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SALT LAKE CITY -- An increasing number of medical schools are teaching courses in alternative therapies. Some have separate coursework, even specialized degrees in alternative medicine.
At the University of Utah's medical school, Associate Dean for Curriculum Larry Reimer says students are taught to talk to their patients about everything they are considering using or already using as treatment.
"One of the reasons why people use alternative therapies is they are not necessarily getting what they need from their provider," Reimer says.
"How do we address that? How do we make sure that people, when they go through training, they understand that patients have needs that are addressed by complementary and alternative therapies that we don't necessarily do a good job at? We need to fix that. We need to do a better job," he adds.
Reimer says alternative medicine is not a separate course at the University of Utah, but rather is taught within the current coursework.
"As things roll out, and we're talking about some other disease process or a management strategy for somebody, we put this into the context," he says.
He says that way new doctors can see examples of how complementary or alternative remedies fit in the picture.