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Curriculum Development

The following is from a document on Integrative Medicine Curriculum Development which we used at Family Medicine of Southwest Washington in Vancouver Washington. I borrowed liberally from other programs, including the University of Arizona, University of Michigan and others. Please feel free to add your program's strategies to this page.

Reference Documents:

A nice article on Core Competencies in Integrative Medicine for Medical School Curricula can be found HERE.

Also see Competencies for Family Medicine Residents


Residents must have attitudes of openness and skills of communication that facilitate respectful conversation with patients interested in/seeking out care modalities complementary to standard allopathic care, as well as to work with health care professionals from other disciplines.

Residents must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care. This involves integration of lifestyle recommendations, awareness of and tools to address mind-body influences on health and illness, and use of all tools at our disposal, including nutritional, herbal and other complementary modalities as well as standard allopathic surgery and pharmaceuticals, so as to facilitate the development of patient-centered care plans to achieve the best results for patients.

Residents must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate the evidence base for the use of integrative modalities in their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and lifelong learning.


IFM (Integrative family medicine) competencies: ACGME Core Competencies
Practices self-care X X
Demonstrates self-awareness X X
Use patient-centered care techniques X X
Use communication skills that enhance the physician/patient relationship X
Facilitate lifestyle changes in patients X
Knows how to refer appropriately to CAM practitioners X X
Practices constructively and collaboratively with other health team members X X
Assess scientific and historical evidence for allopathic as well as CAM approaches to specific diseases and syndromes X X
Integrate mind-body recommendations into practice appropriately X X
Integrate botanical recommendations into practice appropriately X X
Integrate nutrition recommendations into practice appropriately X X
Integrate physical activity recommendations into practice appropriately X X
Counsel and support patients regarding spirituality X X
Compose and administer individualized integrative medicine treatment plans X
Positively impact their organization and/or environment (local, regional and/or national) with regard to Integrative Medicine (which might translate into consulting, teaching, advocacy) X X X

ACGME Core competencies
PC Patient Care
MK Medical Knowledge
PBL Practice-based learning
IPC Interpersonal and Communication Skills
P Professionalism
SBP System-based Practice

Specific activities:


Integrative medicine lecture series

General approach (rules of tacks, matrix, etc.),