Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Course Descriptions

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) courses instruct students on alternative approaches to traditional Western medical therapies. They also explore homeopathic therapies, Eastern medicine, herbal supplements, nutrition and body-mind therapies.

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Essential Information

Complementary and alternative medicine courses are offered in medical schools, nurse training centers and colleges, as stand-alone classes or as part of larger CAM programs. Depending on students' intentions for learning about alternative health practices, they could find programs designed with more of a didactic focus rather than an experiential one. Students can explore a wide range of topics depending on their level of study, including the following:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy
  • Spirituality
  • Aromatherapy
  • Clinical research
  • Holistic living
  • Stress therapy
  • Public health
  • Acupuncture
  • Oriental medicine

List of Courses

Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine Course

This course introduces the major domains of CAM, including alternative medicine and mind-body medicine. Students familiarize with a wide range of alternative medical techniques and their classifications within alternative medicines. They also learn to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of CAM practices through the study of their theories and principles.

Herbal Supplements and Medicine Course

Lessons examine the use of herbal therapies, including herbs such as Echinacea and ginkgo biloba, through scientific evidence related to their use. This course covers the major categories of herbs and supplements, including ones commonly used today. Topics include the safety and efficacy of such therapies, as well as training medical practitioners in their use.

Mind and Body Course

The connection between mental states and physical well being is a developing science. Students examine scientific evidence as it relates to therapeutic techniques that use the mind. Specific topics include behavioral health lifestyle, hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation and yoga.

Nutrition and Health Course

CAM recognizes the importance of diet, nutrition and whole foods for a patient's physical well being. This course explores food as preventive and treatment medicine, as well as food's effect on the body. Students earn to evaluate and shape patients' dietary habits in order to effectuate proper physical health.

Expanding Your Practice with Complementary and Alternative Medicine Course

This course is offered not through a CAM degree program, but through a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program taken by traditional medical students. Medical doctors can integrate CAM into their traditional medical practices, and this course serves as a guide for accomplishing that. It covers a variety of CAM practices, but is not a comprehensive study of the CAM practice. Students who take this course gain a better idea of what CAM can do in a standard medical office.

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