Concurrent study of Eastern and Western medicine at the National College of Natural Medicine: Dual or duel?

2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Students at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) are eligible to concurrently study both Western medicine, as reflected by the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program, and Eastern medicine, as exhibited by the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) degree program. The dual track is unique in that the dominant Western approach to medicine parallels the Eastern approach to healing with the latter being accommodated within the Western framework of teaching and learning. The unique set of dual learning experiences presents challenges to students who must make a shift from one paradigm to another in their medical education.

This study highlights the challenges that Western medical education faces when Eastern medicine is concurrently taught using the Western perspective through an examination of the dual medical degree track at NCNM. Preliminary research suggested that students experience educational challenges in pursuing the dual degree track that they did not experience when they pursued the ND program alone. Of interest to this study was the exploration of cognitive and emotional shifts that students must make in order to be successful. Does pursuing this dual track of study lead to a duel for the students?

The researcher found that pursuit of the dual track resulted in a struggle—a duel—for students who had previously been successful in the study of Western medicine. Students found that their existing learning skills were inadequate for dual track study. Students developed a variety of new mnemonic tools and developed new patterns of learning. Students also expressed that they experienced personal growth as a result of dual track study. The researcher suggests that this growth may have contributed to their academic success.

Indexing (details)

Multicultural Education;
Alternative Medicine;
Health education;
Higher education
0455: Multicultural Education
0496: Alternative Medicine
0680: Health education
0745: Higher education
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Education; Different learning paradigms; Different ways of thinking; Eastern medicine; Multiple ways of knowing; National College of Natural Medicine; Oregon; Study outside dominant culture; Western medicine
Concurrent study of Eastern and Western medicine at the National College of Natural Medicine: Dual or duel?
Smith, Andrea Christine
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Williams, Dilafruz
Portland State University
University location
United States -- Oregon
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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