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Published on Feb 23, 2010
The key to reforming medicine in the United States is by reforming medical schools. This has been Dr. Weil's focus and passion for nearly two decades as he continues to highlight the benefits of integrative medicine.
Video Transcript: Creating a New Generation of Doctors
The question is how do you change medicine and healthcare? And it seemed to me that you really can only do that through education. A lot of people had been saying you had to do it through research; that if we did enough randomized control trials we’d show that Saint John’s wort worked for depression, for example. It always seemed to me that that’s important but that’s not the real way you affect change. The way you affect change is to train a new generation of health professionals who understand integrative medical philosophy. So, I founded the program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1994, with the intent of doing just that. That beginning to train physicians in a new way of thinking about medicine, to cover all those areas of deficiency in conventional medical education and to develop a curriculum in this new field of integrative medicine.
And that was the first such program? Yes, there were other schools that had started things in the areas of alternative or conventional medicine that were mostly research. This was the first formal training program in the country and it’s now really the leading program in the world, training physicians and other health professionals in integrative medicine. But one thing I think a lot of people don’t know is, it’s not just at the University of Arizona. There are now programs in Integrative Medicine at...There’s a group called the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. It now has38 member medical schools, 3 in Canada, the rest in the US. So it’s now more than one-fifth of all the medical schools in the US. And many of the leading medical schools: Harvard, Georgetown, Duke, University of California San Francisco, UCLA, and University of Washington. This is involvement at the level of deans and chancellors who recognize that medical education research and practice have to move in this direction. So that’s why I say it’s a real movement now.