|Title||Instilling an integrated healthcare paradigm|
Over the past eight years, an innovative portfolio of 20 degrees and diploma courses in complementary medicine has been developed in the UK at the University of Westminster. Most of the degrees were the first of their kind in Europe and the provision continues to grow so that currently it now provides the widest selection of courses in complementary medicine in Europe. The number of students studying on the programmes has steadily increased to an annual total of almost 600 students in 2004. The establishment of the unique, multidisciplinary Polyclinic in 1998 marked the beginning of a period of rapid acceleration in the development of clinical training and research. Within the Polyclinic students and staff from a wide range of therapies learn to work together and with other healthcare professionals thereby instilling the skills of collaborative work.
The context of this comprehensive, mainstream, higher education portfolio of courses in complementary medicine in the UK is explored. The criteria identified by external agencies, including those by professional bodies are discussed. The nature and development of the health sciences, practitioner development and research themes of the courses are described. The pivotal role of the Polyclinic in preparing students to work in the integrated healthcare provision of the future is also discussed.
|Keywords||Integrated healthcare, complementary medicine education, health sciences, practitioner development skills, research skills, clinical education and training, integrated medicine, clinical experience for integrated healthcare|
|Journal citation||1 (2), pp. 63-69|