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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (4): 296-301.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.04.005

• Medical Education • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The necessity for integrating traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine into medical education curricula in Iran

Mohammad Hossein Ayatia,b , Ata Pourabbasic, Nazli Namazid, Arman Zargaranb,e, Zahra Kheiryf, Amir Hooman Kazemia, Bagher Larijanic   

  1. a. Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417653761, Iran
    b. Department of History of Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417653761, Iran
    c. Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1411413137, Iran
    d. Diabetes Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1411413137, Iran
    e. Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1416753955, Iran
    f. Idea Development and Innovation Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1411413137, Iran
  • Received:2018-06-10 Accepted:2019-03-14 Online:2019-07-06 Published:2019-05-21

Background
The use of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) is increasing in both developed and developing countries. The school of Persian medicine (PM) in Iran is a comprehensive medical school that is rich in history and has its own special principles, elements, philosophy, and diagnostic and treatment options. Many complementary therapy modalities are also popular and in demand among patients and physicians. The aim of this paper is to provide logic for the policymakers in Iranian medical education to make changes in medical education curricula, particularly on integrating T&CM.

Methods
We reviewed the global experience in teaching T&CM to medical students, and highlighting the strengths of PM, described why it is necessary to integrate T&CM into general medicine curricula in Iran.

Results
PM is a traditional system of medicine that dates back about 7000?years. Although there are few studies about the safety and effectiveness of PM, research into it has recently been accelerated. There is a suitable opportunity for integrating T&CM with conventional medicine. Physicians should be familiar with T&CM to avoid any contraindications, interactions, and unwanted effects.

Conclusion
Traditional medicine is part of Iran’s heritage and, thus, needs special attention. Familiarization of physicians with T&CM can help them choose the best treatment options for their patients. To integrate T&CM into the medical education curricula of Iran, a two-credit course has been proposed for implementation across the country.

Key words: Integrative medicine, Traditional medicine, Complementary medicine, Medical education curriculum

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