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1.  Homeopathy as elective in undergraduate medical education − an opportunity for teaching professional core skills 
Aim: The evaluation of medical students' perceptions regarding an elective study course in Homeopathy in which small groups have participated annually for six years, at the Institute for General Practice and Family Medicine at the Otto Von Guericke University, Magdeburg. The course was assessed in terms of concept, delivery, and influence on students' professional development.
Methodology: Since the autumn term of 2008/09, three group discussions have been conducted with thirty of the course participants (3 total electives). These discussions were semi-structured and guided by central topics; the analysis was qualitative and guided by content.
Results: The overall concept and implementation of the course were very successful. The main learning themes, that is, an emphasis on a more holistic and individual view of patients and the importance of a cooperative partnership between doctor and patient, were positively rated, regardless of the students' attitudes towards homeopathy. Their assessment was based on their previous experience and a comparison with conventional medical education.
Conclusion: Homeopathy as an elective subject is not only useful for acquiring specific knowledge in integrative medicine, but also important as a means of developing physicians' core skills that are often not well considered in conventional medical education.
doi:10.3205/zma000899
PMCID: PMC3935168  PMID: 24575158
CAM; homeopathy; integrative medicine; undergraduate medical education; curriculum development; professional development
2.  Knowledge and Attitudes of GPs in Saxony-Anhalt concerning the Psychological Aspects of Bronchial Asthma: A Questionnaire Study 
Bronchial Asthma is a worldwide condition with particularly high prevalence in first world countries. The reasons are multifactorial but a neglected area is the psychological domain. It is well known that heavy emotions can trigger attacks and that depression negatively affects treatment outcomes. It is also known that personality type has a greater effect on disease prevalence than in many other conditions. However, many potential psychological treatments are hardly considered, neither in treatment guidelines nor in reviews by asthma specialists. Moreover, there is very little research concerning the beliefs and practices of doctors regarding psychological treatments. Using a questionnaire survey we ascertained that local GPs in Saxony-Anhalt have reasonably good knowledge about the psychological elements of asthma; a third consider it to be some of the influence (20-40% aetiology) and a further third consider it to be even more important than that (at least 40% total aetiology). Our GPs use psychosomatic counseling sometimes or usually in the areas of sport and smoking (circa 85% GPs), although less so regarding breathing techniques and relaxation (c40% usually or sometimes do this) However despite this knowledge they refer to the relevant clinicians very rarely (98% sometimes, usually or always refer to a respiratory physician compared with only 11% referring for psychological help).
doi:10.1186/1751-0759-4-23
PMCID: PMC3022548  PMID: 21171975

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