• Follow-Up Instrument Development and Results from a Trial Cohort for Graduates of the Integrative Medicine in Residency Certificate Program

      Perkins, Jaime; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; McClafferty, Hilary; Brooks, Audrey (The University of Arizona., 2017-05-18)
      Integrative medicine (IM) is a unique clinical paradigm that may be applied across numerous healthcare professions and diverse settings. With its focus on whole person health and lifestyle medicine, it advocates utilizing complementary and alternative medicine in addition to traditional treatments in order to achieve an individual’s optimal wellness. Literature supports how significantly this distinctive, promising field of practice can help reduce overall healthcare costs, alleviate the heavy burden of chronic disease, bolster efforts focused on preventive measures, and improve both patient outcomes along with practitioner wellbeing. In order to meet a growing demand for easily accessible, ongoing professional education in IM, the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine launched an innovative curriculum called the Integrative Medicine in Residency (IMR). This online, two hundred hour, integrative course premiered with eight Family Medicine Residencies across the United States. The purpose behind this study was to aid in developing an appropriate compilation of instruments for a long-term follow‐up questionnaire for IMR graduates, distribute the survey to a trial cohort, and present a summary of the pilot survey results. The instrument was developed in order to: provide feedback on the course, aid in future program modification, determine how graduates implement what they learned through IMR, identify barriers to care, and help distinguish areas where physicians may need additional support to better incorporate IM into practice. The final forty‐four‐question survey, with quantitative and qualitative measures, was distributed in 2015 over three months to residents that graduated between 2011‐2014 via their program directors. All candidates were sent an email with an embedded link to Survey Monkey. Through this series of online, self‐reported responses, the questionnaire was filled out in real time and results were auto‐populated into a secure excel file for further statistical analysis. Our trial cohort attained valuable responses from thirty‐one graduates. Results demonstrated that students were largely satisfied with their education and pleased with the personal and professional impacts following their IMR training; however, barriers to care most notably reported were time, cost, and patient receptivity. This study emphasizes the importance of providing easy access to ongoing IM education for physicians, while also highlighting the equal importance of future research into how to better support healthcare providers seeking to provide the comprehensive IM therapy all patients deserve.