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Medical School Curriculum

Second Year Curriculum

The second year of this longitudinal course sequence extends student learning about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Through lectures, panel presentations, and small group discussion, students will examine the prevalence and patterns of alternative therapy use among patients, discuss credentialing standards and government regulation, and explore common clinical applications, potentially adverse effects, and current research evidence for efficacy of the most commonly used CAMmodalities. Students will consider various approaches to discussing these topics with patients of diverse backgrounds and health beliefs.

Required Course Sessions
M2 Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Herbs and Health
M2 Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Anxiety and Depression

Elective Courses
M2 Selectives

Educational Materials
M2 Web Course Tools, Web Course Pages
M2 Case Studies, Longitudinal Case Studies

Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Herbs and Health
This course lays the foundation for future learning about herbal medicine in subsequent classes and clinical experiences. Instruction focuses on examining several of the most commonly-used herbs. Discussion includes various approaches to training, credentialing, and licensing herbal medicine practitioners as well as an overview of scientific evidence related to use of herbal therapies. Students explore several patient cases related to use of Echinacea, Garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, and Saw Palmetto. The course will target eight specific Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO's) related to student knowledge of CAM, two related to skill development and one linked to professionalism.

Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Anxiety and Depression
The goal of this course is to build on information taught in preceding courses and sequences within the first and second year medical school curriculum, with a particular emphasis on complementary and alternative therapies for the treatment of anxiety and depression. It also lays the foundation for future learning about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in subsequent classes and clinical experiences. Instruction focuses on examining therapeutic techniques (e.g., acupuncture, exercise, herbal treatments, meditation, journaling) useful in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Discussion touches upon how to balance clinical experiences and scientific evidence in making recommendations for individual patients. Students explore the role preconceived notions, biases, and expectations can play when working with patients suffering from anxiety and/or depression.

Selectives
The goal of the CAM elective courses is to build on information taught in preceding courses and sequences within the first and second year medical school curriculum. Some electives extend student awareness of alternative medical systems discussed previously (e.g., Anthroposophic Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Chiropractic Medicine) while others address CAM topics touched upon only briefly in prior courses (e.g., energy therapy, spirituality, mind-body medicine). Each elective offers students the opportunity to participate in active learning activities and requires the submission of a written paper.