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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ronald Schneeweiss
MHE 501
Seattle Campus

Alternative Approaches to Healing

Philosophies and practices of the major alternative approaches to healing. Historical characterization of alternative medicine accompanied by presentations by practitioners of chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic, and traditional Chinese medicine. Credit/no credit only.

Class description

This class is designed to introduce students to the major systems of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in America. The subject will be explored through presentations by practitioners of acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, mind-body medicine, energy medicine and naturopathic medicine. Class sessions will also be devoted to questions of evaluation of efficacy of unconventional treatments, and models for integrating complementary and conventional practice.

Student learning goals

To have a better understanding of alternative approaches to healing widely used by the general public. As healthcare professionals the more one understands the better one can counsel patients

General method of instruction

Each week a different modality or therapy will be presented by experts in the field. It is graded Credit/No Credit; the only requirement is a 3 to 5 page paper (due at the end of the quarter) is required that presents your reflections on the role of CAM in the American healthcare environment.

Recommended preparation

Background readings will be provided on the course website a week before the session. Another resource is www.uwcam.org select ‘CAM Modalities’)

Class assignments and grading

Paper Assignment The paper should be 3 to 5 pages in length (double-spaced), and should discuss the impact the class has had on your understanding of and attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine. Are you more--or less--inclined to see value in the services of alternative providers? Do you see significant differences in efficacy between the various systems? Are there lessons for allopathic medicine in alternative practitioners' philosophy of health, natural healing, and patient relations? What place should complementary and alternative medicine have in the medical care delivery system of the future? How might integration be facilitated and paid for? What other issues need addressing? This is NOT a research paper. You're free to read more if you like, but additional reading is not expected, let alone required. All that's requested is that you reflect upon class discussions and come to some conclusions about the significance of alternative medicine. Graceful writing is always appreciated, but if the muse fails to move you to Shakespearean eloquence, don't fret; you're not being graded on style. Since the class is Credit/No Credit, you can be certain of passing as long as you attend 90% of the sessions and turn in a paper that shows you have given some serious thought to the assignment. If you are unable to make a session for a compelling reason you should contact Dr. Schneeweiss at sron@u.washington.edu prior to the session. The paper is due by March 20th 2009?. It may be turned in electronically to Sarah Edwards: sedward3@u.washington.edu or delivered to the Department of Bioethics & Humanities, A-204 Health Sciences.

It is graded Credit/No Credit; the only requirement is a 3 to 5 page paper (due at the end of the quarter) that presents your reflections on the role of CAM in the American healthcare environment.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Margaret Mitchell
Date: 01/12/2009