Assessing Integrative Psychiatry Curriculum Needs

Noshene Ranjbar, Amelia Villagomez, Audrey J. Brooks, Mari Ricker, Patricia Lebensohn, Victoria Maizes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Research on incorporating integrative medicine (IM) into medical training is increasing. Programs and organizations around IM have been established, but there has not previously been a needs assessment focused on integrating IM into psychiatry training. Objectives: The results of a needs assessment of training directors and faculty, focused on interest and priorities for developing an IM curriculum for psychiatry training programs, are described. Methods: Psychiatry Training Directors and faculty were invited to participate in a detailed electronic survey. Areas of inquiry included (a) IM content areas to include in training; (b) IM approaches to specific medical conditions; (c) existing IM content; (d) importance, interest, and strategies for IM training; and (e) availability of wellness programs for trainees. Results: Thirty-six respondents from psychiatry training programs completed the survey. Of the training programs represented by the respondents, 50% indicated that they currently had IM content in their curriculum; only 11.8% of them rated their programs’ existing IM content as sufficient. Content areas rated most highly for inclusion in a psychiatry IM curriculum included sleep health, motivational interviewing, and self-care. Respondents indicated incorporating IM into the psychiatry training curriculum (47%) or as an elective (44%) as the desired implementation strategy, with experiential onsite activities demonstrating IM topics (67%) and online modules supplemented by local faculty (58%) as the 2 most desirable learning formats. Significant barriers identified were time constraints, lack of faculty expertise in IM, current lack of curricular requirements for IM competencies, and budgetary limitations. Conclusion: Responses to the survey suggest that faculty need support and additional education in implementing IM training. A standardized, online curriculum could help meet that need. Our results also indicate that wellness programs for residents are currently inadequate; bolstering them could help address burnout and increase the knowledge psychiatrists have of IM modalities. The types of institutions represented by faculty interested in further developing IM offerings vary considerably, as do their current efforts to integrate IM into training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Advances In Health and Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • education
  • integrative medicine
  • psychiatry
  • residency
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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