View full article | Courses in complementary medicine at institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom


Due to growing interest in complementary medicine, more and more academic and non-academic courses have been set up in this area. The aim of this project was to evaluate the literature of complementary medicine courses offered at higher education institutions in the UK. All such institutions listed in a recent guide as offering such courses were asked to send their written material. The list excluded medical schools. Of 25 institutions contacted, 22 responded and 20 information packs could be evaluated according to predefined criteria. Several deficiencies in information provided emerged. Most importantly the aims of some courses were not well-defined and their contents were often unclear or incomplete. We conclude that many UK higher education institutions are now offering courses in complementary medicine. In several instances there is concern about the value of such courses.

E Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRCPEd

K Schmidt, BSc (Hons), MSc

Complementary Medicine
Peninsula Medical School
Universities of Exeter and Plymouth
25 Victoria Park Road
Exeter EX2 4NT


Tel: +44 (0) 1392 424989

Fax: +44 (0) 1392 427562

Key words: complementary medicine, education, University courses, academia

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