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Bringing Holism into Mainstream Biomedical Education
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2004
Pages: 405 - 407
Source ID: shanti-sources-109511
Abstract: Introducing holism and complementary medicine into mainstream medical education provides many scientific, philosophical, and personal challenges. The growth of new knowledge always necessitates venturing into areas, which are, by definition, unknown, hence arise potential clashes of ideology, knowledge, evidence, interpretation, language, and personality. This paper outlines some of the experience and progress made at Monash University Victoria, Australia, in teaching this material in undergraduate medical education. The Monash medical course has always been known for its commitment to an integrated curriculum, a holistic perspective, and the personal development of its students. Some of the points of integration in the core curriculum already achieved include health enhancement and mindfulness-based stress management programs right from first year, lectures and forums on complementary medicine, integration of this material into weekly case-based teaching, and health promotion and mind–body medicine. For very interested students, electives provide an opportunity to explore subjects in more depth. Experience has taught us that it is as important to learn how to deliver the message as it is to refine its content. This presents challenges that are as much personal as they are intellectual. Areas of particular importance are the academic environment, language, diplomacy, style, relevance, and evidence. In this process, building relationships, collegiality, patience, objectivity, impartiality, and humor are helpful.