Leadership & Education Program for Students
in Integrative Medicine
(LEAPS into IM)

Old Mission San Luis Rey
Oceanside, CA

JUNE 2 - 7, 2024

LEAPS focuses on developing leadership skills, Integrative Medicine education, self-care skills, and developing IM projects to implement at their own home schools.

The next LEAPS Retreat will be from June 2 - 7, 2024.
Detailed program and registration information will be coming soon.

An Overview of LEAPS

Leadership & Education Program for Students in Integrative Medicine (LEAPS into IM). Participants should have a demonstrated interest in Integrative Medicine and demonstrated willingness to take on leadership roles within their institution or community. Participants may include students in the following disciplines: medicine, osteopathy, nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, psychology, social work, allied health, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, naturopathy, among others. The program will focus on developing leadership skills, Integrative Medicine education, self-care skills, and developing IM projects to implement at their own home schools. Once the on-site program is completed, students are expected to implement a home institution project and are eligible to apply for a $200 grant to fund that project.

Selection criteria will be based on completeness of application, good academic standing, diverse geographic representation of participants, and commitment to implementing IM leadership skills and home projects. Note: participation is open to all North American students, however, payment of Program fees must be made in US Dollars. With research and program development being important components of LEAPS into IM, all applicants are required to identify one or two student peers willing to serve in a control group who, along with the participants, will be asked to complete two or three short surveys each year of their medical training. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so submission in a timely manner is rewarded. The application deadline was March 1, 2023.

Mission of LEAPS

The mission of LEAPS into IM is to enhance the leadership skills and knowledge base of future health leaders in Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine is uniquely qualified to assist patients to reach a place of healing in the face of chronic disease. Individuals with chronic disease and others who have interest in prevention and wellness are increasingly engaging in alternative, complementary, holistic, spiritual and traditional ways of healing. They are an important part of an Integrative Medicine approach to health and healing. Integrative Medicine places the patient as the center of the health care team and utilizes the patient's entire life narrative when considering health outcomes.

History of LEAPS

LEAPS evolved from the former AMSA Foundation- and NIH grant-sponsored Educational Development in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (EDCAM) Leadership Training Program (LTP) held at the Omega Institute, beginning in 2003. The Leadership Training Program (LTP) of EDCAM was a weeklong summer program designed to foster the development of future leaders of the CAM/Integrative Medicine movement. Through a rigorous application process, 20 of the most aspiring medical student leaders from across the country gathered together.

To date, more than 200 medical students have enriched their medical education and indeed, careers and lives of their patients, by attending this pivotal training program. Past attendees have said that it helped them to believe in medicine and healing again, and gave them a sense of community and purpose in their medical careers. In 2010, through the collaboration of AMSA, Kripalu, the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, this inspiring program was re-launched as LEAPS.

Student leaders from across North America will be selected to participate in this intensive weeklong retreat led by the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and the Old Mission San Luis Rey.

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine brings together the best in Conventional Medicine, Nutrition, Movement, Other Healing Systems, and Mind/Body/Spirit Disciplines. It is a relatively new field in medicine, and few experienced physicians are trained in it. More are needed. The LEAPS Core Faculty is composed of Integrative Medicine physicians and educators with long associations in major American academic health centers, who value the importance of a patient's narrative and evidence-based research in understanding health and disease.

Goals and Learning Objectives

The overall goals of the LEAPS into IM program is to enhance student education in evidence-based integrative modalities, to prepare participants to become student leaders in integrative health education at their schools, and support students' personal and professional development.
By participating in LEAPS into IM:

  • Students will develop and refine leadership skills (e.g. public speaking, project management), that can assist them in developing and implementing an individual Integrative Medicine project at their own schools with a faculty mentor. Students will become familiar with the various definitions of IM and trajectories for following an Integrative Medicine career path. Students will gain experience in modalities and approaches (e.g. meditation, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition, ) to health and healing not typically taught in conventional medicine schools. Students will explore the evidence base for integrative modalities and approaches to which they are exposed.
  • Students will recognize their need for self-care and learn practices to optimize their personal self-awareness and overall health.
  • Students will build relationships with LEAPS faculty and peers from across the nation who will support and inspire them.
  • Students will experience a lasting sense of community and well-being.

Participant Expectations

Participation in this program will require full attention and attendance. Students will be required to commit to the entire duration of the program and stay in the housing provided. The Program begins at 3pm on Sunday and concludes at 1pm on Friday the week of the course.

  • Students will be required to plan and execute an educational project upon returning to their medical school with the support from a faculty mentor at their home institution, LEAPS Core Faculty and a $200 mini-grant from the Academic Consortium.
  • Involvement with this leadership program necessitates a commitment to continued communication with Core faculty including participation in research surveys and online exchange of project progress and professional development

Program Fees & Deadlines

Applicants who are selected to participate will be expected to pay a tuition fee based on the following fee schedule:

  • Tuition: $500 (US Funds)

Tuition includes three daily meals from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch as well as 5 nights of accommodations at the Old Mission San Luis Rey. Please be aware that the Academic Consortium has worked hard to provide participants with a unique, enjoyable, and educational experience while keeping costs at a minimum. Participants will be responsible for all other meals and travel expenses, including airfare and/or ground transportation.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so submission in a timely manner is rewarded. The application deadline was March 1, 2023.

For more information, contact leaps.consortium@gmail.com