George Washington University School of Medicine Integrative Medicine Track Program
The integrative medicine track will provide students with the knowledge, experience and understanding of the practice of Integrative Medicine in a four year, longitudinal, coordinated educational program. For additional information and to review overall rules of GW track program please visit Office of Student Opportunities webpage.
- Explore the world of Integrative Medicine:
- – What is it?
- – How is it different?
- – How to practice it?
- – What is the benefit?
- Gain understanding to incorporate the practice principles of Integrative Medicine into your medical practice
- Share the integrative medicine experience within the student community
Required First & Second Year
- Attend Lecture Series
- Attend “For YOUR Health” Brown Bag Lunch Health Practices Seminars (required to attend 50% of weekly lectures) (see attached schedule)
- Participate in an Experiential Opportunity in the Summer following first year
- Participate in Student Learning Groups (two meetings/semester with Track Director or designate)
Other First & Second Year
- Participate in informal discussions and events
- Encouraged to experience integrative medicine modalities as feasible
Required Third & Fourth Year
- Practice of Medicine Scholarly Project will be related to track of study
- Organize POM-3 CAM session
- 4-week Senior Elective related to Integrative Medicine: we encourage you to do this elective as outside elective but will work with you if you are interested in conducting research project, literature review, or would like to spend additional time at the center.
- CIM Rotation (2 weeks) – see next section
The following are some of the resources you will utilize during your rotation with us:
- Integrative Medicine Resources: Books, Links, etc
- Positive Health Plan for Medical Students and Resident Physicians
1. Eat well
- Keep in your pockets some healthy snacks (dried fruit, cereals, etc.) in between meals.
- Select foods that are less processed and refined (e.g. whole grain products, fresh produce, fewer packaged goods)
- Include plant protein sources several times a week (e.g. beans on salads and in soups, bean burritos, hummus, soy burgers, tofu, peanut butter, baked beans)
- Take in snacks with nutritional benefits (ex. Trail mix, nuts, seeds, low fat popcorn, baked chips with salsa, soy nuts, dried fruit, yogurt bagels, fruit, juice, veggies)
- Include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Minimize intake of coffee and soft drinks (regular and diet). Stay hydrated with generous intake of water and re-energize with physical activity, breath work, meditation, power naps.
- Establish a regular eating schedule at intervals that optimally support your personal routine.
- Eat at a relaxed pace with gratitude, awareness, and respect for your body.
- Eat with friends.
- For weight management, avoid turning to food when what you really want is sleep, comfort, intimacy, reassurance, or entertainment.
2. Get adequate rest
- Take power naps whenever possible. You will never know when you may next have a chance for a break.
- If it is not possible to take a nap, then at least try to close your eyes and relax for 10-15 minutes.
- Get some sunshine on most days, as this promotes your circadian rhythm.
3. Use stress management techniques
- Take a few minutes each day to daydream for yourself!
- Journaling is good for some people.
- Listen to some relaxing and satisfying music on the way to/back from work.
- Find a few close confidants that you can air stressors to and confide in.
- Explore meditation, Reiki, hypnosis, or yoga to see what works best for you.
4. Get regular exercise
- Do some form of cardiovascular exercise at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
- Use 5-10 minute blocks of time if necessary (stretches when you get up, sit ups during a break, etc.)
- Find a colleague or friend to exercise with and try to stick to your plan no matter what!
- Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
- Again, get outside for a few minutes each day
5. Learn to heal yourself
- Periodically self-assess your strengths and weaknesses.
- Find at least one thing to praise yourself about each day.
- Try to leave your work stresses at work and recognize when it’s best to quit for the day!
- Forgive yourself when things do not go right or even not smoothly.
- Learn what you need to do for self-renewal
Recommendations for this plan were supplied by Dr. Joe Kaczmarckzk, Captain, US Public Health Service, Uniformed Services Medical School, Bethesda MD. Cyndi Reeser, MPH, RD, LD contributed to the first revision. Final additions were made by Maryam Razavi, MD, as part of of MS IV rotation.
Student handout-Lifestyle Practices
For YOUR Health: Healthy practices you want to know for yourself, your family and your patients
Websites of interest – Lifestyle Practices
- Environmental Protection Agency
- EPA standards for pesticides, FAQ, fact sheets
- Environmental Working Group
- Shoppers’ guide to pesticides in produce
- How much tuna can you eat safely?
- What is in your water?
