Integrative Oncology Scholars

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The Integrative Oncology Scholars Program from the University of Michigan is funded by a National Cancer Institute R25 grant. It has the joint goals of training 100 integrative oncology (IO) leaders over 4 years and facilitating partnerships between IO leaders and complementary practitioners within their communities. Eligible participants, who are designated as IOS, include a multidisciplinary selection of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and pharmacists, who are actively engaged in clinical oncology practice. IOS instructors are experts in the field of IO and/or adult education and reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the program with professions as diverse as patient advocates to oncology clinicians.

Designed for the full spectrum of oncology care professionals, the program equips oncologists, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and psychologists with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and evidence-based integration of complementary therapies in conventional oncology care.

Please Note: We will not be accepting Scholar applications for a 2022-2023 cohort. If you would like to be added to our email list pending a future cohort, please subscribe to our mailing list below.

Mission of the IO Scholars Program at the university of michigan

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Our mission for the Integrative Oncology Scholars program is to develop a cohort of oncology professionals who have the knowledge and skills to provide the safe and evidence-based integration of complementary therapies in conventional oncology care, thereby helping to increase the safety and quality of life of cancer patients.

Our Training Objectives

The following are the three key training objectives of the IO Scholars Program:

  1. To learn how to evaluate the scientific evidence of complementary therapies used by cancer patients and survivors

  2. To facilitate the integration of evidence-based complementary therapies into oncology care

  3. To partner with community-based complementary medicine practitioners in order to reduce symptom burden, decrease distress and increase quality of life for cancer patients and survivors.

Join a national movement of integrative oncology leaders

Our third cohort of Integrative Oncology Scholars began their training in August 2020 and will complete training by Summer 2021. The cohort is comprised of 5 physicians, specializing in pediatric, medical, and radiation oncology-hematology; 1 nurse, and 4 advance practice nurses; 8 social workers; 4 physician assistants; 1 pharmacist; 1 psychologist; and 1 physical therapy specialist. Several of the social workers and nurses coordinate cancer survivorship programs at their institutions.

IOS from all three cohorts (2018-2021) come from 28 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and one Canadian province. They represent over 50 U.S. and Canadian healthcare systems, including comprehensive cancer centers.

Read a full overview of our training model in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, September 2018.

History of Integrative Medicine at The University of Michigan

The Department of Family Medicine is also the home of the University of Michigan Integrative Family Medicine (IFM), an interdisciplinary program, which is committed to the thoughtful and compassionate integration of complementary therapies and conventional medicine through the activities of research, education, clinical services and community partnerships. IFM offers clinic services including holistic family medicine and anthroposophical medicine at their Domino’s Farm Family Practice site. Educational programs focused on Integrative Medicine are conducted in association with IFM include offerings on integrative medicine throughout the four years of the University of Michigan Medical School, a one year integrative family medicine fellowship now in its 12 year, and a year-long, multi-disciplinary Faculty Scholars Program in Integrative Medicine, which provides selected faculty from schools and colleges throughout the University of Michigan campus with an opportunity to explore the theoretical principles, clinical practices and evidence related to complementary alternative and integrative therapies.

IFM is actively associated with Integrative Medicine Research Faculty across the Campus, and was originally founded as the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center (CAMRC) in 1998 by a Center grant from the then Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the NIH. Dr. Zick one of the instructors and course director of the Integrative Oncology Scholars Program was an investigator on the CAMRC grant. IFM is also a member and actively involved in the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health (ACIMH). The Consortium currently includes over 70 highly esteemed academic medical centers and affiliate institutions all of which have clinical, educational and research activities in Integrative medicine.

What is integrative oncology?

“Integrative oncology combines the discipline of modern science with the wisdom of traditional healing. It is an evolving evidence-based specialty that uses complementary therapies in concert with medical treatment to enhance its efficacy, improve symptom control, alleviate patient distress, and reduce suffering.” From "Integrative Oncology in North America" by Stephen Sagar in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. Winter 2006;4(1):27-39.

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