Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
John A. Burns School of Medicine
R. Harrigan, EdD (Chair)—women’s health, health disparities
The Academic Program
The State of Hawai‘i is an environment with the unique rich blend of cultures and ethnicities and many healing traditions, some of ancient origins. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAAM) takes on increased significance in Hawai‘i because the diverse population of the state uses these treatment modalities frequently.
The department is committed to conducting both basic and applied research related to complementary and alternative therapies in Hawai‘i and the Pacific region; educating the next generation of physicians and other healthcare personnel about the potential risks and benefits of complementary and alternative therapies; providing culturally competent care for people within the state of Hawai‘i by understanding the use of patterns of complementary care used by the Hawaiian population; facilitating the study of medicinal plants, including varieties unique to Hawai‘i and/or the Pacific Rim; and promoting health service research to assess the clinical and financial benefits–or lack thereof–of CAAM therapies for the Hawaiian population.
Models of integrative care teams strategically placed in Hawai‘i’s major hospitals, large medical groups and/or health maintenance organizations together with the development of relevant educational materials for clinicians, researchers, educators and consumers of health care is another major goal. Collaborations with other UH Manoa programs such as Korean and Chinese studies and Native Hawaiian and Health Ecology faculties will energize progress towards this goal to reduce and eliminate health disparities in Hawai‘i and improve the health of Hawai‘i’s people.
A graduate program leading to the MS in biomedical sciences is offered, with an emphasis on clinical research for clinicians, researchers, educators and consumers. Clinical research is the study of methods used to investigate clinical problems in medicine. Available in Plan A (thesis), the program requires a combination of course work and original research, the latter forming the basis of the master’s thesis.
Students enrolled in the program acquire skills in biostatistics and epidemiology, and master the scientific principles that underlie clinical research methods. They develop the ability to identify and resolve ethical issues in clinical research, to ensure the safeguarding of human subjects, and to understand the workings of Institutional Review Boards and other relevant requirements. In addition, students increase their capacity in obtaining research funding from agencies such as the National Institute of Health.
In addition to offering knowledge and skills needed for careers in clinical
research, the program functions as a supportive mechanism for newly trained
investigators, actively facilitating career development and encouraging
research collaborations, particularly those related to research on health
disparities. By providing high quality training to doctoral and post-doctoral
candidates, the program aims to increase the mass of clinical researchers
at UH Manoa, including minority investigators. Targeting junior
faculty, fellows, residents, and doctoral candidates from biomedical sciences,
nursing, social work, psychology and public health, the interdisciplinary
nature of the program broadens students’ perspectives and increases
opportunities for innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations in clinical
The department also has a doctoral program leading to a PhD in biomedical sciences with a concentration in clinical research.
Please note: This Catalog was prepared to provide information and does not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right to change or delete, supplement or otherwise amend at any time and without prior notice the information, requirements and policies contained in this Catalog.
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