CAM-education in the medical curriculum: Attitude towards and knowledge of CAM among Dutch medical students
Aim of the study: The purpose of the study was to investigate the attitudes and knowledge of medical students towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) at Dutch medical schools. The increased use of CAM and the changing perspectives of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (RDMA) on medical education and CAM raised the question what medical students think about CAM and its place in the medical curriculum. Materials and methods: In total 10,532 RDMA student members from all Dutch medical schools were invited to complete a questionnaire by email. Participants were asked to state their attitude and knowledge about CAM, and the role of CAM in the medical curriculum. Results: The response rate was 19% (N=2004). Students of all medical schools responded equally. Student's average age was 22.0 years (SD: 3.0) and 72.4% was female. Further, 74.2% indicated that their knowledge about CAM is limited and two-thirds (62%) emphasized the importance of CAM education in the medical curriculum. One-third (35.7%) of the students would like CAM to be part of the core medical curriculum. More than three-quarters of the students (76.9%) indicated that doctors should have knowledge about CAM. The majority of respondents (83.0%) answered that doctors should be able to give patients objective information about CAM. Seventy percent (69.9%) stated that more research should be performed on the effectiveness and safety of CAM. Conclusions: The results show that medical students in the Netherlands have a positive attitude towards CAM as well as its place in the medical curriculum.