Launched in 2000 and updated in spring 2014 to reflect advances in medical knowledge and contemporary practice, the B.S. degree in Wellness & Alternative Medicine at NVU-Johnson is based on the scientific protocols set by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine and Bastyr University’s Naturopathic Medical School program in Seattle, Washington.
An interdisciplinary collaboration between NVU-Johnson’s Behavioral Sciences and Environmental & Health Sciences departments, the program employs societal, cultural, biochemical and global frameworks to investigate the history, principles and scientific evidence for the safety and effectiveness of diverse modalities to heal disease and to create wellness. It provides the scientific knowledge and practical skills needed to make informed healthcare decisions and lifestyle choices and to prepare for careers as state-of-the-art healthcare professionals, veterinarians and doctors.
Students study conventional, allopathic medicine in the U.S. as well as alternative medical models from around the world. On-campus students may elect to co-enroll in approved certification programs to become massage therapists, yoga instructors, reiki masters and Ayurvedic consultants. (This option is not available to students enrolled in this program through NVU Online.) Graduates are prepared for initial positions in the wellness and fitness industry, hospital employee-assistance programs, social-assistance programs, the diet and supplements industry, and as assistants to alternative medical practitioners. Many graduates go on to graduate and medical schools to become physicians, nurses, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, Chinese medical doctors, ayurvedic physicians and homeopathic doctors.
The curriculum for this program was reviewed in 2012 by Dr. James S. Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine Program at Georgetown University, former chair of the White House Commission on Complementary & Alternative Medicine, and a member of the Advisory Council for the NIH National Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and in 2004 by Dr. Joseph Jacobs, former director of NCCAM. Their comments and suggestions guided the curriculum that took effect in fall 2015.
Learning Outcomes for Wellness & Alternative Medicine Majors
- Students will demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge of the behavioral and biological evolution, principles and scientific evidence for the healing claims of conventional allopathic medicine and of diverse multicultural alternative health care systems.
- Students will develop integrative critical thinking and investigative and evaluative skills for making optimal health care choices through scientific comparison of healing and wellness claims of diverse health care models.
- Students will demonstrate their competency as multilingual integrative health care translators who are fluent in the concepts, principles and integration of multicultural models of health care and who assist professionals in the comparison of diverse sources of evidence for healing claims.
- Students will prepare for alternative and allopathic medical careers as integrative physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, Chinese medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, health research scientists, epidemiologists and health policy planners.