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ObjectiveIntegrative medicine (IM) combines complementary medical approaches into conventional medicine and considers the whole person. We implemented a longitudinal IM short-course curriculum into our medical school education. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the curriculum via knowledge and attitude surveys regarding IM among students. Methods A mandatory short IM curriculum across all years of medical school was created and taught by IM professionals and physician faculty members with expertise in integrative therapies. Graduating classes of 2015 and 2016 completed the same survey in their first and third years of medical school. Paired data analysis was done, and only students who completed surveys at both time points were included in final analyses. Results Of 52 students in each class, 17 (33%) in the class of 2015 and 22 (42%) in the class of 2016 completed both surveys. After the IM curriculum, students' knowledge of and comfort with several IM therapies–biofeedback, mindfulness, and the use of St. John's wort–improved significantly. Students' personal health practices also improved, including better sleep, exercise, and stress management for the class of 2015. Students graduating in 2016 reported decreased alcohol use in their third year compared with their first year. Conclusion It is feasible to incorporate IM education into undergraduate medical education, and this is associated with improvement in students' knowledge of IM and personal health practices.
Clinical studies of MBSR have reported efficacy in treating pain, mood disorders, arthritis, sleep disturbances, and stress. Several academic medical institutions in the United States offer MBSR to their patients, but it has never been offered at Mayo Clinic. The objective of this study was to collect quality-of-life data from subjects who participated in the first MBSR program offered at Mayo Clinic. The class was taught as a collaborative effort with the University of Minnesota that had an established MBSR program. Sixteen participants completed a validated, 12-question, linear analogue self-assessment instrument, administered at the beginning and end of the program. Comparison of assessment scores using paired t-tests showed statistically significant improvement in overall quality of life (P = 0.04), mental well-being (P = 0.005), physical well-being (P < 0.001), emotional well-being (P < 0.001), level of social activity (P = .02), and spiritual well-being (P = 0.006). Although positive changes also were observed for frequency of pain, severity of pain, level of fatigue, level of support from friends and family, and financial and legal concerns, they were not statistically significant. A short intervention in the education of mindfulness significantly improved quality of life for participants.