Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The future of quackademic medicine is secure

---if this, the largest survey of its kind, is any indication:

In the largest national survey of its kind, researchers from UCLA and UC San Diego measured medical students' attitudes and beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and found that three-quarters of them felt conventional Western medicine would benefit by integrating more CAM therapies and ideas.

The findings will be published in the online issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) on January 20, 2010.

"Complementary and alternative medicine is receiving increased attention in light of the global health crisis and the significant role of traditional medicine in meeting public health needs in developing countries," said study author Ryan Abbott, a researcher at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. "Integrating CAM into mainstream health care is now a global phenomenon, with policy makers at the highest levels endorsing the importance of a historically marginalized form of health care."


Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

Patient want to believe that herbs, supplements, high colonics, coffee enemas, naturopathy and other quackology disciplines will make them well. They are certainly making an industry, who does not fall under FDA's authority, very wealthy. These treatments should be subjected to scientific examination to validate or refute their claims. To those treatments that we conventional physicians prescribe without medical evidence, the same standard applies. www.MDWhistleblower.blogspot.com

Lenoxus said...

Relating to quackery, I just left a comment in a post from o'er a year ago… feel free to consider it a comment on here instead…

Oh, I'll say something about this post, I guess. Benefit of the doubt possibility: There may be a significant number of those surveyed who feel that placebos should be used more often, since there are plenty of ailments for which they are the only things that "work".

Also, perhaps there's a general disillusionment with the medical system, as opposed to the science — I remember reading someone's rant about how a GP has like five minutes per patient in a sterile room crammed with stressed people, but a homeopath has hours to sooth clients about side-effects that will, of course, never happen — hence getting a much better placebo boost.

In any case, like, who can argue with expanding the boundaries, man? A lot of surveys change drastically if the question is changed, and this one could instead have asked whether alternative medicine has any value in and of itself, as a substitute for scientific medicine. The results would have been a lot different then… I hope… :(