26 February 2009

Maharishi University of Management: Pre-Med Program — B.A. in Physiology and Health

Creating the Complete MD

By Rolf Erickson

When’s the last time your doctor prescribed natural medicine rather than a conventional medical treatment for your headache, insomnia, high blood pressure or other ailment? Never? Why not?

Well, for one thing, it’s not a part of a doctor’s usual medical training. There’s no medical school in the world that offers comprehensive knowledge of both modern medicine and natural systems of health.

That’s all about to change.

Modern medicine and natural medicine

Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa is preparing to launch the College of Perfect Health, a new medical school that will train doctors to practice integrative medicine — conventional medical diagnosis and treatment along with the most effective practices of natural medicine.

“This will be the first medical school to train MDs in the most advanced knowledge, technologies and practices of both modern medicine and natural medicine, including Maharishi Ayurveda,” says Robert Schneider MD, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and dean of the new medical college. “Patients will benefit by receiving the most effective and side effect free health care available today.”

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Schneider along with colleagues at MUM and collaborators around the country have received more than $24 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of their research on the use of Maharishi Ayurveda and the Transcendental Meditation technique for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.

Rising demand for natural medicine

It’s well known that modern medicine’s costly drugs and invasive procedures often produce serious and harmful side effects. These hazards are documented by thousands of articles published in medical journals by researchers.

In fact, modern medicine is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Adverse effects from modern treatments result in over 200,000 deaths every year. And many Americans suffer from chronic disorders considered incurable by modern medicine.

So it’s not a surprise that close to half of all Americans use some form of complementary or alternative medicine. Yet even though we’re spending billions of dollars on natural health care, no medical college in the U.S. offers comprehensive training in natural medicine.

The first of its kind

Maharishi College of Perfect Health will be the first of its kind in the field of medical education. The curriculum is organized around the study of the eight major organ systems of the body. Each system is examined from the perspective of Ayurveda, which takes into account all the factors that influence health — including mind, body and environment — many of which are not usually considered by contemporary medicine.

During the first year, students will focus on the structure, function and development of the body — and its source in consciousness. Year two is dedicated to prevention, health and disease as understood by modern medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and other natural systems of health care. The third year covers diagnosis and treatment of common disorders with emphasis on primary care. In the final year, students will begin their clinical practice, and move into diagnosis and treatment of severe and chronic stages of disease.

Wide range of natural treatments

All students will learn about a wide range of natural medical systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and energy medicine.

Post-graduate students can gain expertise in modern medical specialties in light of Ayurveda, such as internal medicine, cardiology, pediatrics and family medicine, psychiatry and neurology, geriatrics, and anti-aging medicine.

A call for more doctors

Does the U.S. really need one more medical school? Absolutely, says the Association of American Medical Colleges, which is calling for a 30 percent increase in medical school graduates. For every student accepted to a medical school today, two more are deferred and must either re-apply or give up their dream of becoming a doctor. Since there’s currently a shortage of doctors in the United States, MUM’s medical school will help meet this need for training new MDs.

Pre-med program

Beginning in January 2009, MUM began offering a pre-med program (with a B.A. in Physiology and Health) to prepare students for the MUM medical school or any other MD or naturopathic medicine program in the U.S. or Canada. The five-year MD program is expected to begin in the fall of 2010 or 2011.

Students in either of these MUM programs — pre-med or MD — will not only gain thorough knowledge in the field of health, they’ll simultaneously improve their own health. While earning their degree, they’ll have organic vegetarian meals, study in college buildings designed to maximize health and well-being, follow a balanced routine of rest and activity, and optimize their brain functioning through the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Future of medicine

Okay. Now imagine going to a doctor who is educated to prevent disease, minimize side effects, and restore your health with a synthesis of modern medicine and natural medicine. Sound good?

That’s the future of medicine, and it’s arriving at MUM soon.


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