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 integrative medicine content, tools, and techniques, in order to include an expanded view of patients, practitioners, and their relationships; and
  • To design and evaluate educational programs that are cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, 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 professions students, as well as residents and fellows.

In 2002, the Osher Center was awarded a five-year educational grant from the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (then known as NCCAM). This federal support, together with the inspired effort of Dr. Ellen Hughes and her collaborators in medical education, supported the expansion of the integrative medicine curriculum for health professions students to expand dramatically, creating in-depth integrative medicine learning experiences for students, residents, and fellows. The Osher Center has subsequently received a second five-year grant from NIH/NCCIH, which has supported the development of an interprofessional curriculum in integrative medicine for students in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry.

Interprofessional Integrative Medicine Curriculum
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.

Our efforts include:

  • mapping the existing integrative medicine content in UCSF’s health professions schools;
  • developing guidelines, based on a national Delphi survey of integrative medicine experts, for an interprofessional curriculum of core integrative medicine content;
  • designing and implementing components of a multidisciplinary integrative medicine curriculum in a simulated clinical setting; and
  • evaluating the implemented integrative medicine curricular components and their impact on learners.
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