The Evolution of Integrative Medical Education: the Influence of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

AW and VM 2 001For more than twenty years The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine has been leading the field of Integrative Medical Education. I was delighted that the Journal of Integrative Medicine published a new article written by Center directors Drs. Victoria Maizes, Randy Horwitz, Hilary McClafferty, Patricia Lebensohn, Jim Dalen, and Andrew Weil entitled: The Evolution of Integrative Medical Education: the Influence of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in their November 2015 issue.

In 1994, the University of Arizona College of Medicine embarked on an experiment in medical education. The Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. James Dalen, authorized Dr. Andrew Weil to establish a Program in Integrative Medicine (IM) within the College of Medicine. The primary focus of the program was to educate physicians in this new field. Twenty years later, IM has become an internationally recognized movement in medicine. It is instructive to examine how the program at the University of Arizona evolved and how it has influenced medical education.  This article will describe major milestones in the growth of the educational activities of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) as well as other major developments in the field and the challenges faced; the information should be helpful to other academic centers and health care institutions seeking to replicate its accomplishments.

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