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Integrative Medicine Residency Program Hits 100-Site Milestone

Integrative Medicine Residency Program Hits 100-Site Milestone

Unique curriculum developed at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences is now being taught to medical residents nationally and internationally.
The Integrative Medicine in Residency program focuses on integrating alternative medical approaches with conventional residency training.

The University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine announced that the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, is the 100th site to adopt the Integrative Medicine in Residency physician training program. 

Anna Shannahan, MDThe Integrative Medicine in Residency program is available for residencies in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and psychiatry. The content focuses on integrating alternative medical approaches and treatments not always represented in conventional residency training.

“Integrative medicine education should begin in medical school, but I believe including it in residency training is a higher priority,” said center founder and director Andrew Weil, MD. “It is during residency training that attitudes and behaviors of physicians are formed. Exposing physicians to integrative medicine during residency and teaching them during this time of deep learning is the most effective approach.”

Launched in 2008, the Integrative Medicine in Residency program is a 200-hour online curriculum. Study topics include pain management, well-being, nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and common supplements, and mind-body techniques and tools to enhance a patient’s mental and physical health – to name a few. 

Residents enrolled in the program are guided by a site leader, often a graduate of this or another Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine program, who supports the integration of integrative medicine training into traditional residency training. At Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, that person is Anna B. Shannahan, MD. 

“Completing the Integrative Medicine in Residency curriculum influenced me both personally and professionally,” Dr. Shanahan said. “Not only was I able to apply what I learned to patient care, but it also inspired me to pursue Fellowship in Integrative Medicine training and make healthy changes in my own life.”

The Integrative Medicine in Residency program is used at clinical sites across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Germany and Taiwan.

“I am so proud of the growth we have accomplished, particularly over the past five years,” said Mari Ricker, MD, an associate professor of family and community medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Integrative Medicine in Residency director at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. “We started out with just eight sites. This new milestone shows that we are really making an impact in post-graduate medical training.”