Natural Product and CAM Education in U.S. Pharmacy Schools: Comparison and Results of Two National Surveys

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Two independent surveys of U.S. pharmacy schools were performed in the spring of 2002 to assess the extent to which the topics of natural products and complementary/alternative medicine had been incorporated into curricula. Each survey was administered independently and by different modes. Similar items from the surveys were used to validate the individual results, while dissimilar items provided a comprehensive view of the state of complementary/alternative and natural product instruction in U.S. schools. The 2 surveys obtained responses from 72 schools and 64 schools, respectively. A comparison of the two surveys' results indicated that most schools (80% vs. 73%) offered some form of instruction on the topics of natural products and complementary/alternative medicine, with the vast majority (70% vs. 69%) of instruction occurring in an elective setting. Results indicated that institutions do not currently separate natural products instruction from other topics in complementary/alternative medicine and that while greater numbers of schools are offering instruction in these topics than at the time of previous surveys, these topics are still not universally addressed.

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