The Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto offers a program called "Human Biology." Students who complete the program will graduate with an Honours B.Sc. degree. One of the courses is HMB434H1: Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The textbook for the course is Fundamentals of Complementary and Integrative Medicine by Marc S. Micozzi.
Here's the course description.
Complementary/ alternative medicine (“CAM”) is used in health care systems not only in North America, but also in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam (WHO, 2002). It involves the use of non-biomedical, “holistic” and/or culturally-specific health services and practices in the treatment of illness and disease (such as Chinese acupuncture), and an expanded concept of health, illness, and wellness. This course provides an introduction to the concepts, theoretical basis, evidence-based analysis, and pressing challenges and issues in CAM today. Specific topics include introductions to: complementary/ alternative medicine in industrialized countries and commonly used modalities such as homeopathy and naturopathic medicine; traditional medicine (TM) and primary health care (PHC); traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and China; Ayurvedic medicine in India; Canada’s First Nations; and integrative health systems and models. Course format includes lectures, guest-presentations, films/documentaries, and inter-active class discussions/exercises. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze CAM systems and modalities.I've been pretty nervous about this course ever since one of our students blogged about it last year [U of T has a course in complementary and alternative medicine]. I was hoping that the course would present both sides of the story.
That idea was just blown out of the water at a meeting that I just returned from. I got a chance to talk to one of the instructors, Daniel Hollenberg. What I was hearing was not good so I steered to conversation around to homeopathy thinking that this might relieve my fears. It didn't.
Here, without comment, is what I was told by a man who teaches science students at my university.
- Philosphers of science recognize that there are several different kinds of evidence—not just the reductionist evidence of traditional medicine. In particular, epistemologists talk about holistic evidence. Alternative medicine is supported by holistic evidence not reductionist evidence.
- Evidence in support of homeopathy has been published in Lancet, and he teaches that to his students.
- While there may be examples of some homeopathic medicines that don't work, the theory of homeopathic medicine is understood and supported by physicists who have published papers explaining how water retains the memory of molecules that used to be dissolved in it. He mentioned Ursala Franklin as a supporter of homeopathy.