CATEGORY . Med, Nursing Schools Teaching Alternative Remedies : (MARILYNN MARCHIONE | Posted 03.18.2010) The government has spent more than $22 million to help medical and nursing schools start teaching about alternative medicine lesson plans that some critics say are biased toward unproven remedies. Additional tax money has been spent to recruit and train young doctors to do research in this field, launching some into careers as alternative medicine providers. Doctors need to know about popular remedies so they can discuss them nonjudgmentally and give competent advice, the government says, and many universities and medical groups agree. "Patients are using these things" whether doctors think they should or should not..... The field got a boost 10 years ago, with creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It made merging alternative and mainstream medicine "a central and overarching goal" and gave $22.5 million to 12 medical schools, two nursing schools and the American Medical Student Association to develop curriculum plans. Kreitzer's and Sierpina's universities got grants, and both are active in the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine 42 centers involved in researching or advocating for complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. However, a review of some of those teaching plans by Drs. Donald Marcus and Laurence McCullough of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston concludes that they are "strongly biased in favor of CAM," cite poor-quality research, and were not updated after better studies revealed a therapy did not work. The review is in the September issue of the journal Academic Medicine. The section on herbals in the Medical Student Association's plan was written by the head of the American Botanical Council, an industry-supported research and education group, the article says. Sierpina, the head of the medical school consortium, said the purpose of these lesson plans is not propaganda. "We are not trying to make students CAM practitioners," but to train them to be "sensitive to where people come from, their folk medicine, their home remedies," he said. Just as there are true believers who ignore evidence that something doesn't work, there are true doubters who are guilty of "arrogant thinking that we've got it all figured out," Sierpina said. Dr. Mehmet Oz agreed. The Columbia University heart surgeon and frequent Oprah Winfrey guest, now with his own TV show, has long shown an open mind toward complementary and alternative medicine. "Medicine is very provincial. We grow up thinking the way others have taught us to think. We are naturally biased. It is imperative that we look at what alternative cultures offer us, that we at least are fair in our skepticism of their impact." Otherwise, "we run a risk of locking out newcomers" with fresh ideas, he said. See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . The Institute for Functional Medicine : Board of Directors Hyman, Mark, MD, Chairman, IFM Board of Directors, Editor-in-Chief, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Lenox, MA See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . Med, Nursing Schools Teaching Alternative Remedies : (MARILYNN MARCHIONE | Posted 03.18.2010)

 

The government has spent more than $22 million to help medical and nursing schools start teaching about alternative medicine lesson plans that some critics say are biased toward unproven remedies. Additional tax money has been spent to recruit and train young doctors to do research in this field, launching some into careers as alternative medicine providers....

 

The field got a boost 10 years ago, with creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It made merging alternative and mainstream medicine 'a central and overarching goal' and gave $22.5 million to 12 medical schools, two nursing schools and the American Medical Student Association to develop curriculum plans.

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz agreed. The Columbia University heart surgeon and frequent Oprah Winfrey guest, now with his own TV show, has long shown an open mind toward complementary and alternative medicine. "Medicine is very provincial. We grow up thinking the way others have taught us to think. We are naturally biased. It is imperative that we look at what alternative cultures offer us, that we at least are fair in our skepticism of their impact." Otherwise, "we run a risk of locking out newcomers" with fresh ideas, he said."