Author(s): Greiner KA, Murray JL, Kallail KJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND OBJECTIVES: An increasing sector of the American population is seeking health services from alternative practitioners and using alternative therapies. This study investigated whether medical students perceived that information on alternative therapies would be useful to them as future practicing physicians. METHODS: A one-page anonymous questionnaire was distributed to the entire first-year medical class of a large, public, Midwestern medical school during their first semester. They responded to a series of five statements concerning alternative medicine and medical school coverage of this topic. RESULTS: The majority (84\%) of students reported that knowledge about alternative medical therapies would be important to them as future physicians. The respondents wanted to learn about alternative therapies while in medical school (72\%), but very few thought they would receive adequate exposure to this topic (6\%). The majority also reported that direct observation of alternative practitioners would be the best method of instruction in this area (58\%). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that medical students are interested in learning about alternative medical therapies and they perceive this knowledge will be important to them as physicians. As medical schools undertake various curriculum reforms they should be aware of rising student interest in alternative medical therapies.
This article was published in J Altern Complement Med
and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development