Integrative medicine is an approach that encompasses lifestyle changes and therapies to treat a person as a whole – including stressors, diet, nutrition and exercise.

The Integrative Medicine Certificate Program is aimed at teaching students how they can counsel patients on the various facets of integrative medicine and how they can incorporate into their own lives. Students will learn when a specific integrative method may be warranted, such as in the management of pain, chronic disease and mental health. As part of this program, they will learn how to appropriately direct patients care by practicing case scenarios of commonly prescribed integrative modalities in a variety of medical conditions.

By the end of this program, students also will have explored how to effectively and collegially include other allied health professions and resources into a patients care team. As part of this certificate program, students will learn how to best manage integrative medicine health controversies and topics, such as a patient who would like to try alternative treatments over a well-established conventional treatment.

Shailey Shah. “I think integrative medicine is really important for all students – no matter what their interests are – to think and learn about because there are so many practices that we don’t realize are essential to show our patients, like introducing them to the outside of pharmaceuticals. It’s a really good experience to learn about it, even if it’s not something you yourself have practiced in or plan to do in the future.” - Shailey Shah, medical student.

Students are introduced to the following integrative medicine components:

  • Diet, nutrition and supplements (herbalism, vitamins)
  • Exercise and movement mind/body techniques (meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness) and manipulative practices (massage, reflexology)
  • Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Native American healing energy therapies (healing touch techniques, Reiki)
  • Optional: aromatherapy, nature exposure and positive thinking

Any student in the medical degree, physician assistant or nurse anesthesia programs can participate in Integrative Medical Certificate Program. Students are required to participate in 10 hours of service related to integrative medicine, 80% of didactic offerings and completion of an end-of-certificate service-learning project of student choice. 

Certificate programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine allow students to personalize their educational experience, develop special interests and demonstrate outstanding motivation to residency selection committees.