Integrative Medicine Fellowship

Doctors discussing chartThe objective of the Integrative Medicine fellowship is not to train conventional practitioners to fully practice a CAM discipline. It is, rather, to create a practitioner who is knowledgeable enough about integrative care to function as a skilled guide/adviser to the patient and a collaborative member of multidisciplinary and integrative patient care teams - one who can work effectively with both CAM and conventional practitioners.

The fellowship provides a year's intensive exploration of clinical, educational and research activities related to integrative medicine for MDs or DOs who have satisfactorily completed their residency training. Although fellowship candidates need not be experienced in integrative medicine, they must have shown a recent documentable interest in the field (courses taken, conferences attended, self-paced learning, clinical experiences, etc.).

Fellows will average two days a week in clinical care at integrative clinics, two days in educational pursuits related to integrative medicine, and one day on research in integrative medicine. With the approval of the program director, this schedule can be revised to meet a fellow's individual educational goals.

Fellows will contribute to the continuous quality improvement of the program by helping to build a library of case studies and teaching materials, by performing research, and by giving feedback on the program itself at the end of their fellowship year.

Fellowship Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the fellowship, participants should be able to:

  • Practice integrative medicine, either in an academic setting or in private practice
  • Conduct research in integrative medicine to advance the evidence base
  • Train students and colleagues in the basic principles and practices of integrative medicine

Clinical Learning Objectives

  • Develop the skills necessary for effective participation on a chronic care team with a variety of practitioners; collaboration, relationship building, co-management, consultation and referral skills are emphasized
  • Understand and apply the basic principles of whole-person care, including doctor-patient relationship-building, patient-centered focus, and comprehensive initial assessment, treatment planning, and follow-up, using a variety of approaches
  • Help patients identify lifelong preventive strategies individualized to their own lifestyle, genetic vulnerabilities and current health status
  • Develop skills in the use of laboratory tests that help to identify dietary and nutritional deficiencies and insufficiencies, including genetic testing to clarify the relative contributions of genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices to the development of disease
  • Understand and apply basic knowledge and skills in the use of dietary and nutritional therapeutics, including identifying the most critical indications and contraindications for their use
  • Understand and apply basic knowledge and skills in the use of common botanical medicines, including identifying the most critical indications and contraindications for their use
  • Identify the most common drug-nutrient and drug-herb interactions that an integrative practitioner should be aware of
  • Gain an understanding of the benefits, indications and contraindications of exercise therapy, manipulation, massage, acupuncture, meditation and other such techniques
  • Summarize and present patient information to the program director and the integrative care team for feedback and consultation

Research Learning Objectives

  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence base in CAM and integrative medicine
  • Describe issues of methodology that must be addressed to research clinical outcomes in integrative medicine and apply that knowledge to planning and executing a specific research project
  • Conduct original research and write a report suitable for publication
  • Select at least four journals that regularly publish credible research in CAM and integrative medicine; read these journals regularly throughout the year, integrating knowledge gained with clinical skills
  • Evaluate and report on research findings in a particular area of integrative medicine for a professional audience
  • Research patient cases to evaluate the appropriate applications of CAM and integrative medicine; contribute case write-ups to help develop a library of teaching cases

Didactic Education

  • Explore emerging and high-profile issues in integrated care through participation in high-level professional courses, conferences, seminars or workshops; formally report on at least one of these experiences to an academic audience and informally report to the integrative care team on knowledge gained from each activity
  • Develop a network of professional colleagues in integrative medicine research, clinical care, and teaching through attendance at live events
  • Participate in teaching medical students who elect to take the university's undergraduate course in integrative medicine
  • Present at least three clinical cases at a Grand Rounds (or for a comparable professional audience) during the year

Self-paced Education

  • Develop a broad understanding of the current state of education and practice in the most common CAM disciplines (acupuncture and oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, nutrition, massage, midwifery) and therapies (botanical medicine, yoga, meditation, nutraceuticals). Know how to identify a qualified practitioner for referral and/or co-management
  • Develop familiarity with the CAM/IM research literature, and use it to stay abreast of emerging findings in the efficacy and appropriate use of various CAM or integrative therapeutics
  • Learn to use reliable reference tools for exploring potential CAM and integrative therapeutics

Last modified: Oct 24, 2013
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