Integrative Medicine in Residency at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine



Results of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine’s 5-year pilot study on Integrative Medicine in Residency (IMR) have just been published in the peer reviewed journal Family Medicine.

Integrative Medicine in Residency: Feasibility and Effectiveness of an Online Program

illustrates the Center’s ability to effectively design, evaluate, and implement this online integrative medicine (IM) curriculum, and its potential to provide this new curriculum to sites with limited faculty expertise in IM.

Residents from eight family medicine programs in seven states participated in the pilot study of the 200-hour IMR curriculum. Residents from four family medicine residencies served as a control group. Of the186 IMR residents enrolled in the pilot study, 77% completed the curriculum. The IMR group showed statistically significantly higher IM medical knowledge scores at residency completion, the control group did not (IMR: 79.2% correct vs. Control: 53.2% correct). The curriculum was highly rated, with 92% of residents indicating learning objectives were met, and 89% rating the content as very useful for clinical practice. In an exit survey, ability to access the curriculum for 1 year (mean rating 4.4 of 5) and intention to utilize IM approaches post-residency (mean rating 4.2 of 5) were the highest ranked survey items.

The demonstrated success of the IMR provides evidence that the Center’s model of a collaborative multi-site, web-based curriculum intervention is a viable approach for primary care residencies with limited on-site faculty expertise to address a variety of new curricular domains.

IMR has grown substantially from the eight original family medicine pilot sites. It is now being used in 80 programs, including internal medicine, pediatrics, preventive medicine, and psychiatry, with 885 alumni and 515 site leaders, IMR faculty and learners.

Additionally, this study:
• Validates the Center’s online training techniques for advanced medical education; and
• Serves as a benchmark for development of new IMR specialties and new IMR sites.

We deeply appreciate the support of the Weil Foundation that helped make this work possible! It is another step that moves IM into the practice of mainstream clinical medicine.

Lebensohn P1, Kligler B, Brooks AJ, Teets R, Birch M, Cook P, Maizes V. Integrative Medicine in Residency: Feasibility and Effectiveness of an Online Program. Fam Med. 2017 Jul;49(7):514-521.

A Message from Dr. Dalen:
The Weil Foundation is proud to have supported the development of the Integrative Medicine in Residency (IMR) program. This program, ten years in the making, began in 8 family practice residencies in the US. It now is an integral part of the training of medical school graduates in 80 different residency programs in the US. This is a giant step in the transformation of health care in the United States.
James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, ScD (hon)
Executive Director, Weil Foundation