ABSTRACT: Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine Into
Conventional Medical Education: Role of Basic Science
[07/09/2001; Archives Of Internal Medicine]
We read with interest the essay by Caspi et al on medical education
and complementary-alternative medicine (CAM), in which they decry
the communication gap between allopathic and CAM health care
providers and suggest that the key to changing this reality lies
in moving to a new paradigm of medical education, ie, one that
incorporates the elements of common CAM disciplines into the
required core medical curriculum.
As physiologists based in a
medical school, we have observed the tensions prevalent between
conventional and unconventional health care practitioners, and
as research scientists we often share the skepticism that many
have toward CAM approaches because of a perceived lack of scientific
However, as medical educators who direct 2 first-year basic
science courses (Human Physiology and Human Endocrinology), we
fully agree with the premise put forth by Caspi et al1 that unless
the basic "ABC language" of CAM is introduced to all medical
students, we will not educate a new generation of physicians
with a better ability to communicate with CAM providers.
Indeed, we would submit that doing so is precisely in line with the new
educational goals advanced in the recent report by the Association
of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as part of the Medical School
Objectives Project (MSOP).
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