The Impact of a Mandatory Immersion Curriculum in Integrative Medicine for Graduating Medical Students.
BACKGROUND: Although many Americans utilize complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services and products, few medical school curricula consistently provide instruction in counseling patients on the use of CAM or strategies for identifying credible evidence on the safety and effectiveness of CAM therapies. METHODS: This is a mixed methods study. A sustainable, mandatory, half-day CAM immersion curriculum for graduating medical students is described. Student comfort talking with patients about CAM, their willingness to refer patients to a CAM provider, and adequacy of the CAM curriculum was assessed. RESULTS: Students who participated in this mandatory curriculum, rated the medical school curriculum in CAM as more adequate than students at other medical schools without a mandatory curriculum. Students' narrative comments indicate the curriculum impacts students knowledge about CAM, patient use of CAM, and personal practice with CAM in the future. CONCLUSIONS: The timing of the CAM curriculum near to graduation, students' personal exploration of several CAM modalities through immersion, and student interaction with community CAM providers are aspects of the curriculum that make the curriculum successful and memorable.
Bailey, ML; Chudgar, SM; Engle, DL; Moon, SD; Grochowski, CO; Clay, AS
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