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Course Information

Instructor Info:Christopher Jarvis
Office Extension x5580
Lynn Miller
Office Extension x5360
TA Info:Jesse Lang
MaryKate Duska
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 2-OPEN
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 2-OPEN

Health involves all aspects of our lives. Many people claim that the mind, body, spirit, and environment are all aspects that interact to influence a person's sense of well-being. High-quality health care must support the whole person. There are many terms used to describe approaches that are not considered conventional Western medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. While some scientific evidence exists regarding some CAM therapies, for many there are important unanswered questions; some of these will be validated through well-designed scientific studies, while others risk exposure as simply fraudulent practices. Working individually and in small groups we will identify questions to pursue by reading and critiquing the primary scientific literature. The acceptance of these therapies is influenced by politics, history, personalities, and even their effectiveness. We will carefully evaluate some of these alternative therapies by examining the successes and failures.

Course Objectives:

You will complete several research projects by working in small groups (3-4). The questions and directions you pursue are determined by the group. You are each required to fully participate in these activities and you will be assessing each others contributions. Work hard and teach the class something new.

You will also be working on primary article critiques throughout the semester. We will do one together as a class. Then, after a lesson from the librarian, you will be expected to find 3-4 primary articles (and a review paper when possible) which you will critique on your own. The TA's and instructors will provide you with feedback and you will have one week to revise these papers. This revised paper will be turned in to another student in the class for a second set of comments which you will revise before compiling these critiques to form your final paper. You should choose papers on the same narrow topic (approved by the instructors).

Evaluation Criteria:

You must be present in class and on time. 2 unexcused absences are allowed, more could result in a "no eval."

You must complete all work on time, this includes revisions. A minimum of 4 article summaries will be completed, each being revised twice. This will form the basis for your final paper.

Presentations on student chosen topics will be completed throughout the semester working in small groups. You are expected to fully participate in your group, bringing to class all required research to advance the group's knowledge. You must listen well.

Occasional problem sets will be assigned, you must complete these.

A final paper, a retrospective, a final presentation are required. All work all semester (with comments...keep all copies!) must be turned in in a final portfolio by the last class.




Additional Info:

Text book is Alternative Medicine: What Works: A Comprehensive, Easy-to-Read Review of the Scientific Evidence, Pro and Con by Adriane Fugh-Berman.