A new collaboration between U. Penn. School of Medicine and Tai Sophia Institute of the Healing Arts aims to collaborate on education, research and clinical activities in complementary and alternative medicine.

According to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine:
The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Office of Program Development/Office of Complementary Therapies and the Tai Sophia Institute of the Healing Arts of Laurel, Maryland, have signed an affiliation agreement to collaborate on education, research and clinical activities in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Three initiatives relating to medical education, clinical activities and the monitoring of the quality of herbal medicines and herbal products are initial targets for the program. The initiatives will include the creation of a Master’s Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, to be offered by the Tai Sophia Institute and developed in collaboration with Penn School of Medicine faculty.
“This degree program is one of the first of its kind in the nation,” states Alfred P. Fishman, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Program Development at Penn’s School of Medicine and co-director of the collaboration. “It will afford a solid background for Penn’s medical and nursing students in their understanding of alternative healing arts.”
In addition to the Masters Degree, a program that will integrate the best practices in cardiac care and complementary and alternative medicine for patient care – to be known as “Optimal Healing Environments” — will be formed by the Division of Cardiology at Penn’s Presbyterian Medical Center and Tai Sophia Institute.
The third part of the collaboration will include the development of postgraduate and continuing education programs which will emphasize to all physicians the importance of understanding how to obtain useful and clinically important information about herbal medicines. These programs will also foster an understanding the use of online herbal databases. The School of Medicine’s highly rated Continuing Medical Education Program (CME), which has recently received re-accreditation with a commendation and rating of exceptional by the Accreditation Council for CME, will play an important role in this phase of the collaboration.
The Tai Sophia Institute is a graduate school located in Laurel, Maryland. Currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary Year, the Institute offers graduate degree programs in acupuncture, botanical healing, and applied health arts. The Institute boasts 320 full-time graduate students from all over the United States and six foreign countries. Approximately 700 graduates actively practice acupuncture and other healing arts throughout the country.