I write from the Countway Library at Harvard Medical School, having concluded another year of HPM 218: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Health Law & Policy at Harvard School of Public Health.
Students included MD’s, MPH students, and a Harvard college student whose family experience had included care through homeopathy.
We had an international focus, given the composition of the students, and lectures from Ted Kaptchuk, OMD, author of The Web That Has No Weaver, among others.
This year we were able to take advantage of the outstanding IT support in the room by using not only powerpoint presentation, but also capitalizing on ready access to the Web projected on-screen. This enabled us to follow various lines of inquiry, such as, for example, “what is the current state of regulation in Kentucky regarding complementary care providers,” or, “to what extent has North Carolina updated its legislation subsequent to In re Guess?” This fully interactive approach created a more intuitive flow to the material than moving linearly through the hard binder of materials used in previous years. Also, we managed to discuss such new topics as Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near and the likely connections between his ideas concerning the future of humanity, medical ethics, and CAM. Technology this year was a plus.
At the conclusion of the course, one student wrote: “Yours was an enlightening course.” Learning continues at all levels.