Attitudes Towards Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine

Doctors love alternative medicine for themselves, but not for their patients

Do Doctors Take Alternative Medicine Seriously?

There was an interesting article in the LA Times that describes how more doctors are using alternative medicine……..on themselves.

While doctors are schooled in traditional Western medicine, a growing number like Michelfelder are turning to complementary and alternative medicine to stay healthy, then integrating the techniques into their medical practices.

A study published in the online version of Health Services Research in August found that 76 percent of health care workers and 83 percent of doctors and nurses used CAM (Complimentary Alternative Medicine), compared with 63 percent of the general population.

However, despite their personal acceptance of yoga, acupuncture, etc, as healing mechanisms, they’re slow to recommend it to their patients:

Doctors who work in hospital integrative medicine departments or use CAM methods in their own practices say their referrals from other physicians have been steadily increasing, though many physicians are still reluctant to suggest it. But doctors agree that patients themselves are the ones who have pushed much of the change in health care.

Paternalistic Attitudes

I don’t want to risk sounding anti-scientific, but I think most people enjoy the insulation that comes from deferring their health decisions to people with badges, and place too much emphasis on the perceived “rigor” of professional medicine.

Doctors themselves might contribute to this problem by narrowly believing in what they were taught in medical school and adopting paternalistic attitudes towards their patients.

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Comments

  1. I come with my parents to the hospital sometimes (who are terminally ill), and at times I feel like the doctors are using my mom as a convenient way to play with their toys. It’s covered by Medicare, so I don’t complain too much, but I’m never at ease with their attitude.

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