Complementary and Integrative Medicine (FAMU-4019)

Review the Goals and Objectives of this course.

Required Activities

Readings – You are required to complete readings from the two required course texts:  V. Sierpina's Integrative Health Care – Complementary and Alternative Therapies for the Whole Person and N. Remen's Kitchen Table Wisdom. Other required reading materials will be provided.

Read chapters 1-5 of Integrative Health Care in the first week, and chapters 9-16 in the following weeks.

Clinical Site Visits – Students will spend at least 5 half-days each week with alternative practitioners, observing their clinical practice. Most of the available practices are located in the greater Galveston and Houston area and some travel may be required.

Communicate with the course coordinator about which activities you need to schedule yourself. Approved providers can be found on the Provider List. We have also provided a template for a Letter of Introduction which may be useful. All clinical site visits must be logged on the Site Visit Log Sheet and submitted to the course coordinator as requested. Weekly scheduled seminars with designated course faculty.

Holistic Health Questionnaire – Complete the Holistic Health Questionnaire to assess your Body, Mind, and Spirit score. Submit completed questionnaire to course coordinator.

Health Planner – Explore The New Medicine and use the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing's Taking Charge of Your Health site. After exploring well-being, use their tools to assess your overall well-being. Email or download your areas of improvement and submit them to the course coordinator.

Lectures – Attend lectures and other activities on campus related to alternative medicine, as scheduled by course coordinator.

Paper – Prepare a four-page paper with at least 12 references on a complementary and integrative medicine topic of your choice. This should be evidence-based in a subject related to your future specialty. Refer to the Requirements for Article for detailed instructions.

Online Resources – Review our integrative medicine resources list (on this website). Become familiar with them. Also explore integrative resources through Moody Medical Library, starting with their Complementary and Alternative Medicine Resources Guide.Be sure to learn how to use the Natural Medicines Comprehensive database.

Massage – Get a massage. Therapeutic massage incorporates a variety of modalities to enhance the body's natural restorative functioning. Explore various techniques and select one or more to experience.

Optional Activities

Other integrative care activities you may choose to experience include yoga, tai chi, and pilates.

Personal journaling – Keep a daily journal of your experiences throughout the course. Refer to our instructions for the journaling activity and explore various styles and types of therapeutic journaling.


Victor Sierpina, MD
Victor S. Sierpina, MD
Kyu Kim Jana, MD
Kyu Jana, MD
Carmen Duplan
Carmen Duplan
Course coordinator
(409) 772-9353

Evaluation Methods

  • Faculty review of Site Visit Journals and student contribution to discussion
  • Participation in seminar sessions
  • Written assignments - student article, self-care plan, and online module evaluation
  • Written, reading, or research assignments as given by faculty.

Absence Policy

As per the SOM University policy, any absence from the elective must be approved by the administrative staff. You must notify the CAM practitioner or faculty with whom you are scheduled to work, and call the elective administrative staff at (409) 772-3126. Any unexcused absence may result in failure of the elective. Excused absences in excess of three days may also result in failure of the elective.

Site Managed by the Department of Family Medicine

© 2019-2021 The University of Texas Medical Branch. Please review our site policies and required links.
The Department of Family Medicine, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-1123. Phone 409.772.0620. Fax 409.772.4296
Member, Texas Medical Center®