Dissatisfaction with the U.S. health care system is increasing despite impressive technologic advances. This dissatisfaction is one factor that has led patients to seek out complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and led medical schools to start teaching CAM. This paper focuses on the University of Arizona's approach to developing and implementing a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is defined much more broadly than CAM. It is healing-oriented medicine that reemphasizes the relationship between patient and physician, and integrates the best of complementary and alternative medicine with the best of conventional medicine. Since its inception in 1996, the Program in Integrative Medicine (PIM) has grown to include a two-year residential fellowship that educates four fellows each year, a distance learning associate fellowship that educates 50 physicians each year, medical student and resident rotations, continuing medical and professional education, an NIH-supported research department, and an active outreach program to facilitate the international development of integrative medicine. The paper describes the PIM curriculum, educational programs, clinical education, goals, and results. Future strategies for assessing competency and credentialing professionals are suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas