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Medical School Curriculum

Fourth Year Curriculum

Elective Courses
M4 Clinical Elective: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
M4 Research Elective: The Scientific Basis of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Clinical Elective: Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The fourth year clinical elective in CAM is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of CAM. Students spend 50% of their time with at least two family physicians that integrate conventional and complementary approaches. Didactic course content includes an introduction to evidence-based medicine, the current sociopolitical context of CAM usage, alternative medical systems, nutritional approaches, bodywork, and herbal medicine. Instructional strategies include informal lectures, experiential learning, and small group discussion of assigned readings, clinical experiences, and a paper case. In the first week, students are exposed to the various methods of self-care (meditation, journaling, yoga, Tai-Chi and Qigong). Students are expected to journal daily and practice at least one other self-care modality throughout the month. The elective culminates with student presentations of an evidence-based review a CAM modality of their choosing.

Research Elective: The Scientific Basis of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Michigan has a fourth year research requirement, "Science in Clinics" in which students select a mentor and devote a month to scientific activities. The students select a CAM modality and a specific disease process. They conduct a review of the relevant scientific literature. They correlate the evidence in the literature with the underlying pathophysiology of the disease process and the proposed clinical use of the CAM modality. The students draw conclusions about possible modes of action, potential effectiveness, and the safety of the investigated therapy. Students present their work orally at the UMIM monthly Open Research Meeting and complete a written report of their investigation in a manner suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.