Ugeskr Læger 2008;170(48):3941-3945
Summary Knowledge and perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine among medical students in Copenhagen, Denmark Ugeskr Læger 2008;170(48):3941-3945 Introduction: Medical faculties worldwide are integrating courses on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), accepting that knowledge of population's health behaviour, including CAM, increases physicians' ability to communicate, councel and treat their patients. The aim of this survey was to assess attitudes towards and knowledge of CAM, and to determine if medical students at the University of Copenhagen perceived a need for education on CAM. Material and methods: Self-administered questionnaires were distributed among 508 students on 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th semester. A total of 470 questionnaires were included. Results: In all, 94% reported knowledge of one or more CAM modalities, 34% reported knowledge of more than five. Most were acquainted with, had tried and would recommend the modalities herbal medicine/supplements, acupuncture and reflexology. Females were more CAM-positive than males and older students were less positive than the aggregate average. The students showed poor knowledge of the general population's use of CAM. Conclusion: A surprisingly large part of the medical students in Copenhagen reported knowledge and use of CAM compared with other countries, and with the general population, and the students are generally positive towards CAM. The majority agrees that physicians need to possess basic knowledge of CAM, and that courses on CAM should form part of the curriculum.