Course curriculum,Education,Integrative medicine,Medical students," /> Course curriculum,Education,Integrative medicine,Medical students,"/> Incorporation of integrative medicine education into undergraduate medical education: A longitudinal study
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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2017, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (6): 442-449.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60367-4

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Incorporation of integrative medicine education into undergraduate medical education: A longitudinal study

Saswati Mahapatraa, Anjali Bhagraa, Bisrat Fekadub, Zhuo Lic, Brent A. Bauera, Dietlind L. Wahner-Roedlera   

  1. a Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA;
    b Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA;
    c Biostatistics Unit, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA
  • Received:2017-01-24 Accepted:2017-03-29 Online:2017-11-15 Published:2017-11-15
  • Contact: Dietlind L. Wahner-Roedler, MD; E-mail:


Integrative medicine (IM) combines complementary medical approaches into conventional medicine and considers the whole person. We implemented a longitudinal IM short-course curriculum into our medical school education. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the curriculum via knowledge and attitude surveys regarding IM among students.


A mandatory short IM curriculum across all years of medical school was created and taught by IM professionals and physician faculty members with expertise in integrative therapies. Graduating classes of 2015 and 2016 completed the same survey in their first and third years of medical school. Paired data analysis was done, and only students who completed surveys at both time points were included in final analyses.


Of 52 students in each class, 17 (33%) in the class of 2015 and 22 (42%) in the class of 2016 completed both surveys. After the IM curriculum, students' knowledge of and comfort with several IM therapies-biofeedback, mindfulness, and the use of St. John's wort-improved significantly. Students' personal health practices also improved, including better sleep, exercise, and stress management for the class of 2015. Students graduating in 2016 reported decreased alcohol use in their third year compared with their first year.


It is feasible to incorporate IM education into undergraduate medical education, and this is associated with improvement in students' knowledge of IM and personal health practices.

Key words: Course curriculum, Education, Integrative medicine, Medical students

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