179147 Helping medical schools prioritize CAM training and support: Lessons from the evaluation of a national initiative for curricula-change

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:50 PM

Joan Hedgecock, MSPH , American Medical Student Association Foundation, Reston, VA
Stergios Roussos, PhD, MPH , ACRD/CBEACH, Merced, CA
Steve Turner, MSIV , American Medical Student Association Foundation, Reston, VA
Dave Rakel, MD , Dept. of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, WI
M. Caitlin Phelps, MA , American Medical Student Association Foundation, Reston, VA
Wendy Kohatsu, MD , Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Aaron Nisley , Alliance for Community Research and Development, Merced, CA
Desiree Lie, MD , Family Medicine, UCI Medical Center, Orange, CA
Mary Guerrera, MD , Family Medicine, University of Connecticut SOM, Hartford, CT
Emily Ferrara, MA , Preventive Medicine, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA
Gautam Desai, DO , Family Medicine, KCUMB, Kansas City, MO
Bryan Bayles, PhD , University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Center for Integrative Health, San Antonio, TX
Henri Roca, MD , Family Medicine, LSU, New Orleans, LA
US medical schools are preparing future physicians for the implications and applications of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patient care. Educators are confronted with diverse curricula options and limited evidence to guide selection of content and methods of CAM education. A NIH-supported collaboration of schools and a national medical student association was established to develop, promote, and disseminate CAM education curricula and programs at allopathic and osteopathic medical institutions. The Collaborative developed and implemented a brief student survey to help participating schools understand and facilitate changes on their campus. Social marketing principles and lessons from similar medical school CAM assessments were used to develop a 45-item, 10-minute survey. The survey included quantitative and qualitative variables that were validated through the Collaborative's expert-panel advisory board and student pilot testing. Students responded through Internet and classroom versions of the survey to report on their experiences, preferences and recommendations for curricula topics and factors that may support CAM integration into medical education. Annual cross-sectional surveys were conduced with students in years 1 thru 4 from 2004 through 2007. Response rates varied from 19% to 96% (N=105 through 664). CAM use (of any type) ranged from 39% to 91% across years. Curricula topics rated as highest priority across years were how to advise patients about CAM risks/benefits and how to critique lay and academic evidence on CAM effectiveness. Findings illustrate how medical schools can use a practical survey approach to inform CAM curricula decisions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a practical method used by medical schools to understand student experiences and recommendations in order to inform decisions about CAM curricula and support 2. Articulate ways to use student survey data to anticipate challenges and plan for ways to incorporate CAM education into medical school curricula

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Curricula

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered