The goal of the UCSF Osher Center Education Program is to enhance health and well being for all people, including patients and practitioners, through teaching, curriculum development, mentoring, leadership, and educational research in integrative medicine. Our learners include current and future practitioners, researchers, and health professions educators.

The core aims of the UCSF Osher Center Education Program are:

  • To create educational resources that underscore the variety of medical systems, as well as the diversity of needs of patients and practitioners
  • To enhance educational opportunities that go beyond complementary and alternative medicine content, tools, and techniques, in order to include an expanded view of patients, practitioners, and their relationships
  • To design and evaluate educational programs that are cross-cultural, inter-disciplinary, and evidence-based, and that address integrative medicine at both the individual and societal levels.

UCSF is a leader in both required and elective curricula in integrative medicine for health professional students, as well as residents and fellows.

In July 2002, a five-year educational grant from the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine was awarded to the Osher Center. This federal support, together with the inspired effort of Dr. Ellen Hughes and her collaborators in medical education, allowed the CAM curricula for health professional students to expand dramatically, creating in-depth integrative medicine learning experiences for students, residents, and fellows. Today, a second five-year grant from NIH/NCCAM supports the development of an inter-professional curriculum in integrative medicine for students in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry.

Creating an Inter-Professional Curriculum in Integrative Medicine
An increasing number of academic health institutions are committed to integrative medicine principles, including partnership between patient and practitioner; collaborative, interprofessional health care; and promotion of health and the prevention of illness. Using integrative medicine principles to educate and engage interprofessional learners enables individuals to work together more effectively; share problem-solving and decision-making tasks; and integrate disparate knowledge structures into a single action plan. Both integrative medicine education and interprofessional education seek to bring diverse professionals together in collaborative teams—and the synergy of these principles and strategies has the potential to improve patient-centered and team-based care.

The objective of this five-year project is to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate a multidisciplinary, interprofessional curriculum in integrative medicine and focuses on learners in UCSF’s four health professional schools: medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry.

Our aims are to:

  1. map the existing integrative medicine content in UCSF’s health professional schools;
  2. develop guidelines, based on a national Delphi survey of integrative medicine experts, for an inter-professional curriculum of core integrative medicine content;
  3. design and implement components of a multidisciplinary integrative medicine curriculum in a simulated clinical setting; and
  4. evaluate the implemented integrative medicine curricular components and their impact on learners.
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