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August 17, 1984

Teaching Touch at Medical School

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychological Medicine, Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.

JAMA. 1984;252(7):931-933. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350070049023

The association between touch and healing is ancient and worldwide. Skilled hands are among the physician's most important diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Yet a survey of medical schools in the English-speaking world revealed that most offer no touch training in their curricula. Of 169 medical schools, only 12 give any formal instruction in the uses and meaning of therapeutic touch in medicine. The teaching modes of these 12 schools are discussed, and the program of the most touch-conscious school, the University of Otago, is described.

(JAMA 1984;252:931-933)