Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR)

Integrative Medicine

Benjamin Kligler, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor, Department of Family and Social Medicine


The goals of the SOAR concentration in Integrative Medicine are for students to develop a more in-depth understanding of the clinical practice and research issues in the area of integrative medicine than is available through the standard Einstein curriculum. The specific competencies students will be expected to master by the end of the program are listed below, and the learning experiences through the course of the four years will be structured to facilitate achieving these. In addition, students will be expected to carry out either a research project or a capstone project in the area of integrative medicine according to the guidelines of the SOAR program.

A number of opportunities will be provided to students to achieve these goals. In the MS-1 year students will meet with Dr. Kligler to identify an area of interest which ultimately will lead either to a research project or a Capstone project. A mentor will be identified at that time.

During the summer after MS-1 year students will have the option of pursuing their research focus or choosing a clinical experience in integrative medicine which will ultimately relate to their Capstone project. Depending on funding availability, examples of clinical experiences might include the Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine summer program, or an Ayurvedic medicine experience in India. The research capstone project initiated in this first summer will continue through the MS-2 and MS-3 years as students continue to work with their mentor.

In the spring of their MS-4 year SOAR students will be expected to participate in the one month rotation in integrative medicine offered at the Continuum Center for Health and Healing through Beth Israel Family Medicine.

Einstein Integrative Medicine Competencies

  1. Describe the basic concepts of the most commonly used CAM modalities including chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and mind–body therapies.
  2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of nutrition including the normal (and changing) nutritional needs of humans throughout the lifespan as well as the fundamentals of medical nutrition assessment and therapy for frequently occurring chronic diseases and conditions.
  3. Demonstrate skills to communicate effectively with patients about their use of CAM in a respectful and culturally appropriate manner as well as with all members of the interdisciplinary health care team, including practitioners of CAM disciplines, in a collaborative manner to facilitate quality patient care.
  4. Design a personal self-care program.
    • a. Reflect on and assess level and sources of stress in the student’s own life.
    • b. Develop a personal self-care strategy (may include nutrition awareness, self-regulatory techniques, exercise, journaling, creative arts, spirituality, mind–body skills, etc.).
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