Georgetown receives $1.7 million NIH grant to add complementary and alternative medicine to curriculum

(Washington, DC)Georgetown University has received a five-year, $1.7 million NIH grant to develop and implement a comprehensive, innovative program that incorporates complementary and alternative medicine (also known as CAM) into the School of Medicine curriculum.

The overarching goal of the projectone of only a few of its kind nationwideis to integrate CAM throughout the four-year medical school curriculum, so that the Schools future physicians will have an enhanced understanding of CAM as well as the ability to effectively communicate about CAM practices with future patients. In addition to imparting knowledge, another aim of the initiative is to increase students understanding of self-awareness and self-care.

This program really is about training a new kind of physician, said Aviad Haramati, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, and the principal investigator of this project. Were introducing a new paradigm of medical education that integrates CAM philosophies into conventional approaches to healthcare.

While many of the nations 125 accredited schools of medicine offer CAM courses or electives, Georgetowns curricular changes will be further-reaching and more comprehensive in several unique ways.

First, whereas CAM programs at many other schools typically consist of optional elective courses that are open to relatively few students, at Georgetown, information about CAM practices will be integrated into basic science courses that are required of every medical student. Additionally, CAM education will be incorporated into courses that span the entire four years of a students medical education.

After this program is implemented, every Georgetown University Medical School graduate will leave here with some understanding of the basic philosophies and principals of CAM, said Haramati. However, he also emphasized that the goal of this program is not to turn our medical students into CAM experts or practitioners. Rathe

Contact: Amy DeMaria
Georgetown University Medical Center

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