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Medical Student Electives - Complementary Medicine

Rotation Director:  Howard Schubiner, M.D.

Duration:  3 weeks or 1 month

Maximum number of students per four-week period:  One

Evaluation:  Oral and written

Candidates:  Senior medical students from an approved allopathic or osteopathic medical school


The general purpose for this clinical clerkship is to explore the world of complementary medicine:  what it is, how it is different, how to practice it, what are the benefits.  This rotation includes opportunities to observe patient care and provider/patient interactions.  There may also be opportunities to observe complementary medicine therapy treatments. Learning experiences may include complementary medicine consults, mind/body medicine, homeopathy, manual therapies, acupuncture and nutritional and botanical medicine.  Students are given readings and an introduction to evidence-based online resources in complementary and integrative medicine.  The rotation includes time for reflection and personal wellness activities.  Each student will present a brief talk on a complementary medicine topic of his or her choice to preceptors during an ambulatory teaching session.  There is required reading for this rotation.

Daily Schedule:

The rotation consists of one week with each of 4 different practitioners, including practices utilizing acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, mind-body therapies, neuromusculoskeletal medicine and other complementary medicine approaches.  The student will meet with Dr. Schubiner for orientation the first day of the rotation.  Students will be given their schedule at this time also.  Travel to the different clinical sites is required.  One site is in Ann Arbor and one is in a community to the west of Ann Arbor.  Students must be able to travel to these locations to enroll in this elective.


  • Textbook of Integrative Medicine.  Rakel D, (editor).  W. B. Saunders, 2002
  • Unlearn Your Pain.  Schubiner H, Betzold, M.  Mind Body Publishing, 2010
  • Snake Oil Science.  Bausell R.  Oxford University Press, 2007.



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