CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Do Canadian pharmacy students know about herbal medicine

Knowledge of herbal medicine is not a yes-no question.

But like so much other questions, it has been scientifically studied.

Canadian Pharmacy Students' Knowledge of Herbal Medicine

By Johnson, Teela Boon, Heather; Jurgens, Tannis; Austin, Zubin; Moineddin, Rahim; Eccott, Lynda; Heschuk, Shirley

Objective. To determine fourth-year Canadian pharmacy students' knowledge of herbal medicine and whether that knowledge is associated with mandatory instruction in herbal medicine. Methods. Standardized multiple-choice tests assessing students' herbal knowledge were distributed to all fourth-year BSc pharmacy students at 5 pharmacy schools in Canada.

Results. The Quebec response rate was too low to include in the analysis. Herbal knowledge test scores were positively associated with having previously taken an herbal medicine class and completion of a pharmacy practicum. However, postsecondary education, age, and gender were not associated with herbal knowledge test scores. Students at the University of British Columbia had the highest score, followed by Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.

Conclusion. Pharmacy students' knowledge of herbal medicine varies depending on the school attended and higher herbal knowledge test scores appear to be most closely related to mandatory herbal instruction.

Keywords: herbal supplements, complementary and alternative medicine, assessment

Here's an imponderable query to the online universe, with an equally imponderable response:

I really wanna study "energy medicine" or "biofield science" which is a subdivision of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. I want to be both a researcher and a practitioner. But I have no idea which direction to take. Please help me by giving recommendations and advices! I'm currently in an undergraduate college that doesn't have this degree. So should I major in Biology, Biomedicine,Psychology, Neuroscience, Premed, or Physical Therapy? Or do you know any good schools that offer this degree? Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

That would be 'fake college'. No accredited schools offer degrees in that (in the US). That's because it doesn't work. Study after study have shown that's it's no more than the placebo effect. If you want to help people, great. Go for nursing or pre-med. If you want to scam people, you can get degrees in that stuff from the back of a magazine.

I could suggest: history, anatomy and physiological, psychology, business, emerging technologies ... the list goes on. But be sure to look into licensure and credentialing of alternative healers too.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173