Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Perceptions of Medical Students from Pakistan

Document Type



Internal Medicine


Background: In view of the increasing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), it is imperative that medical students, the health professionals of tomorrow, possess adequate knowledge on the topic.

Objectives: This is a descriptive study designed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of medical students about CAM and to capture their perceptions and opinions about its integration into the medical curriculum.

Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was done on 198 medical students selected randomly from a Pakistani medical college. Associations between different variables were tested using the chi2-test of significance.

Results: Among the 198 participants, a majority believed that some of the CAM modalities are useful; they lacked knowledge, however, about their safety and efficacy. Most of the students believed that it should be used in conjunction with conventional medicine and that, if given adequate training, they would incorporate it in their future medical practice. One-third of the respondents voted in favor of incorporation of CAM into the medical curriculum.

CONCLUSION: Despite being aware of the usefulness of CAM only a few medical students had pursued further knowledge. In order to prepare the medical students of today to better fulfill their duties as tomorrow's physicians, consideration should be given to incorporating CAM in the medical curriculum.


Pagination not provide by Author/Publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Medical Education Online