This aim of this quantitative and qualitative study was to identify concepts of conventional medicine and acupuncture that contribute to the understanding of motives leading physicians to learn about or specialize in acupuncture. We interviewed 175 physicians from the Course in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture administered by the Research Center on Chinese Medicine at the School of Medicine of the Federal University in São Paulo (UNIFESP/EPM), using questionnaires consisting of open and closed questions. The resulting data were submitted to statistical analysis, and the answers were analyzed using the content analysis technique, seeking to unveil units of meaning. This process ena bled establishing general and specific categories that lent meaning to the discourses. Three categorical groups were obtained: "professional enhancement", "expanding one's life horizons", and "understan ding the patient in a more comprehensive dimension". Our data also showed that physicians wish to integrate acupuncture with their practice of conventional medicine, within which acupuncture has been consolidated as a medical specialty.
Acupuncture; Medical Education, Graduate; Medicine, Chinese Traditional; Complementary Therapies; Physician-Patient Relations