Required Curriculum

The Essential Core curriculum at UCSF School of Medicine includes case-based learning, independent learning, and collaborative small group learning. These interdisciplinary block courses weave together basic, clinical, and social sciences. Clinical cases are used throughout to contextualize content and to increase retention and transfer learning. Students may supplement the Essential Core with elective courses: in addition to the required integrative medicine curriculum, students may take one of several Integrative Medicine electives.

Integrative Medicine Component Curricular Block Medical Student Group
Biopsychosocial and Cultural Issues in Action: Mr. Danovic Outpatient Case and Review Prologue, Problem-based Learning Case 1st-year
Gathering the Medical History Lecture Prologue 1st-year
The Medical Interview Foundations of Patient Care 1st-year
Psychology of Obesity: Etiology, Consequences and Management Metabolism and Nutrition Block 1st-year
Defining the Mind and Minding the Brain Brain Mind Behavior Block 1st-year
Placebo Lecture Brain Mind Behavior Block 1st-year
Positive Psychology: Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Mental Illness Brain Mind Behavior Block 1st-year
Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine Mechanisms, Methods, and Malignancies Block 2nd-year
CAM and the Clinical Encounter Mechanisms, Methods, and Malignancies Block 2nd-year

Biopsychosocial and Cultural Issues in Action:
Mr. Danovic Outpatient Case and Review

Prologue, Problem-based Learning Case; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the biopsychosocial model by taking behavioral, cultural, and social factors into consideration when providing long term care for Mr. Danovic.
  • Describe how “health-related behaviors and behavior change” might affect Mr. Danovic’s prognosis and how general behavior change principles could be integrated into long term treatment.
  • Describe how “social and cultural issues in health and healthcare” might affect Mr. Danovic’s prognosis and how these factors could be addressed to improve his long-term care.

Gathering the Medical History Lecture 

Prologue; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Define the components of the medical history
  • Describe interviewing strategies for eliciting information for the components of the medical history, including CAM

The Medical Interview

Foundations of Patient Care; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Define the components of the medical history
  • Discuss clinical reasoning and the use of elicited data
  • Understand the importance of eliciting the patients explanatory model of illness and stressors
  • Develop ways to elicit patient emotions, past medical history and use of CAM

Psychology of Obesity: Etiology, Consequences and Management

Metabolism and Nutrition Block; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Compare and contrast an individual differences (personal responsibility) perspective with a public health perspective in explaining the obesity epidemic. What are the causal factors for obesity, from each perspective?
  • Explain why low social status, major depressive disorder, and chronic stress all increase risk for Metabolic Syndrome. Discuss both direct (physiological) and indirect (behavioral) pathways.
  • Identify psychological and social consequences of obesity.
  • Describe the psychosocial and behavioral components that are important to include in an assessment of a patient before a weight loss attempt.
  • Describe components that are important for promoting behavior change once treatment has started.

Defining the Mind and Minding the Brain

Brain Mind Behavior Block; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Begin to answer the following questions: What is the relationship between the brain and the mind? Why do we continue to think of brain and mind as separate entities? How do we even begin to define “the mind”?

Placebo Lecture

Brain Mind Behavior Block; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Know the difference between placebo response and natural history. How is it that these two processes can be confused?
  • Understand the contribution of conditioning and expectation to improvement following placebo
  • Understand how endogenous opioids contribute to placebo analgesia.
  • Know that conditioning and expectation can also reduce the effectiveness of active analgesic medications.

Positive Psychology:
Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Mental Illness

Brain Mind Behavior Block; 1st-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Compare and contrast the “disease model” and the “health and wellness model” of human functioning.
  • Compare and contrast “mental health” and “mental illness.” Discuss the role of medicine in promoting mental health.
  • Identify two ways in which a negative or even traumatic life event can ultimately promote positive growth and adaptive change.
  • Name two predictors of resilience and identify two ways in which a negative or even traumatic life event can ultimately promote positive growth and adaptive change.

Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine

Mechanisms, Methods, and Malignancies Block; 2nd-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Define complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine.  Describe who uses complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), why they use it, and the reasons that most patients don’t discuss their use with their physician.
  • Describe how herbal medicines are regulated and the implications this has for consumers.
  • Describe evidence for efficacy and safety for three popular herbs: St. John’s wort, kava, and gingko.
  • Describe what a cancer patient might experience during a clinic visit to a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.  Compare the underlying philosophy (model of health and illness), primary methods of diagnosis, and treatment modalities used by this system of healing.
  • Develop strategies for working collaboratively with a complementary, alternative, or integrative medicine practitioner.

CAM and the Clinical Encounter

Mechanisms, Methods, and Malignancies Block; 2nd-year Medical Students

Objectives

  • Identify and assess the quality of a variety of complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine information resources, including databases, printed materials, and Internet-based options.
  • Synthesize information from these resources to answer questions about alternative medicine asked by a patient in one of three clinical scenarios.
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