There are no master's degree programs in integrative medicine. The most commonly available graduate integrative medicine programs are fellowships, which are which last one to two years and are primarily intended for nurse practitioners, physicians and other health care providers who are interested in augmenting their traditional medical training. Specialization options include holistic medicine and alternative medical practices, which may include studies in acupuncture, yoga, art therapy, botanicals and energy medicine. Some programs also teach techniques that incorporate spiritual or philosophical practices into patient treatment plans. Students fine-tune their skills in integrative medicine by spending a significant amount of time in clinical settings with real patients. As part of the fellowship program, students are also expected to teach or make presentations on integrative medicine and to conduct and publish research.
In order to apply, candidates must be trained nurses, doctors or physician assistants and either hold or be eligible for licensure. These programs may involve a lengthy admissions process that includes an application, a statement of purpose and interviews. Admission to fellowship programs can be competitive due to the limited number of accredited institutions providing integrative medicine education.
Fellowship in Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine fellowships cover a range of subjects in nutrition, ethics and biology. A typical fellowship in integrative medicine might incorporate classes in the following:
- Dietary supplements
- Integrative approach to oncology
- Women's health issues
- Basics of energy medicine
- Botanical healing
Popular Career Options
An education in integrative medicine advance the skills of current health practitioners and lead to careers in clinics, doctor's offices and alternative healing centers. Certain healthcare positions require additional education or certification for professional practice. Possible job titles of graduates include:
- Primary care provider
- Physical therapist
- Ayurvedic health provider
- Medical researcher
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 22%, much faster than the average for all occupations, for physical therapists from 2018-2028. As of May 2018, their median annual salary was $87,930. Dietitians and nutritionists could expect job growth of 11%, also much faster than the average, from 2018-2028, and they earned a median annual salary of $60,370. Medical scientists can expect job growth of 8% from 2018-2028, and their median annual salary as of May 2018 was $84,810.
Continuing Education Information
To qualify for this fellowship, candidates are required to have completed a fairly advanced medical education. For this reason, most graduates don't pursue further education options. However, individuals may choose to gain further clinical experience in a specialty, such as such as gerontology, physical therapy or nutrition, to which the principles of integrative medicine can be applied.
Even though a master's degree in integrative medicine is unavailable, experienced medical professionals can gain advanced training in the field through fellowship programs.