Many medical schools are starting to loosen their grip on what they define as medical treatment. More and more of them are starting to offer alternative medicine courses, which includes natural, holistic, and eastern healing modalities as aids to the standard treatments provided today.
Along with the regular biochemistry and anatomy classes offered in medical schools, classes on acupuncture, herbal tinctures, and mindfulness meditation are starting to appear on the syllabus as well.
Medical practitioners have found that many alternative medical practices can add a huge boost to the standard modes of healing they employ and so have urged medical schools to start offering education for these unconventional health modalities.
The term, integrative medicine, refers to the blending of standard medical practices like prescription drugs and surgery with more noninvasive and natural approaches to healing.
Some of these more natural treatments which will be offered in medical schools include:
Doctors who use alternative methods of medical treatments state that they use scientific-based data to figure out which of holistic and natural practices work best for specific conditions and the standard allopathic treatments used to heal them.
Still, many conventional doctors are not so sure on the validity of the scientific data used to determine such integration and so debates continue on how to incorporate alternative forms of medicine and treatment into the medical school system.
Pros and Cons
Those who believe in the benefits of alternative forms of medical treatment say that alternative medical education should most definitely be incorporated into the standard medical curriculum as more patients are already incorporating these treatments and are benefiting a great deal from them.
They add that treatments like pharmaceutical drugs may be beneficial in the short term but their long-term side effects are well documented and that is why holistic measures, which usually take longer to produce their positive effects, can be added without any detriment to the patient’s health.
Critics, however, say that the benefits are unfounded and are not well documented. Therefore, until such proof can be scientifically measured, alternative medical approaches should not be taught in medical schools.
In fact, some of them go as far as to caution aspiring medical students to avoid any schools which offer alternative medicine courses as part of their curriculum stating that until proved otherwise, these approaches are at best a pseudo-science.
The question still remains as to how well alternative medicine can complement standard medical treatments. If more courses are offered within medical colleges to this effect, time will be the best measure of such integration.