Resident-initiated integrative medicine curriculum in an allopathic family medicine residency

Bernd Laudenberg, Melissa Nothnagle
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy 2010, 16 (7): 799-802

OBJECTIVES: Although integrative medicine modalities are widespread and increasingly popular among patients and physicians, exposure to integrative medicine teaching remains limited during allopathic residency training. There is a need for innovative ways to incorporate integrative medicine teaching into family medicine residency training.

INTERVENTIONS AND RESULTS: In an allopathic family medicine program, residents developed an integrative medicine curriculum consisting of 37 weekly seminars tailored to the interests of the group. At the end of the academic year, the participants evaluated the program using a modified nominal group technique. Major strengths were the unique content, the joy and support shared with the group, and the inspiring experience. Participants suggested incorporating more practical applications and hands-on experiences in future seminars and protecting time for attendance.

CONCLUSIONS: For residents with interest in integrative medicine, weekly resident-run teaching sessions support their personal and professional growth and may improve their overall spirit during residency. In residency programs with limited teaching in integrative medicine, residents can successfully take initiative and create their own curriculum with support from community providers and interested faculty.

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