Integrative Medicine in the Training of Physicians

Publication University of California, San Francisco

UCSF Osher Center director, Dr. Shelley Adler, is an author with Aviad Haramati and Ben Kligler of the chapter on Integrative medicine in the training of physicians in A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers, 2017 Fifth Edition.


Graduating physicians need to be knowledgeable about complementary and integrative medical practices so they can advise their patients about the judicious use of these therapies to improve health and healing.

Most medical schools include aspects of complementary and integrative medicine in the curriculum to achieve learning outcomes in knowledge acquisition and clinical skills building about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and innovative institutions are including experiential mind-body medicine sessions to foster self-awareness and self-care of the students and faculty.

The incorporation of integrative medicine in clinical training can be synergized with other elements such as interprofessional education and cultural competency to create robust clinical skills examinations.

Integrative medicine is becoming an important component of the curriculum in residency training programs focusing on primary care, and fellowship training is evolving the field into a sub-specialty designation.