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Teaching alternative therapies

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by etim, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. etim

    etim Junior Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Hi folks---- I was looking through your jobs listings, trying to find a proper spot for mine...below's a copy of my intro that may help explain what I'm up to :

    Hi- I'm a physician (MD) specializing in what's being called integrative or complementary medicine- a mix of mainstream and alternative approaches.

    I'm interested in working with other physicians to train them in a variety of alternative approaches to treating patients, and helping them develop their practice, clinic and staff to handle the increased patient loads.

    This is a new approach in a new (but quickly growing) field; any ideas, aid or suggestions from you folks would be much appreciated!

    Thanks, Tim Simmons MD <A href="mailto:[email protected]"></A>
    <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
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  3. bones

    bones Osteopathic Physician Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    Dr. Simmons

    The field you refer to is far from new, but is only now being accepted by mainstream medicine. You may want to look at Thomas Jefferson University or Dartmouth Medical School. Both of these schools have fledgling integrative medicine programs. TJU tries to hide it a bit actually, so you might have to snoop around a little to get all the info. You might want to check out the program Dr Weil set up at U of Arizona as well. His is mainly geared towards doctors already in their practices however, and is far from comprehensive.

    Many of the high presteige schools such as Harvard have a few electives on integrative medicine, but these are largely just window dressing. If you want to teach how to do it you will need to just test the waters at a few different institutions (or try working through one of the programs I mentioned above).

    Residency would be a good spot for training- especially if you could do it as part of a familiy medicine program. Even better if you could convince a school to work a few classes into their main curriculum.
    Like osteopathy, 'alternative' medicine takes time to learn and should be taught as part of basic sciences to be integrated into practice.

    In general, DO schools teach very little in the way of integrative medicine except what we learn in the way of osteopathic neuromuscular/manipulative medicine (which of course we do get a lot of).

    I do however, think your skills would be valuable to nearly any medical school. Alternative medicine is a HUGE industry, and most doctors don't have a clue how any of it works, or even if any of it does. we cannot give good care to our patients if we don't know the effects of what they've been taking- its just that simple.

    happy hunting,

    KCOM MS1
  4. LovelyRita

    LovelyRita Blade Slinger 10+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2002
    where it's bleeding
    I'll be starting DO school this fall and am also very interested in Integrative Medicine. Are there any internships/clerkships anywhere...particularly in Arizona?
    Thanks and good luck to everyone!
  5. bones

    bones Osteopathic Physician Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    The thing to do is look up doctors with alternative practices and ask to follow them (and use them if possible for your preceptorships). Arizona has an ND school (i.e. naturopathic medicine)- so you might want to try following an ND as well. In AZ ND's are liscenced as primary care physicians, and most have pretty good training. ...just be sure they graduated from one of the four major ND institutions and not some at-home program. See if you can get them to teach you, since you will likely not receive a lot of training through your osteopathic school, and spend the money to buy their texbooks (or at least a naturopathic encyclopedia)- following the books as you do your basic science classes in relevant material. Its a lot of effort, but likely well spent.

    Once you're in your first year, ask around- you wont have to start thinking about rotations until late in first-year, and internships and residencies are way to far away to worry about now. It'll work out. You are in a good area of the country for it.

    good luck,
    KCOM '05

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