Abstract ID: 3418

Primary Topic: Teaching, learning, and assessment
Secondary Topic: Curriculum design and development

Putting different perspectives into a holistic picture – how to design an integrative real patient conference
Christian Scheffer, MD, MME; Diethard Tauschel, MD, Witten Herdecke University, Faculty for Health, Witten, Germany; Peter Hinderberger, MD, Ruscombe Mansion, Community Health Center, Baltimore, MD, United States; Benjamin Kligler, MD, MPH, , New York, NY, United States; Friedrich Edelhäuser, MD, PhD, Witten Herrdecke University, Faculty for Health, Witten, Germany

Late Breaker: No


  • To introduce participants to an integrative patient conference with a real patient present.
  • To demonstrate a systematic and collaborative approach to developing a diagnosis and a therapeutic plan on four different levels: body, life processes, soul and spirit.
  • To stimulate discussion on this approach as a conceptual integration of conventional medicine with different CAM methods


Participants will be able to

  • understand the potential power of an integrative real patient conference
  • describe the principles of a systematic four-level approach to integrate different dimensions of diagnosis and therapy
  • describe the key elements for success in using real patient conferences as an educational tool

Time Frame

3 hours:  

Introduction to a systematic four level approach 30`

patient conference including small group work 90´

reflection and discussion 30´

perspectives on application 30´.


Friedrich Edelhäuser: Introduction to a systematic four-level approach

Peter Hinderberger: Integrative Real Patient Conference

Ben Kligler: Perspective Talk on the importance of a systematic approach integrating different perspectives

Christian Scheffer: Integrative Real Patient Conference

Diethard Tauschel: Integrating the Real Patient Conference into different settings in medical education

Teaching/Learning Strategies

Lecture, focus group discussions on different dimensions of body, life processes, soul and spirit, patient conference with real patient or video, focus group work on integrative diagnosis, healing needs and therapies, group reflection and discussion.


A major and challenging goal of integrative medicine and health is to integrate different perspectives into a holistic framework. Frequently, different CAM methods are simply added to conventional medicine but integration is lacking. Therefore, we suggest using a four-level approach that integrates conventional medicine—which is typically focused on the physical dimension-- with complementary/integrative-perspectives focusing on the three other levels (life-processes, soul, spirit). This will be the conceptual framework for the patient conference.

In contrast to “paper cases” or simulations, real patient conferences offer specific opportunities: to focus on the patient and his/her request for integrative health care, to perceive the different dimensions of health, illness and healing, to exercise essential perception skills and to enhance experiential learning.

The integrative real patient conference has been developed over the last 14 years at the Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine at Witten / Herdecke University and is practiced regularly at the Clinical Education Ward for Integrative Medicine.

If the program committee feels your presentation would be better suited for a different presentation type, such as a symposium (shorter format during the main meeting), would you be willing to adapt your presentation to fit the new format?


Who is the target audience of the workshop? Are there particular skills or background that are recommended as pre-requests?

Educators of heath care professionals. No specific skills or background recommended.

Is this workshop proposed by an organization?


Has the content (or substantial parts) of this workshop been previously presented or published (note: previous experience presenting the material may be considered a strength as long as continued interest is anticipated)?


Please provide Location of Presentation and/or Publication Information and date of each presentation

Scheffer C, Tauschel D, Neumann M, Lutz G, Cysarz D, Heusser P, Edelhäuser F (2012). Integrative medical education: Educational strategies and preliminary evaluation of the Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine (ICURAM). Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Dec; 89(3):447-54

Scheffer C, Tauschel D, Neumann M, Lutz G, Valk-Draad M, Edelhäuser F (2013). Active student participation may enhance patient centeredness: patients' assessments of the clinical education ward for integrative medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:743832.