The study of integrative medicine at the associate's level often results in an Associate of Science degree in integrative health, holistic health or a similar field. These two-year degree programs are designed to acquaint individuals with the holistic approaches and alternative therapies used to correct physical imbalances and restore health. The alternative therapies employed in conjunction with traditional medicine may include acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback, yoga, herbology and more.
Most associate's degree programs in integrative medicine can be completed in two years of full-time study. Graduate can often work as assistants to alternative healthcare practitioners or as wellness trainers. Students should check with their states to see what licensing or certification requirements apply to integrative medicine. Additional educational programs in integrative medicine are available for practicing physicians.
Associate of Science in Integrative Health
Individuals applying to an associate's degree program in integrative medicine are required to submit high school transcripts or their equivalent. Other requirements may include standardized test scores and letters of recommendation. Curriculum in these programs is topically focused, with few electives. Some core subjects are:
- Mind and body connections
- Healing touch
- Whole-body systems of medicine
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree in integrative medicine prepares individuals for entry-level integrative healthcare positions. Graduates can often work as assistants to alternative healthcare practitioners and wellness trainers. Some roles may require additional certification. Sample job titles include:
- Integrative practitioner's assistant
- Stress management technician
- Health and wellness trainer
Continuing Education Information
Individuals who want to continue their studies may enroll in a bachelor's or graduate degree program, like in holistic nutrition or Chinese acupuncture, that has curriculum components of integrative medicine, as degree options strictly in the field are rare. Those who want to practice integrative medicine as licensed physicians have a separate - and longer - course of study. The most common path to becoming a licensed integrative medicine practitioner is to complete an integrative medicine residency after graduating from medical school. More information on fellowships and residency programs can be obtained from non-profit trade organizations, such as the American Association of Integrative Medicine (www.aaimedicine.com). Additional educational programs in integrative medicine are available for practicing physicians.
Programs in integrative medicine cover holistic approaches to medicine, including both traditional and alternative practices. These programs may lead to an associate's degree, though continued education is available at the bachelor's or graduate level in more specialized areas.