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Should medical students be taught alternative medicine?

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2417 (Published 28 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2417

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Re: Should medical students be taught alternative medicine?

Despite increased popularity of the use of alternative medicine, it is not included in medical schools' curricula in many countries. The results of one study reveal that nursing students adopt more positive attitudes than medical students towards alternative medicine therapies and medical students have limited knowledge of alternative medicine modalities. As future physicians, medical students should have sufficient knowledge of and education on complementary and alternative medicine modalities. In India, many physicians use alternative medicine like mecobalamin, alpha lipoic acid, ginkgo biloba, L-methylfolate etc. for various indications. Doctors should review the evidence and rationale with open mind. Medical students should be taught alternative medicine in a manner that they understand the impact of alternative medicine in real world practice. This will be great enabler to scan and understand the rationale and impact of alternative medicine for greater benefit to patients.

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 April 2015
Samiran Adhikari
Doctor
12C Symphony Co Op HSG Soc, Chandivali Farm Road, Sakinaka, Andheri E, Mumbai, 400072