ANTHRO 157: Perspective on Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine
This course offers students a broad understanding of Complementary/Alternative (CAM) & Integrative Medicine (IM), including a basic appreciation of the multiple existing modalities and healthcare philosophies that draw together diverse healing traditions and perspectives on the person in innovative forms of clinical practice. We will not only learn the various existing definitions of “integration” in healthcare, but we will also examine the ways in which IM is being researched at UCLA and beyond, and the implications ofsuch research for both mainstream and alternative clinical practice. The course focuses especially on CAIM in the US, but also includes perspectives on CAIM as it has developed in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Students will thus develop an anthropological perspective on the socio-cultural, political, and economic context of multiple forms of CAIM.
- Questions the course addresses include but are not limited to:
- What does it mean to look at any medical system with an anthropological gaze?
- What are the cultural elements involved in the rising popularity of CAIM in the US in the last several decades?
- In what ways can anthropology supplement the biomedical research model for examining CAIM modalities?
- How do Americans communicate differently with their CAIM practitioners versus their biomedical physicians?
- What are some of the different ways that we can profitably define IM and utilize this definition to transform the way we understand medicine?
- What are the tools that CAIM has to offer for underserved populations?
- What is the role of CAIM in healthcare reform, and more generally, in addressing the healthcare crisis?