New minor increases University’s health

Beginning this fall, the University once again proves its dedication to providing a modern education by adding a graduate minor in alternative medicine. This program is valuable to the fast-growing alternative medicine field and offers new opportunities for University graduate students. With this program, the University will cater to the needs of the entire community.
While there are currently only six alternative medicine classes offered at the University, there are plans to add six more courses. These classes would cover topics ranging from herbal medicine to acupuncture. The minor would consist of three or four courses equaling eight to 12 credits. This minor would be open to all graduate students, making it the first of its kind in the country. The University plans to put an academic spin on the topic by researching the effectiveness of certain treatments.
Alternative or complementary medicine is a fast-growing industry that is steadily claiming a larger role in medical society. In November, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Americans make more visits to complementary medicine practitioners than to general physicians, illustrating the increased interest in complementary medicine.
Although alternative medicine is gaining popularity, a number of the methods are largely unresearched. In fact, not long ago, alternative medicine was defined as medical practices that had little to no research. The University plans to begin researching the effectiveness of different methods in addition to offering classes. The University medical center, Fairview-University Medical Center, hopes to open an alternative medicine clinic in the fall.
This will be an important research tool because patients will not only have access to new alternative medicine methods, they will also become research subjects. By providing research for alternative medicine practices, the University is helping to better define this new field.
This minor also gives alternative medicine a more legitimate place in the medical field. People practicing alternative medicine were formerly unable to obtain a formal education. Instead, techniques were passed down through generations or through apprenticeships. Now students will be able to gain working knowledge about different alternative medicine techniques, which will make them better able to serve the community.
The most attractive part about this minor is that it is not confined to medical students. When University administrators learned that there were a number of students in various fields interested in these courses, they decided to make the courses available to all graduate students. This way students who are not necessarily interested in the medical profession can still learn about the effectiveness of different methods and which method they might like to pursue for their own well-being.
Alternative medicine is a growing field and it is encouraging to see the University take steps to become involved in it. The University recognized the importance of alternative medicine and worked out a program that serves both students and the community. These positive steps will aid alternative medicine in creating a respected place in the medical profession and help bring the University into the next era of medicine.