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J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Nov;13(9):1021-33.

Response to a proposal for an integrative medicine curriculum.



A paper entitled "Core Competencies in Integrative Medicine for Medical School Curricula: A proposal," published in Academic Medicine, stimulated a broad discussion among complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) educators. This discussion led to a formal process for responding to the issues raised by the paper.


Representatives from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) and the Oregon Collaborative for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (OCCIM) formed the ACCAHC/OCCIM Task Force to participate in a Delphi process of consultation and deliberation. This process led to a broad, cross-discipline agreement on important points to include in a response to the integrative medicine (IM) curriculum proposal.


Five key areas of concern emerged: (1) the definition of IM as presented in the paper; (2) lack of clarity about the goals of the proposed IM curriculum; (3) lack of recognition of the breadth of whole systems of health care; (4) omission of competencies related to collaboration between MDs and CAM professionals in patient care; and (5) omission of potential areas of partnership in IM education.


A major overall theme emerging from the Delphi process was a desire for closer collaboration between conventional medical schools and CAM academic institutions in developing IM curricula. Several cross-disciplinary venues for addressing the Delphi Task Force themes include the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's R-25 Initiatives, and the National Education Dialogue. OCCIM is presented as an example of a successful lateral integration approach.

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