Claudia Witt, MD, MBA

Home Institution: University of Zurich

Field: Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Current Positions:

  • »
    Chair, Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Zurich
  • »
    Director, Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University Hospital Zurich
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    Senior researcher, Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • »
    Professor, University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine, Baltimore

University of Zurich

Chair, Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Zurich

Director, Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University Hospital Zurich


How can clinical research generate better evidence to help people make more informed choices?

Scholar Project

Dr. Witt believes that Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) has the potential to unlock much of the evidence that can increase choices available to patients, especially those suffering from chronic disease.  As an Institute Scholar, Dr. Witt has been engaged in the development of Effectiveness Guidance Documents for CER, teaching clinical research methods and CER to international audiences, and generating papers in subjects ranging from acupuncture research guidance to the impact of corporate culture on mergers involving integrative medicine services.  

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER): CER provides better evidence for better decisions, and Dr. Witt is focused on advancing the field of CER for complementary and integrative medicine. With the development of recommendations and Effectiveness Guidance Documents, she has made a landmark contribution for future research.

Corporate culture principles from mergers in Integrative Medicine: The integration of conventional and complementary medicines in a hospital or clinic requires the “marriage” of two distinct cultures in an effort to provide integrative health care services. By exploring the principles of corporate culture as used for mergers in the business world, Dr. Witt has been at work to develop a set of recommendations that facilitate smooth transitions for health care entities interested in the implementation of integrative medicine services.

International Research Training: Dr. Witt provides hand-on research methodology trainings. Her instruction focuses on two key areas:  basic study design and basic statistics and the design of pragmatic trials for CER.



Dr. Witt is a medical doctor, epidemiologist and research methodologist who is internationally recognized for her work. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on health care management. Her MBA thesis emphasized health economic evaluations.

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From May 2011 to April 2013 she served as the president of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR), a professional, multidisciplinary, non-profit scientific organization that is devoted to fostering complementary and integrative medicine research.

From the outset, Dr. Witt’s career has been dedicated to patient-centered approaches to health care. She has a strong background in research methodology and her research has made substantial contributions to the evidence on efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety of complementary and integrative medicine. She is committed to the training of future generations of integrative medicine physicians and researchers; she developed the first postgraduate international summer school on clinical research methods in this field. Over the last 15 years, she has conducted a number of large trials with a total of more than 50,000 patients and has published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, including those that have appeared in many leading medical journals.

As an Institute Scholar, Dr. Witt is focused on advancing the field of comparative effectiveness research (CER) for complementary and integrative medicine. She was a participant in the Institute’s 2009 forum on CER research and integrative medicine and is now spearheading the Institute’s work in CER.


Curriculum Vitae

See Dr. Witt’s CV

Selected Publications

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Effectiveness guidance document (EGD) for Chinese medicine trials: a consensus document.
Trials, May 2014

Which research is needed to support clinical decision-making on integrative medicine?
—Can comparative effectiveness research close the gap?

Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2012

Clinical research on traditional drugs and food items—the potential of comparative
effectiveness research for interdisciplinary research
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, May 2013

Effectiveness Guidance Document (EGD) for acupuncture research—a consensus document for conducting trials.
BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, August 2012

Building a strategic framework for comparative effectiveness research in complementary and integrative medicine.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012

How well do randomized trials inform decision making: systematic review using comparative effectiveness research measures on acupuncture for back pain.
PLOS ONE, February 2012

Using the framework of corporate culture in “mergers” to support the development of a cultural basis for integrative medicine – guidance for building an integrative medicine department or service.
Patient Preference and Adherence, January 2015

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