Although there are no doctoral programs specifically in integrative medicine, students may be interested in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mind-Body Medicine. These programs train students to provide patients with therapeutic treatments that improve their physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. These programs typically include hands-on clinical externships and intensive clinical research projects.
The prerequisites for entering a Ph.D. program vary greatly from school to school. Most schools require students to have a master's degree or at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university. Courses in algebra, chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology are recommended. A school may require that applicants have volunteer or work experience in healthcare, specifically natural medicine.
Doctor of Philosophy in Mind-Body Medicine
Coursework in these programs typically focuses on the basics of the human body and natural healing techniques. Core classes might include:
- Advanced mind-body medicine
- Health care and ethics
- Health and nutrition
- Spiritual practices and healing
Popular Career Options
Graduates are qualified for a variety of careers related to alternative healing. Many enter private practice, while others elect to pursue research in the field. Common career titles include:
- Naturopathic doctor
- Holistic practitioner
- Health psychologist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not keep statistics specifically on acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, or herbologists as of 2016. The BLS projected job growth of 17% for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general from 2014-2024, faster than the average for all occupations. As of May 2015, these practitioners earned a mean annual salary of $85,120. Physicians and surgeons can expect job growth of 14% during that decade. The average annual salary for physicians and surgeons as of May 2015 was $197,700. Psychologists should see job growth of 19% from 2014-2024 and, as of May 2015, they earned an average annual salary of $93,050.
In conclusion, a Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine is an educational option for students who want to conduct advanced research in the field of alternative medicine. Students gain both practical and theoretical training, so they can practice in the field after graduation or conduct research.