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Academia and the Profession |

Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies: Implications for Medical Education

Miriam S. Wetzel, PhD; Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD; Aviad Haramati, PhD; and David M. Eisenberg, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; and Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.


Grant Support: In part from the National Institutes of Health (U24 AR 43441), Bethesda, Maryland; the John E. Fetzer Institute, Kalamazoo, Michigan; American Specialty Health, San Diego, CA; and The Bernard Osher Foundation, San Francisco, CA.

Requests for Single Reprints: Miriam S. Wetzel, PhD, Harvard Medical School, 10 Shattuck Street, Suite 612, Boston, MA 02115.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Wetzel: Harvard Medical School, 10 Shattuck Street, Suite 612, Boston, MA 02115.

Drs. Kaptchuk and Eisenberg: Harvard Medical School Osher Institute, Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, 401 Park Drive, Suite 22A, Boston, MA 02115.

Dr. Haramati: Georgetown University School of Medicine, Departments of Physiology and Biophysics and Medicine, 3900 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007.


Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(3):191-196. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-138-3-200302040-00011
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Increased use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has made it imperative that these topics be included in medical education from the preclinical years through residency and beyond. There has been progress in this direction in recent years, with a steady increase in the number of medical schools that include CAM therapies in their curricula. There remains, however, a lack of clear goals and concrete suggestions for implementing these changes. This article examines the questions that arise when medical educators consider how to incorporate CAM therapies as an integral part of the medical curriculum. It offers practical suggestions for finding time in an already packed curriculum, getting started, including faculty and students in the process, and sustaining the initiative with the necessary administrative and institutional support.

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