The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine defines integrative medicine as "the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing." Over the past three decades, the U.S. public increasingly has sought integrative medicine approaches. In an effort to train medical professionals to adequately counsel patients on the safe and appropriate use of these approaches, medical schools and residencies have developed curricula on integrative medicine for their trainees. In addition, integrative medicine clinical fellowships for postresidency physicians have emerged to provide training for practitioners interested in gaining greater expertise in this emerging field. Currently, 13 clinical fellowships in integrative medicine exist in the United States, and they are predominantly connected to academic medical centers or teaching affiliate hospitals. In 2010, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, represented by 56 member academic health care institutions with a shared commitment to advance the principles and practices of integrative medicine, convened a two-year task force to draft integrative medicine fellowship core competencies. These competencies would guide fellowship curriculum development and ensure that graduates possessed a common body of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. In this article, the authors discuss the competencies and the task force's process to develop them, as well as associated teaching and assessment methods, faculty development, potential barriers, and future directions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas