Research: CARLSTON and colleagues,

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CARLSTON and colleagues, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA. write that the use of therapies outside of mainstream Western medicine, known as complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) is rapidly increasing in the United States. They write that despite evidence of physician interest and willingness to refer to CAM provides, there is presently little information regarding medical education in complementary practices . The authors conducted a survey to assess the frequency and nature of alternative medicine instruction within US medical schools and family practice residency programmes. METHODS: A 16-question survey was mailed to all US medical school family medicine department chairmen and non-university-based family practice residency programme directors regarding current instruction in alternative medicine, planned instruction and programmes being considered. RESULTS: The response rate was 78% about 30% of all respondents currently teaching, 6% starting to teach and 6.3% considering teaching some form of alternative medicine. CAM instruction was most common in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain regions, and is predominantly elective (72.2%), although content and teaching methods vary widely. CONCLUSIONS: Alternative medicine is starting to establish a presence in US medical schools and family practice residency programmes, with subjects varying widely in content and format.






Carlston M et al. Alternative medicine instruction in medical schools and family practice residency programs. Fam Med 29(8): 559-62. Sep 1997.

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