IM microcredential course for GPs

24 July 2023

Western Sydney University's NICM Health Research Institute (NICM HRI) and School of Medicine, have launched a new online short course,  Foundations of Advanced Integrative Medicine Practice in Australia. The microcredential course is designed specifically for General Practitioners (GPs) and GPs in training in Australia.

Together with the growing use of complementary medicine (CM) in the community, there has been the emergence of integrative medicine, where conventional medical practice is combined with evidence-based CM interventions to deliver holistic and patient-centred care says NICM HRI’s Associate Professor Carolyn Ee, who played a critical role in the development of the new course, is a practicing GP and also Chair of the RACGP, Integrative Medicine Specific Interests Group.

“One-third of GPs in Australia use complementary medicines (CMs) within their practice,” said Associate Professor Ee.

“However, comprehensive coursework especially designed for Australian GPs on integrative health practice has not existed until now.

“Our course is the benchmark for best practice and evidence-based practice in integrative medicine and is informed by research conducted among Australian GPs in 2019.

"Foundations of Advanced Integrative Medicine Practice in Australia empowers medical practitioners to skilfully integrate complementary therapies into conventional primary care so they can provide safe and evidence-based integrative medicine,” she said.

The course runs over 12-weeks, with coursework delivered approximately 3.5 hours a week for 12-weeks including a 30-minute wellbeing activity each week. Flexible pricing options are available to allow for GPs to complete the course at their own pace.

The completion of this microcredential course provides GPs with 50 hours of Continuous Professional Development (20 hours spent reviewing performance, 7 hours measuring outcomes and 22 hours educational activities). GPs can also provide evidence of completing individual modules if they need to evidence fewer annual hours.Topics that are covered in the short course include:

History and concepts underpinning integrative medicine internationally and in Australia

  • Health philosophy and application of the main complementary and integrative modalities
  • Professional codes and best practice standards applicable to integrative medicine practice in Australia
  • Safe prescribing within a quality use of medicines framework
  • Informed consent and shared decision-making in integrative medicine
  • Accessing, critically appraising and applying evidence-based resources
  • Best practice standards for clinical documentation
  • Maintaining ethical business practices
  • Medicare and reimbursement principles
  • Personal wellbeing and professional development strategies

This course has been developed by doctors with extensive expertise in integrative medicine practice and wellbeing. Key contributors include NICM HRI Adjunct Associate Professor and GP, Vicki Kotsirilos AM; Dr Gary Deed, GP and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Monash University; and Dr Amy Imms, founder of The Burnout Project.

> Enrol in Foundations of Advanced Integrative Medicine Practice. (opens in a new window)