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Alternative Medicine Taking Hold In Traditional Settings

With the deluge of baby boomers turning away from conventional medicine -- promising potentially toxic cures in the form of a pill -- I was pleased but not so surprised to learn training in alternative treatments is finding its way into traditional medical schools.

In fact, the University of Pennsylvania is collaborating with the Tai Sophia Institute, an alternative medical school in suburban Washington D.C., to develop a curriculum to teach medical students about a wide range of natural treatments, some of which I've written about here, including herbal therapies, acupuncture and meditation.

As a result, Tai Sophia will offer a master's degree program in complementary and alternative medicine starting in August, and both schools will share faculty members and students.

Penn isn't the only university teaching alternatives to conventional medicine. More than 75 percent of America's 125 medical schools require some kind of complementary and alternative medicine coursework, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

A quote from a doctor and coordinator of this new program really warmed my heart: If you had raised this 10 years ago everyone would have sneered at it. Today, we're moving away from being completely focused on preventing disease and toward looking at what it takes to (achieve and maintain) wellness. I think patient care will improve enormously.

Just another glimpse of my vision at work to change the conventional health care paradigm.

Yahoo News June 5, 2005

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