Amid a global pandemic, St. George’s University’s School of Medicine recently launched the Center for Integrative Medicine—the first of its kind for the University and the island of Grenada. The virtual center aims to broaden patient-care training for SOM clinical students by teaching them non-traditional methods of care.
Officially launched on September 14, clinical students can learn non-surgical, non-pharmacological, alternative therapies like tai chi, qigong, yoga and meditation for chronic healthcare concerns including cardiovascular and respiratory ailments, osteoarthritis, and musculoskeletal ailments such as back pain.
While SGU has always offered courses on non-traditional medicines as selectives, the establishment of the Center for Integrative Medicine provides a look at all alternative methods of patient care.
“Our mission is to teach medical students how to offer alternative therapies to patients who are ill or want to stay healthy,” according to Dr. Stephen Weitzman, dean of the School of Medicine. “It is important for our students to know and understand how to use all different kinds of therapy and that integrative medicine exists in order to best treat and care for their patients.”
Instrumental to the establishment of the Center is Mr. Michael Weitzman, director of Thai Services, and Dr. Robert Hage, a senior professor of anatomy, who also is the Center’s director. Both lectured integrative medicine selectives to clinical students in the past.
“Our mission is to teach medical students how to offer alternative therapies to patients who are ill or want to stay healthy.”
– Dr. Stephen Weitzman
“The Center was created to ensure that students can receive training in a group of therapies that are essential today,” said Mr. Weitzman. “The biggest health issues of our times can have these eastern self-care healing therapies as part of the treatment process—from stress, obesity, back pain, and cardiovascular disease to lowering one’s risk of dying from COVID. The four modalities I teach in my selectives should be an essential aspect of any medical students training.”
Students have demonstrated significant interest in non-traditional patient care methods. “This past summer, I taught two online selectives—Tai Chi and Qigong, and Yoga and Meditation as Integrative Medicine,” said Mr. Weitzman. “Over a period of six weeks, there were approximately 200 students who registered and participated in the Yoga and Meditation selective alone.”
To learn more about the SGU’s Center for Integrative Medicine, register for a virtual information session, which features a live question-and-answer segment featuring current students and alumni.
– Tornia Charles