Many parents use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their children. A number of medical schools are introducing CAM teaching, and this study was undertaken to explore the medical education priorities of parents who use CAM for their children. A total of 27 parents (25 females, 2 males) participated in 1 of 6 focus group discussions. Transcripts were analyzed using an iterative process of concept identification, hypothesis testing, and detailed comparisons. Participant preferences for health care for their children were complex and informed by previous health care experiences and current family health care needs. Using CAM allowed parents choice and control in managing their family's health care. Many participant priorities for medical education in CAM echoed key principles of patient-centered care in addition to specific suggestions for curriculum development. Participating parents believed that it was important to increase medical students' knowledge and understanding of both CAM modalities and the perspectives of parents.
- Child health
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Medical education