Medical students want CAM – world wide

Medical students want CAM education as part of their medical courses. This was stated by The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) in March 2010 in Bangkok, at the 59th general assembly. IFMSA represents 1.2 million medical students from 92 nations.

A significant number of surveys of students regarding CAM education in their medical curriculum have been conducted and they have found that a clear majority would like it to be implemented.

Quote from the IFMSA Policy Statement:

The use of complementary and alternative medicines is increasing around the world. To prepare students to deal with patients in the future, medical faculties should include CAM education as part of their medical course.

Currently very few medical faculties provide courses on CAM, resulting in physicians being unable to counsel patients on the efficacy or safety of these therapies. This problem is recognized by medical students all over the world and there is a will to change this. A significant number of surveys of students regarding CAM education in their medical curriculum have been conducted and they have found that a clear majority would like it to be implemented.

As such, the IFMSA affirms its stance that:
1.1.    Universities should include CAM education as part of their medical course and this should:
1.1.1.    incorporate a basic understanding of the philosophies and practices behind the most frequently used CAM; and
1.1.2.    be taught by people with appropriate experience with CAM in order to provide a greater awareness of the philosophies and practices of CAM.
1.2.    Research in the field of CAM-therapies must be increased to ensure the risks and benefits of these treatments can be ascertained.
1.3.    Mutual awareness and respect between CAM and conventional medicine practitioners is an important step towards better patient care.

Read more at www.ifmsa.org

European CAM research road map

More than 100 million citizens in the EU are regular users of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), but there is a significant lack of funding and scientific co-operation in this area compared to conventional medicine.

Now, for the benefit of the citizens’ health and safety, a European co-operation project will create an EU wide “road map” that encompasses the preconditions for future research within Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Europe. The project called „CAMbrella” will receive about  € 1.5 million over 3 years, and the kick-off was in January 2010.

“Our objective is to build a network of European research institutes in complementary medicine, fostering international cooperation. CAMbrella’s 8 working groups will focus on terminology, legal regulation, patients’ needs, the role of CAM treatments in healthcare systems, and research methodology” says project coordinator  Dr. Wolfgang Weidenhammer, Centre of Naturheilkunde, Technische Universität, Munich, Germany.

“We will develop a comprehensive understanding of the current status of CAM in Europe, which will serve as a starting point for future research activities”.

The research group consists of 16 scientific partner organisations from 12 European countries.  The project is supported by an Advisory Board, which consists of members of the relevant stakeholder organisations including patients, practitioners, providers and consumers.

“In 2008, the European Commission for the first time announced a sponsorship in the field of complementary medicine – in the context of the 7th Framework Programme . The funding of CAMbrella crowns the efforts of numerous European initiatives and organisations for getting complementary medicine into an European focus” says Dr. Weidenhammer.

www.cambrella.eu
For further information, please contact:
Dr.Bettina Reiter, Akademie für Ganzheitsmedizin,
reiter@gamed.or.at

Mapping Integrated Medicine Centres

Dr. Jennifer Hunter of the National Institute for Complementary Medicine in
Australia is in the process of mapping out initiatives to establish Integrated
Medicine Centres all around the world. Could those of you with an interest
in this field and active in establishing such centres please contact Jennifer Hunter
signaling willingness to give more information? This would be much appreciated.

Jennifer’s contact: drjen@drjenniferhunter.com