- Institute of Medicine
- Food safety, dietary supplements, adequate nutrition, and guidelines for nutrient intake are among the issues addressed
- U.S. Federal Drug Administration
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
- Andrew Weil, MD – Anti-inflammatory Diet and 8 Week Optimum Health Plan.
Articles of interest – Lifestyle Practices
Barringer TA, Kirk JK, Santaniello AC et al. Effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and quality of life. Ann Intern Med. 2003; 138: 365-371.
Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH. Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults. JAMA. 2002; 287:3127-3129.
Additional information – Lifestyle Practices
- Xeno-estrogen: chemicals which the body recognizes as estrogen, also known as hormone mimickers. Can be found in some plastics, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, PCBs.
- Antioxidants: phytonutrients which are involved in the body’s defenses against harmful forms of oxygen (oxidative stress). These include vitamin E and C, bio-flavonoids, carotenes, polyphenols, quinines, anthocyanadins
Functional Medicine Topics that you will cover during the 2 weeks rotation
- IBS – comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA)
- Leaky Gut – intestinal permeability (IP)
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Insulin Resistance
- Subclinical Hypothyroidism
- C-Reactive Protein
- Coenzyme Q10/Fish Oil
- Metabolic Syndrome X
- Healthy Weight For You
- Cancer Treatment Supplementation
- Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia
Rotation for Students in all other health fields: Nursing, PA, etc
Generally speaking all health care students can do 2 weeks rotation similar to medical students rotation, see above. If you are not GW student you have to apply well in advance. We suggest at least 6 months ahead. Priority is given to GW students and due to popularity of the 2 weeks rotation there are very limited number of openings throughout academic year. Please contact us at 202-833-5055 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information or to apply. Please note that we may ask you to pay a small registration fee.
Rotation for Residents and Fellows
If you are a GW resident or fellow interested in doing rotation with us please feel free to contact us directly. If you are one of GW Medicine residents please contact the medicine chiefs first to get details and get on the rotation schedule. We are able to accommodate most of the requests and can tailor the experience for your individual needs. Most of residents and fellows rotate a few days per week for several weeks. If your exposure to Integrative Medicine during your medical training was limited we suggest following the 2 week student elective. But again, if you have specific interests let us know and we will most likely be able to accommodate your interests.
If you are resident or fellow in any school other then GW we may be able to accommodate you, however, at the present time the opportunities are very limited and we suggest that you contact us at least 6 months in advance.
On site experience for fully trained Physicians or other health care providers
Our center has many unique features that attract regular visitors to observe our work. In the past we have accommodated a variety of different requests and we are happy to work with you to individualize your own experience. In the past we have assisted a number of clinicians and administrators to not only learn about integrative medicine and observe how we work, but we have assited them in establishing or expanding integrative centers across the globe. Please note that there is a considerable weekly charge if you want to be at the center for more then 2 hours/week. Due to large amount of trainees on site and priority given to GW students and residents we suggest that you contact us at least 6 months in advance.
The following is the typical program schedule and learning objectives for 1 week program. Please note that with exception of Monday AM and Wed PM the schedule can be very flexible. The following outline is only a suggestion. You are welcome to modify the schedule to fit your needs.
Monday AM – Orientation with rotation administration and Mikhail Kogan, MD
Monday PM – Intake process: Getting access and familiarizing yourself with center’s EMR and scheduling system. Reviewing intake process and forms, assessment tools, patient’s demographics and typical presenting problems.
Tuesday AM – shadowing with one of our practitioners or review of clinical protocols and practices/programs.
Tuesday PM – Following CIM manager, learning different business aspects of running the center.
Wed AM – Shadowing experience and meetings with the clinic’s practitioners.
Wed PM – 12:30-2:00PM weekly staff meeting, 2-5PM weekly trainees didactics (journal club, practitioner presentations, webinars, etc), 5-6PM weekly practice meeting
Thursday AM – Shadowing experience with our Medical Director, Mikhail Kogan, MD
Thursday PM – Introduction to establishing and operating natural products formulary and opportunity to meet with formulary director Dr. Orceyre.
Friday AM – Functional Lab and Infusion Center experience: review and copy protocols, familiarize yourself with operational aspects, learn clinical applications of variety of IV nutritional infusions, click here to view IV program. (link to IV infusions program in tab 4, clinical)
Friday PM – Additional shadowing opportunity or further review of different clinical protocols and programs.
Note: If you are interested in extensive or prolonged consultation services on how to establish or expand successful integrative center we are happy to work with you. Service fees largely depend on time and effort commitment.