Response to a proposal for an integrative medicine curriculum

J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Nov;13(9):1021-33. doi: 10.1089/acm.2006.6388.


Background: A paper entitled "Core Competencies in Integrative Medicine for Medical School Curricula: A proposal," published in Academic Medicine, stimulated a broad discussion among complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) educators. This discussion led to a formal process for responding to the issues raised by the paper.

Methods: Representatives from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) and the Oregon Collaborative for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (OCCIM) formed the ACCAHC/OCCIM Task Force to participate in a Delphi process of consultation and deliberation. This process led to a broad, cross-discipline agreement on important points to include in a response to the integrative medicine (IM) curriculum proposal.

Results: Five key areas of concern emerged: (1) the definition of IM as presented in the paper; (2) lack of clarity about the goals of the proposed IM curriculum; (3) lack of recognition of the breadth of whole systems of health care; (4) omission of competencies related to collaboration between MDs and CAM professionals in patient care; and (5) omission of potential areas of partnership in IM education.

Conclusions: A major overall theme emerging from the Delphi process was a desire for closer collaboration between conventional medical schools and CAM academic institutions in developing IM curricula. Several cross-disciplinary venues for addressing the Delphi Task Force themes include the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's R-25 Initiatives, and the National Education Dialogue. OCCIM is presented as an example of a successful lateral integration approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Clinical Medicine / education
  • Complementary Therapies / education*
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Education, Medical / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / standards
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • United States