The objective of this project is to develop and implement an educational program at Georgetown University that incorporates and integrates Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) information into the curriculum for students in the School of Medicine. In the School of Medicine at present, the only exposure students receive to CAM information is through an occasional lecture in the preclinical curriculum, or if a student opts for one of a few elective experiences available. To address this serious deficiency, a collaborative and comprehensive program is proposed involving medical educators, CAM practitioners and CAM researchers. The first step of our approach is to develop and implement an experiential and didactic Mind- Body Medicinecourse for first year students (initially for 40 self-selected students but by year 3 for all 180 students). In addition, several first year courses (both basic science and clinical bridge courses) have committed to including lectures on relevant aspects of CAM to all students. A second step will involve development and implementation of two elective courses: one in the Spring of the second year of medical school on CAM information (treatment modalities, herbal medicine, etc.) and one in the fourth medical year on CAM practices. These courses will also be offered to self-selected students during the first two years of the project. After careful evaluation of these courses, the third step will be to determine the core CAM content that will be progressively integrated into both the preclinical and clinical curricula in years 2-5 of the project. The fourth step involves the addition of a research component on CAM to be offered to interested students. In addition to educating future medical doctors in CAM, a major aim of the proposed program to train faculty in CAM and to introduce CAM into the philosophy of medical education at Georgetown University. It is the goal of this project that, by the end of the 5 year grant period, all graduates of Georgetown's medical school will have an improved level of awareness about CAM information and practices, so that they will be able to understand and follow the advances in CAM, as well as advise and communicate more effectively with their patients

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-H (09))
Program Officer
Hopp, Craig
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Georgetown University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Ahn, Andrew C; Nahin, Richard L; Calabrese, Carlo et al. (2010) Applying principles from complex systems to studying the efficacy of CAM therapies. J Altern Complement Med 16:1015-22
Saunders, Pamela A; Tractenberg, Rochelle E; Chaterji, Ranjana et al. (2007) Promoting self-awareness and reflection through an experiential mind-body skills course for first year medical students. Med Teach 29:778-84
Chaterji, Ranjana; Tractenberg, Rochelle E; Amri, Hakima et al. (2007) A large-sample survey of first- and second-year medical student attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine in the curriculum and in practice. Altern Ther Health Med 13:30-5