The evolution of integrative medical education: the influence of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

J Integr Med. 2015 Nov;13(6):356-62. doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60209-6.


The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) was founded in 1994 with a primary focus of educating physicians in integrative medicine (IM). Twenty years later, IM has become an internationally recognized movement in medicine. With 40% of United States' medical schools having membership in the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health it is foreseeable that all medical students and residents will soon receive training in the principles and practices of IM. The AzCIM has the broadest range and depth of IM educational programs and has had a major influence on integrative medical education in the United States. This review describes the fellowship, residency and medical student programs at AzCIM as well as other significant national drivers of IM education; it also points out the challenges faced in developing IM initiatives. The field of IM has matured with new national board certification in IM requiring fellowship training. Allied health professional IM educational courses, as well as integrative health coaching, assure that all members of the health care team can receive training. This review describes the evolution of IM education and will be helpful to academic centers, health care institutions, and countries seeking to introduce IM initiatives.

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies
  • Education, Medical*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency
  • Leadership