Knowledge and attitudes of internists compared to medical students regarding acupuncture

Zohar Shani-Gershoni, Tamar Freud, Yan Press, Roni Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Acupuncture and public interest in this modality have increased over recent years in Israel and throughout the western world. Objectives: To compare the knowledge and attitudes of physicians to medical students with regard to acupuncture. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was completed by internists and medical students at the Soroka Medical Center. Results: There were 122 respondents in all, 57 of them women (46.7%). The study sample included 40 physicians (33%), 39 fifth year medical students (32%) and 43 second year medical students (35%). The majority of participants (93.4%) had never received training in acupuncture and 84.4% had never undergone acupuncture therapy themselves. In these variables there were no significant differences between the physicians and the students. The participants' level of knowledge of acupuncture was very low, with 40% unable to answer even one question (of eight) correctly. Despite the poor level of knowledge and the lack of personal exposure to acupuncture, 90 participants (74% believed that acupuncture has more than a placebo effect, and 57 (42%) believed it was important to include acupuncture in medical education. There were no statistically significant differences in the attitudes of physicians and medical students to acupuncture. Conclusions: The level of knowledge and exposure of physicians and medical students to acupuncture is low. However, both groups have relatively positive attitudes to his modality as an acceptable treatment for health problems and were open to its inclusion in the medical school curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • Acupuncture
  • Complementary medicine
  • Internists
  • Medical education
  • Medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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