Updated Saturday, July 21, 2018
 Journal Tools
RSS Feed
Sample Copy
Submit a Manuscript
Contact Us
Thanking Peer Reviewers
 Language Polishing
Journal of Integrative Medicine: Volume 13, 2015   Issue 6,  Pages: 412–415

DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60206-0
Short Report
Attitudes of medical students toward the practice and teaching of integrative medicine
1. Gerard Flaherty (School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland )
2. Jenny Fitzgibbon (School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland )
3. Peter Cantillon (School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland )


The General Medical Council encourages the integration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) teaching into basic medical education. We wished to explore the attitudes of medical students to CAM and its inclusion in their undergraduate curriculum. Medical students were invited to complete the validated Integrative Medicine Attitude Questionnaire (IMAQ) and to state whether they considered it appropriate for them to learn about CAM in medical school. The questionnaire was completed by 308 students (65.8% response rate). CAM had been received by a majority of respondents and their families. Participants believed that doctors with knowledge of CAM provide better patient care and that it is desirable for physicians to exploit the placebo effect. Most students expressed the view that doctors should be able to answer patients’ questions about herbal medicines. There was a belief that patients should be warned to avoid using supplements which have not undergone rigorous testing. Students who were current or previous users of CAM or whose family members used CAM had higher total IMAQ scores and openness subscale scores than those who did not report use of CAM. Two-hundred and nine (68%) students expressed a desire to study CAM as part of their medical curriculum. This study reveals a positive attitude towards a holistic approach to patient care which embraces CAM. Medical students believe that integrative medicine should be taught in medical school.

Welcome to JIM! You are the number 3684 reader of this article!
Download Article:
[Full Text]      [PDF]      [Previous]      [Next]      [This Issue]
Please cite this article as:
Flaherty G, Fitzgibbon J, Cantillon P. Attitudes of medical students toward the practice and teaching of integrative medicine. J Integr Med. 2015; 13(6): 412–415.
1Kligler B, Maizes V, Schachter S, Park C, Gaudet T, Benn R, Lee R, Remen RN; Education Working Group. Core competencies in integrative medicine for medical school curricula: a proposal[J].Acad Med, 2004, 79(6): 521–531.  
2Zollman C, Vickers AJ, Richardson J. ABC of complementary medicine. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 2009.
3Wolsko P, Ware L, Kutner J, Lin C, Albertson G, Cyran L, Schilling L, Anderson RJ. Alternative/complementary medicine: wider usage than generally appreciated[J].J Altern Complement Med, 2000, 6(4): 321–326.  
4Pearson NJ, Chesney MA. The CAM education program of the national center for complementary and alternative medicine: an overview[J].Acad Med, 2007, 82(10): 921–926.  
5Fox E. Predominance of the curative model of medical care: a residual problem[J].JAMA, 1997, 278(9): 761–763.  
6Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007[J].Natl Health Stat Report, 2008, (12): 1–23.  
7Xue CCL, Zhang AL, Lin V, Da Costa C, Story DF. Complementary and alternative medicine use in Australia: a national population-based survey[J].J Altern Complement Med, 2007, 13(6): 643–650.  
8Kim JH, Lee JB, Lee DC. Validation of the Korean Integrative Medicine Attitude Questionnaire (IMAQ)[J].Korean J Fam Med, 2011, 32(3): 197–204.  
9Schmidt K, Rees C, Greenfield S, Wearn AM, Dennis I, Patil NG, Amri H, Boon H. Multischool, international survey of medical students’ attitudes toward “holism”[J].Acad Med, 2005, 80(10): 955–963.  
10Schneider CD, Meek PM, Bell IR. Development and validation of IMAQ: integrative medicine attitude questionnaire[J].BMC Med Educ, 2003, 3: 5.  
11Gaster B, Unterboen JN, Scott RB, Schneeweiss R. What should students learn about complementary and alternative medicine? Acad Med. 2007; 82(10): 934–938.
12Furnham A, Hanna D, Vincent CA. Medical students’ attitudes to complementary medical therapies[J].Complement Ther Med, 1995, 3(4): 212–219.  
13Greiner KA, Murray JL, Kallail KJ. Medical student interest in alternative medicine[J].J Altern Complement Ther, 2000, 6(3): 231–234.  
14Shankar PR, Subish P, Das B, Dubey AK, Upadhyay DK. Student attitude towards integrative medicine in a medical college in Western Nepal: a questionnaire-based study. JAAIM-Online. 2006; Jun.
15Rees CE, Wearn AM, Dennis I, Amri H, Greenfield SM. Medical students’ attitudes to complementary and alternative medicine: further validation of the IMAQ and findings from an international longitudinal study[J].Med Teach, 2009, 31(2): 125–132.  
16General Medical Council. Tomorrow’s doctors; recommendations on undergraduate medical education. [2015-02-13]. http://www.gmc-uk.org/med_ed/tomdoc.htm.
17Battacharya B. M.D. programs in the United States with complementary and alternative medical education opportunities: an ongoing listing[J].J Altern Complement Med, 2000, 6(1): 77–90.  
18Eisenberg DM. Advising patients who seek alternative medical therapies[J].Ann Intern Med, 1997, 127(1): 61–69.  
 Home | Current Issue | Past Issues | SearchRSS
Copyright © 2013-2018 by JIM Editorial Office. All rights reserved. ISSN 2095-4964; CN 31-2083/R. 沪ICP备110264号