Integrative Medical School Planned for Maharishi University of Management


An artist’s rendering of the Maharishi Health Center proposed for the College of Perfect Health at Maharishi University of Management.

When’s the last time your doctor prescribed natural medicine rather than a conventional medical treatment for your headache, insomnia, high blood pressure, or other ailment? Never? Why not?

Well, for one thing, it’s not a part of a doctor’s usual medical training. There’s no medical school in the world that offers comprehensive knowledge and training in both modern medicine and natural systems of health care.

That’s all about to change.

Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield is preparing to launch the College of Perfect Health, a new medical school that will train doctors to practice integrative medicine—conventional medical diagnosis and treatment along with the most effective practices of natural medicine.

“This will be the first medical school in the world to train MDs in the most advanced knowledge, technologies, and practices of both modern medicine and natural and traditional systems of medicine, particularly Maharishi Ayurveda,” says Robert Schneider, MD, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and dean of the new medical college. “Patients will benefit by receiving the most effective and side effect-free health care available anywhere in the world today.”

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Schneider, along with his colleagues at MUM and collaborators around the country, have received more than $24 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health in support of their research on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program and Maharishi Ayurveda for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease and other chronic disorders.

An Urgent Need

It’s well known that modern medicine’s costly drugs and invasive procedures often produce serious and harmful side effects. These hazards are documented by thousands of articles published in medical journals by leading doctors and medical researchers.

In fact, modern medicine is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Adverse effects from modern treatments alone result in over 200,000 deaths every year. At the same time, nearly 50 percent of Americans suffer from one or more chronic disorders, which are considered incurable by modern medicine.

So it’s not a surprise that close to half of all Americans take advantage of some form of complementary or alternative medicine. Yet even though we’re spending billions of dollars on natural health care, no modern medical college offers comprehensive training in natural medicine. It’s almost unbelievable.

A Ground-breaking Institution

MUM College of Perfect Health will be the first of its kind in the field of medical education. The curriculum is organized around the study of the eight major organ systems of the body. Each system is examined from the perspective of Maharishi Ayurveda, which takes into account all the factors that influence health—including mind, body, and environment—many of which are not usually considered by modern medicine.

During the first year, students will focus on the structure, function, and development of the body and its source in the unified field of natural law. Year two is dedicated to prevention, health, and the causes of disease as understood by modern medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and other traditional systems of health care. The third year covers diagnosis and treatment of common disorders, with emphasis on primary care. In the final year, students will begin their clinical practice and move into diagnosis and treatment of severe and chronic stages of disease.

Postgraduate students can gain expertise in modern medical specialties in light of Ayurveda, such as internal medicine, cardiology, pediatrics and family medicine, psychiatry and neurology, geriatrics and anti-aging medicine.

All students will learn about a wide range of natural medical systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, homeo­ pathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and information and energy medicine. They’ll be introduced to therapeutic approaches using the five senses, including aroma therapy, light and color therapy, gem therapy, water therapy, plus music and dance therapy.

A Call for More Doctors

Does the U.S. really need one more medical school? Absolutely, says the Association of American Medical Colleges, which is calling for a 30 percent increase in medical school graduates. For every student accepted to a medical school today, two more are deferred and must either re-apply or give up their dream of becoming a doctor. Since there’s currently a shortage of doctors in the United States, MUM College of Perfect Health will help meet this need for training new MDs.

Beginning in January 2009, MUM will offer a BS in Physiology and Health with a Pre-Medicine track to prepare students for the MUM medical school or any other MD or naturopathic medicine program in the U.S. or Canada. The five-year MD program is expected to begin in the fall of 2010 or 2011.

Students in both the Pre-Med and MD programs will not just study the best of all medical approaches, they’ll live them. While earning their degree, they’ll enjoy organic food free from poisonous chemicals, study in college buildings that maximize health and well-being, follow a balanced routine of rest and activity, and develop their full brain potential by practicing the Transcendental Meditation program and Maharishi Ayurveda self-care programs.

Another Educational Innovation

Maharishi University of Management has always been a highly innovative institution. Right from the start the university committed to developing the consciousness of each student, provided a unifying interdisciplinary curriculum, and instituted a block system that allowed students to take one course at a time, going deeply into each subject without distractions.

More recently, the university has captured international attention with its Sustainable Living program, which is getting rave reviews for its soon-to-be-built 100 percent off-the-grid, Platinum LEED certified classroom building. And now Maharishi College of Perfect Health will extend this tradition of innovation into the field of modern health care.

“Launching a new medical school with a new approach to health care is an ambitious enterprise,” says Dr. Schneider. “We’re eager to speak with prospective students, with health professionals who could become faculty members, and with well-wishers who would be interested in providing financial support for the establishment of this new program.”

Okay. Now imagine going to a doctor who is educated to prevent disease, minimize side effects, and restore your health with a synthesis of modern medicine and natural medicine. Sound good?

That’s the future of medicine, and it’s arriving here soon.