The celebrity physician and alternative medicine pioneer, Dr. Andrew Weil has decided to donate $15 million to the University of Arizona. By doing this the name of this celebrity physician will be there forever at the UA center, he founded 25 years ago. This has been confirmed by the press release of the University on Tuesday.
The Center for Integrative Medicine will be now known as the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. This change in the name of the center is a true fitting, said UA President Robert Robbins.
“In my opinion, it’s 20 or 30 years late in coming,” said Robbins. He is a cardiac surgeon and self-described “disciple” of Weil’s efforts to promote healthy living, stress reduction and natural remedies that support the body’s ability to heal.
It is evident that two share a good bond as they were calling each other on their nicknames, “Robby” and “Andy.” The two men also shared the stage at Tuesday’s press conference.
It should be noted that Weil’s method is consonance with traditional medicine with a special focus on nutrition, lifestyle, natural therapies, spirituality, and the mind-body connection. Robbins said the presence of Andrew had converted the University of Arizona “the epicenter of this movement around the world.”
Weil used to be a doctor who was seeking work in an era when mainstream medicine was hostile to his views, and then he got fame being an author and commentator. He always gives the due credit to Dr. Jim Dalen. Dr. Jim was the dean of UA’s medical school. He reportedly took a chance on him in 1994 despite heavy criticism from peers around the county.
“A lot of deans said, ‘How could you let Andrew Weil teach at your medical school with all that superstitious stuff?’” Weil, 76, recalled the same in an interview.
Post decades, many students who had been trained in Weil’s methods along with too medical schools like Harvard and Stanford successfully developed their own medical centers.
However, it’s not that Weil has no critics. A good number of websites claim that Weil is a quack using his name to get rich peddling vitamin supplements, orthotic shoes, and anti-aging face cream. Weil says he donates the proceeds from such ventures to his private charitable foundation and his foundation diverts the money to worthy causes.
It should be noted that Weil has already committed $5 million already to UA and the total commitment will now establish an endowed chair in integrative medicine, an endowed chair for research in integrative medicine and an endowed program fund for integrative medicine, all of which bear his name. “This gift marks the high point of my career,” he said.