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Medical School Curriculum

First Year Curriculum

This longitudinal course sequence provides students with a foundation in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Through readings, field visit experiences and lecture/small group discussion, students will explore the diversity of medical practices, key issues facing researchers and practitioners, and principles of information gathering by undertaking preliminary overviews of research evidence.

Required Course Sessions
M1 Complementary and Alternative Medicine Unit
M1 Alternative Approaches to Musculoskeletal Pain
M1 Mind-Body Medicine: Theory and Practice

Educational Materials
M1 Web Course Tools, Web Course Pages, Online Longitudinal Portfolios
M1 Case Studies, Longitudinal Case Studies

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Unit
Instruction focuses on tracing patterns of CAM use by patients, articulating key issues facing CAM researchers and practitioners, and presenting the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine classification system for CAM modalities. Information presented within the unit provides a foundation for establishing effective relationships with patients who use a diverse array of medical treatments. The course unit consists of an introductory lecture by Dr. Warber, a half-day CAM field experience, an afternoon of case-based, student-led presentations and research discussions, and small group discussions of the provider-patient relationship facilitated by CAM practitioners and medical school faculty.

Alternative Approaches to Musculoskeletal Pain
The course builds on information taught in preceding courses and sequences (i.e., Patients and Populations, Normal Cell, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Normal Organ Systems I-Immunology, Normal Organ Systems I-Musculoskeletal). Instruction focuses on examining therapeutic techniques related to musculoskeletal conditions, including massage, chiropractic, Shiatsu, and pharmacological treatments. Discussion includes the training, credentialing, and licensing of CAM providers who treat musculoskeletal conditions as well as the scientific evidence linked to particular therapies. Students learn the physician perspective on referral to body-based therapies.

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Mind-Body Theory and Practice

The goal of the course is to build on information taught in preceding courses and sequences within the first year medical school curriculum, with a particular emphasis on issues related to psychoneuroimmunology, mental status, and achieving a positive health state (i.e., "wellness"). Instruction focuses on examining therapeutic techniques useful when addressing lifestyle and health-risk factors as well as behavioral health issues. Discussion includes various approaches to training, credentialing, and licensing mind-body medicine practitioners as well as an overview of scientific evidence linked to specific treatments. Students learn the physician perspective on referral to mind-body therapies. A large group lecture introduces students to Mind-Body Medicine applications and to Mindfulness Meditation therapies. Small group experiences include exposure to several therapeutic approaches including hypnosis, guided imagery, Yoga, and Tai Chi. Students also learn about advances in the field of psychoneuroimmunology and engage in a discussion with a panel of Mind-Body Medicine professionals, including physicians who use these techniques with patients.