Integrative medicine in residency: Feasibility and effectiveness of an online program

Patricia Lebensohn, Benjamin Kligler, Audrey J. Brooks, Raymond Teets, Michele Birch, Paula Cook, Victoria Maizes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Online curricular interventions in residency have been proposed to address challenges of time, cost, and curriculum consistency. This study is designed to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a longitudinal, multisite online curriculum in integrative medicine (IMR) for residents. METHODS: Residents from eight family medicine programs undertook the 200-hour online IMR curriculum. Their medical knowledge (MK) scores at completion were compared to a control group from four similar residency programs. Study and control groups were comparable in baseline demographics, and MK scores. Course completion, MK scores, and course evaluations were assessed. RESULTS: Of 186 IMR residents, 76.9% met completion requirements. The IMR group showed statistically significant higher MK scores at residency completion, the control group did not (IMR: 79.2% vs. Control: 53.2% mean correct). Over three-fourths of IMR participants (range 79-92%) chose the top two rating categories for each course evaluation item. In an exit survey, ability to access the curriculum for 1 additional year and intention to utilize IM approaches after residency were the highest ranked items. CONCLUSIONS: The demonstrated feasibility, effectiveness, and positive evaluations of the IMR curriculum indicate that a multisite, online curricular intervention is a potentially viable approach to offering new curriculum with limited on-site faculty expertise for other family medicine residencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-521
Number of pages8
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


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