Introduction: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) education has created a focus that not only brings awareness of various CAM therapies to conventional medical education but also highlights how these therapies can bring insight toward improved health care.
Methods: A survey of CAM educational leaders at institutions awarded grants for incorporating CAM education into medical curricula was performed to address how CAM education can improve health care delivery in America.
Results: Five (5) core themes were noted to be successful in achieving this goal. These included (1) education on the importance of relationship-centered care, (2) understanding holism, (3) the promotion of self-reflection and self-care, (4) collaboration with CAM providers to enhance communication, and (5) the need for faculty development in CAM.
Conclusions: In discussing these themes, this paper explores how a shift in medical education toward a focus of understanding what is needed for the creation of health (salutogenesis) can bring balance to a curriculum that is currently weighted in teaching about the creation of disease (pathogenesis). Potential benefits, including reduced health care costs and improved quality of life for learners, are discussed.