: 1970 (Chartered as part of National Academy of Sciences)
  • Headquarters: 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington DC 20001
  • Members: 1,686
  • Membership: 65 new members are inducted annually in accordance with IOM bylaws
  • Current Head: President Harvey V. Fineberg MD, PhD


  • IOM provides individual, professional review of government health initiatives including health IT standards and directives.
  • IOM focuses on questions of national interest in the health field which includes many issues of coordination and standardization that are important to health IT.
  • IOM's primary goal is to enhance the healthcare decision making process which is also a primary goal of health IT.
  • IOM puts together very specific committees to focus on specific issues that are comprised of individuals with specialization in those fields, including health IT when applicable.

Web Resources:

IOM website
IOM on Wikipedia
List of IOM Reports
Ongoing IOM Research
National Academy of Sciences

Related Terminology:

American Health Information Community (AHIC)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Health Alert Network (HAN)
US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
National Health Information Network (NHIN)



Logo of the Institute of Medicine

President Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD