Sunday, 28 July 2013

Integrative Medicine

The more patients I see in clinic, the more I realize that not everyone is looking for a "medication" to treat their illness. Many patients are interested in herbal remedies, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and other alternatives to conventional Western medicine.

While we briefly touch on some of these therapies during medical school, I don't currently feel confident expressing opinions on many of these treatments to my patients who are asking about them. Hence, when we were asked during our orientation to residency whether or not we would like to participate in an extra two year online course in Integrative Medicine (through the University of Arizona), I was obviously intrigued. I signed up for the course, and completed my first session on my laptop out at my cabin in Minaki, Ontario this morning. Part of the module was a self-assessment, which heightened my awareness of my knowledge gap (which I hope to close) in this area.

For anyone who is interested, I can't wait to share some of the evidence based knowledge I hope to gain during this course!



  1. Everything I 'know' about the inner workings/politics of medicine I learned from Scrubs.

    That being seems like Family Medicine tends to be mostly women, while something like surgery, and I would assume radiology, is more of a "boys' club." Do you get any say in what you get placed into while in school, or is it more of what's available at hospitals in your area?

    Also, I commend you on wanting to learn more about alternative therapies. It's refreshing (and reassuring) to know that there are doctors who are willing to consider other options for patients who seek them out.

  2. Thanks for the comment! TV shows about doctors don't always portray medicine in the most realistic way...that being said, they make for very good entertainment! You definitely get a say in what residency you end up in. A system called CaRMS allows you to apply to all the programs across Canada that you are interested in. Then the programs select candidates for interviews, and some mysterious computer algorithm matches you to a program based on rank (your rank list and the program's rank of you).

    Many of my girlfriends ended up in specialties such as surgery, pediatrics, etc, so I wouldn't say the stereotype of "boys clubs" still makes sense. Hopefully, we won't give the impression that all women in medicine end up being Family Physicians!

    Hope you're enjoying our posts :)