Objective: The present study aimed to explore attitudes of medical students following a course in integrative medicine (IM) focused on palliative and supportive cancer. Method: Attitudes to IM among pre-clerkship medical students were assessed following a 3-day required course, which included interviews with international experts in IM and “hands-on” workshops mentored by IM and non-IM healthcare professionals. Student reflections were analyzed qualitatively, and written narratives were examined thematically. Results: Of 161 students, 102 (63.4%) provided post-course reflections. The main narrative themes included pre-course attitudes, attitude changes and influencing factors, and insights on implementing IM in clinical practice. Pre-course attitudes were predominantly skeptical, with post-course attitudes more open and non-judgmental, addressing research on IM effectiveness and safety. Students looked favorably on the implementation of IM in clinical practice and felt the course enhanced communication with patients. Conclusions: Student attitudes to IM shifted following the course, from a skeptical to a more non-judgmental and accepting approach. IM course may facilitate a better understanding of the limitations and risks of IM practices, particularly in the supportive cancer care setting, as well as implications regarding students’ own resilience and professional growth.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
- Complementary alternative medicine
- Integrative medicine
- Integrative oncology
- Medical education
- Palliative care
- Supportive care