Integrative Medicine Residency Program Flourishes

UA News reports that “faculty at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and their collaborators successfully demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of an online approach to train more family medicine residents in integrative medicine.”

The American Board of Physician Specialties defines integrative medicine as “the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.”

Dr. Patricia Lebensohn, professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UA College of Medicine-Tucson, directed the development of an Integrative Medicine in Residency program, a robust, online curriculum with the aim of establishing integrative medicine as a routine part of family medicine residency education throughout the country.

An in-depth evaluation of the project and its results was published in the July-August 2017 issue of the journal Family Medicine.

The study tested a 200-hour online curriculum, at eight sites offering integrative medicine residencies across the United States. Study subjects included 186 family medicine residents who participated in the IMR and 53 residents in other programs without integrative medicine training who served as controls.

Of the 186 IMR residents, 77 percent completed the program and tested significantly higher in their medical knowledge of integrative medicine than the control residents.

“I am pleased with the results of the residents’ evaluation of the high clinical utility of the curriculum and the ease of navigating the online delivery,” says Lebensohn. “Most of the residents in an exit survey stated that they intend to utilize integrative medicine approaches in their future practice of family medicine.”

For more information on the program, visit https://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu.

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