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We surveyed the deans of British medical schools to determine the provision of complementary medicine in the undergraduate curriculum. We also sampled medical students at one British medical school to determine their knowledge of, and views on instruction in, complementary medicine. There is little education in complementary medicine at British medical schools, but it is an area of active curriculum development. Students' levels of knowledge vary widely between different therapies. Most medical students would like to learn about acupuncture, hypnosis, homoeopathy and osteopathy. We conclude that complementary medicine should be included in the medical undergraduate curriculum. This could be done without a great increase in teaching of facts, and could serve as a vehicle to introduce broader issues, as recommended by the General Medical Council.