WONCA Special Interest Group: Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine

The WONCA Special Interest Group on Integrative Care supports WONCA's vision by promoting integrative medicine for universal health coverage and sustainable development. It provides a forum for doctors practising traditional medicine to exchange knowledge, enhancing their understanding of different healing modalities.

With an evidence-based approach, the group boosts physician confidence in distinguishing effective treatments. They encourage open discussions with patients, respecting their beliefs. By promoting awareness, confidence, and patient-centred care, the group aims to improve healthcare outcomes and strengthen doctor-patient relationships

Convenor / Chair

Dr Sonia Tsukagoshi (UK)

Dr Sonia Tsukagoshi is a family physician practising in London, UK. She is the former EYFDM (European Young Doctors) Liaison Officer and the former Chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Junior International Committee (JIC). She has completed a Masters in Medical Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She teaches high school students in Japan annually on concepts such as social justice, cultural competence and wellbeing and is the health advisor for WomEnpowered International (WE Int). Although she spends most of her time working as a family physician, she is a fully qualified yoga teacher and teaches yoga in a gym studio and is interested in preventing disease through holistic practices.

Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Executive Members

● Dr Sankha Randenikumara (Sri Lanka) 
Sankha Randenikumara is a young Family Physician and hospital administrator from Sri Lanka. He graduated in 2012 and started his career as a rural primary care doctor in Southern Sri Lanka, eventually turning his underdeveloped hospital into a model of primary care recognized by the World Bank. In 2019, he earned a postgraduate qualification in Family Medicine and has since been actively involved in the medical community. He chairs The Spice Route, a South Asian young doctors' movement, and serves on several WONCA working parties. Sankha is also an archaeology enthusiast, pursuing a Master's degree in the field. He has presented scientific papers internationally and received numerous honors for his work. In his free time, he enjoys reading, acting, birding, and exploring archaeological sites.

● Dr Christofer Patrick Reichel (Austria)
Dr. Patrick Reichel, during his tenure at Vienna Medical University, developed a profound fascination for Asian Martial Arts and Chinese culture. Consequently, he made the decision to pursue the study of Chinese Medicine, also known as TCM. Dr. Reichel's primary area of interest within this field centered on diagnostic theory, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. He found immense fascination in the methods and possibilities that Chinese Medicine offered, presenting alternative approaches to diagnosing, advising, and, ideally, healing patients. Dr. Reichel remained conscientious of the fact that each medical method, whether Western scientific medicine or Chinese medicine, had its inherent limitations. Above all, Dr. Reichel emphasized the significance of viewing patients for who they truly are and engaging with them on a profound, empathetic level. He expressed a strong desire to share his experiences, thoughts, and uncertainties, displaying a genuine enthusiasm for participating in passionate discussions concerning medicine, healing, and the human existence.

● Dr Uma Senthilkumar (UAE)
Uma Senthilkumar MD, specialized in Family Medicine Physician and Integrative Medicine from USA. She grew up in Southern India, where she completed her Medical degree in Siddha Medicine (BSMS from Chennai Government Siddha Medical College in 1999). She received her Master of Science in Neuropharmacology (MSc) from the National University of Galway in Ireland. She pursued to conventional Medical degree and received Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) from St. Matthew’s University, Cayman Islands. She completed Family Medicine residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Virginia and Fellowship in Integrative Medicine from University of Arizona.
● Dr Dimitrios Alepidis (Cyprus) 
Dr. Alepidis is specialised in family medicine, graduated from medical school of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), now working in Cyprus in a day clinic that embraces integrative medicine in everyday clinical practice. He has worked as family doctor in rural areas of Greece and in Urban hospital Emergency department and has also served as a family-medicine assistant teacher at the Thessaloniki Medical School, teaching medical students and residents. Before and after graduating from the Medical School he participated in international medical exchange programs (IFMSA and WONCA) in Spain, France, Turkey, Croatia, Ukraine, Estonia, and Japan. In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Alepidis has a Master of Science in Holistic Alternative Medical Systems, diploma in Classical Homeopathy, and is also a certified in biomedical acupuncture, oxygen-ozone therapy. Lately, he is involved in pulsed electromagnetic field Therapy and chronic pain management.

Membership Open?

Vision and Mission of WONCA SIG on Integrative Medicine

By forming this group, we plan to support WONCA’s vision by;

a. harnessing the potential contribution of integrative medicine to universal health coverage and sustainable development goals

b. providing a forum of exchange between doctors who are also practitioners of traditional medicine

c. improving awareness for evidence-based modalities and, therefore, physician confidence in differentiating between useful and less useful treatment modalities.

d. improving physician confidence in discussing such topics with individuals and meeting patients with their own belief system

Objectives of the WONCA SIG on Integrative Medicine


Publications & Documents


The SIG was only inaugurated in Jan 2023 and much of the time has been spent in logistical planning including construction of the Membership Portal Page and the Website as we ll as setting up social media accounts and mailing lists. Further to this, we have achieved the following:

• 5-minute presentation accepted at WONCA Brussels
• Workshop accepted at WONCA Sydney
• Invitation to run workshop at the Young Doctors’ Preconference at WONCA Sydney
• Exchange programme to Cyprus
• Focus groups with prospective members to explore ideas and expectations.


Relevant Resources