Thursday, January 21, 2010

Med Students Say Conventional Medicine Would Benefit by Integrating Alternative Therapies

The findings of a new study published January 20, 2010, in the online issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that three-quarters of medical students asked felt that conventional, Western medicine would benefit from integrating more CAM therapies and ideas.

This study is reportedly the largest national survey of its kind. Researchers from UCLA and UC San Diego, including experts in the fields of CAM, integrative medicine, Western medicine, medical education, and survey development, assessed their results based on 1,770 surveys.

Though researchers found that medical students supported the importance of CAM and alternative medicine, some obstacles that could prevent future doctors from recommending these treatments were also identified. According to the findings (as reported on esciencenews):
  • 77 percent of participants agreed to some extent that patients whose doctors know about complementary and alternative medicine in addition to conventional medicine, benefit more than those whose doctors are only familiar with Western medicine.
  • 74 percent of participants agreed to some extent that a system of medicine that integrates therapies of conventional and complementary and alternative medicine would be more effective than either type of medicine provided independently.
  • 84 percent of participants agreed to some extent that the field contains beliefs, ideas, and therapies from which conventional medicine could benefit.
  • 49 percent of participating medical students indicated that they have used complementary and alternative treatments however few would recommend or use these treatments in their practice until more scientific assessment has occurred.
To read the full-length article with commentary from the researchers involved, visit:

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