The Truth About Alternative Medicine
Expert doctors Steven Novella, Harriet Hall, David Gorski, and Rachel Dunlop discuss so-called “alternative” medicine. What kinds of treatments does that term include? Are these treatments effective or even ethical? How can practitioners be held accountable for the services they provide? Plus, questions from the live audience at TAM 2012.
Alternative medicine is any practice claiming to heal “that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine.” It may be based on historical or cultural traditions, rather than on scientific evidence.
Alternative medicine is frequently grouped with complementary medicine or integrative medicine, which, in general, refers to the same interventions when used in conjunction with mainstream techniques under the umbrella term complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM.
Critics maintain that the terms “complementary” and “alternative medicine” are deceptive euphemisms meant to give an impression of medical authority.