This application is for a five-year continuation of the Harvard Medical School research fellowship program in complementary and integrative medical therapies (CIMT). This three year program prepares both physician and non-physician post-doctoral fellows for successful careers as academic research faculty and educators. The Harvard-wide program is based within the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical School with continued close collaboration with the Harvard Medical School Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, an inter-institutional program that facilitates the development of research and education across Harvard in this emerging field. The training program focuses broadly on mind- body therapies (including yoga, tai chi, meditation, and placebo phenomenon) and Asian medicine (including acupuncture), all areas of faculty expertise. Faculty mentors have funded research programs in CIMT research and track records of successful mentoring. Most trainees earn an MPH degree during the first two years of fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The master's program includes the Program in Clinical Effectiveness, an intensive summer curriculum in epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services research. Throughout the fellowship, weekly programs including a didactic core program in CIMT provide specialized clinical, research and scholarly skills in CIMT. Fellows also take in-depth courses in CIMT in order to acquire practitioner skills/certification to inform their research. Most of the trainees'time is devoted to their own research. Each uses skills learned in the classroom to develop, conduct and analyze at least two original investigations in CIMT under the direction of experienced faculty mentors. Research focus on risks, benefits, and mechanisms of CIMT and span epidemiology, health services research, basic science and translational methodologies from bench to bedside. Fellows also participate in retreats on teaching skills and cultural competence and have opportunities to teach CIMT at HMS. Fellows may develop clinical skills in CIMT at one of several available integrative practice sites. A principal research mentor, clinical preceptors, and an advisor at HSPH supervise each fellow's development. Over the first 13 years of the fellowship, 20 fellows have completed the program and earned an MPH. Most graduates have continued in academic medicine;eight have been awarded K series career development awards. All graduated fellows have published peer reviewed research manuscripts, with over 140 manuscripts published from fellows work over the years.

Public Health Relevance

This training program is relevant to public health because it trains individuals to perform scientifically based research in complementary and integrative medical therapies, an area of clinical care that is used widely by the public but requires further research to define risks, benefits, and mechanism of action.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1)
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Rivera-Rentas, Alberto L
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
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