Traditional and Complementary Medicine: Education and Access


Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




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Global interest in traditional and complementary medicine is also rejected by the increasing number of universities and colleges offering courses in traditional and complementary medicine worldwide.  It is interesting to note that many ‘western’ universities are offering courses in traditional and complementary medicine of eastern origin. Courses in Ayurverda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for example are offered by universities in North America, Britain, Scandinavia and Australasia. In the East, traditional and complementary medicine courses are now being offered by western styled universities of China and the Indian subcontinent. Despite this growing interest in traditional and complementary medicine education, there is a lack of standardization in the training process. Unlike training in modern (allopathic) medicine there is no global standardized criteria on course duration, content, assessment method and accreditation process. Efforts however have been initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to set universally acceptable criteria and standards. Concerned on this lack of standardization in training and education had led to tighter regulation put in place by some countries while others are following suit. With improved level of training and education it is hoped that training in this area will be at par, if not better, with that available in modern Medical Schools. This will not only reassure the public that there are credible practitioners in traditional and complementary medicine, it will also help to expedite the eventual integration of traditional and complementary medicine into main stream medical practice. Initiatives currently on going in some of these countries will be discussed in some detail in this presentation.