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CUHK Approves First Student Exchange Programme on Integrative Medicine with U of Toronto Promoting Development of Integrative Medicine in Hong Kong and Canada

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the University of Toronto (U of T) signed an addendum to their Memorandum of Understanding to promote integrative medicine through clinical placements for students. This is a first-of-its-kind placement programme for integrative medicine for CUHK’s medical school with an overseas institution.


Academic collaboration in medicine between CUHK and U of T started with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2012. This new addendum, co-signed by Professor Francis Chan, Dean of CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine and Professor Catharine Whiteside, Dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine, is focused on a student exchange programme between the recently established Hong Kong Institute of Integrative Medicine of CUHK and the Toronto-based Centre for Integrative Medicine.


According to Professor Chan, the Hong Kong Institute of Integrative Medicine has been engaging in pilot programmes and research projects on integrative medicine since its commencement in September 2014. It is increasingly important to train health professional students in integrative medical care to cope with increasing demand from the community. “Developing integrative medicine is no longer a local but a global trend. In addition to the current curriculum, the Faculty is dedicated to training students on the methodology and effectiveness of different health care approaches to treat the same disease. Hence we plan to incorporate the elements of integrative medicine in our current medical training, and explore more overseas exchange opportunities for students. We are most delighted to enhance the collaboration with U of T in areas of integrative medicine, in which students from Chinese Medicine, Medicine, and Pharmacy would gain expert knowledge in integrative medicine through the placements in their Centre,” said Professor Chan.


The placement programme will commence in the next academic year until 2017. Every year, two to five undergraduate students either from Chinese Medicine, Medicine or Pharmacy of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK, will be shortlisted for a placement at Toronto’s Centre for Integrative Medicine ranging from four to eight weeks or five to ten weeks. In addition to the clinical placement at the Centre, students will be able to take medical electives at the U of T to gain further knowledge in research and clinical skills.


“The Centre for Integrative Medicine, jointly established by the University of Toronto and The Scarborough Hospital, is dedicated to evaluating complementary and alternative medicine, including Chinese medicine, and examining how they might be integrated into existing models of care. We are very pleased to cooperate with CUHK in providing educational placements for health professional students of the two universities,” said Professor Whiteside.


Professor Justin Wu, Associate Dean (Development) of the Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Integrative Medicine, CUHK foresees the exchange and cooperation with U of T will nurture new talents in integrative medicine. “There is an earnest demand for integrative medical care in the local community. We expect our newer generation of medical professionals, including Chinese Medicine, Medicine, Pharmacy and Allied Health, will have a global perspective and develop a patient oriented mindset. Through collaborative efforts, we sincerely hope our local and even the world community may enjoy the benefits of integrative medicine,” said Professor Wu.


rofessor Francis Chan Ka Leung, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK

(Front row, right) Professor Francis Chan Ka Leung, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK and (front row, left) Professor Catharine Whiteside, Dean, Faculty of Medicine sign an addendum to Memorandum of Understanding to promote exchange and cooperation on integrative medicine through medical placements for students of the two universities. Professor Justin Wu (3rd right at the back) is the Associate Dean (Development) of the Faculty of Medicine and Director of Hong Kong Institute of Integrative Medicine, CUHK.

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