Student identification of the need for complementary medicine education in Australian medical curricula: A constructivist grounded theory approach Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Across the Western world, including Australia, growing popularity of complementary medicines (CMs) mandates their implementation into medical education (ME). Medical students in international contexts have expressed a need to learn about CMs. In Australia, little is known about the student-specific need for CM education. The objective of this paper was to assess the self-reported need for CM education among Australian medical students.Thirty second-year to final-year medical students participated in semi-structured interviews. A constructivist grounded theory methodological approach was used to generate, construct and analyse data.Medical school education faculties in Australian universities.Medical students generally held favourable attitudes toward CMs but had knowledge deficits and did not feel adept at counselling patients about CMs. All students were supportive of CM education in ME, noting its importance in relation to the doctor-patient encounter, specifically with regard to interactions with medical management. As future practitioners, students recognised the need to be able to effectively communicate about CMs and advise patients regarding safe and effective CM use.Australian medical students expressed interest in, and the need for, CM education in ME regardless of their opinion of it, and were supportive of evidence-based CMs being part of their armamentarium. However, current levels of CM education in medical schools do not adequately enable this. This level of receptivity suggests the need for CM education with firm recommendations and competencies to assist CM education development required. Identifying this need may help medical educators to respond more effectively.

publication date

  • 2015