Patient and Medical Education on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Sorting It Out
Part of the Biomedical Ethics Reviews book series (BER)


Millions of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, often in the absence of scientific evidence of their safety and effectiveness and, in many cases, with-out including a medical professional in the decision-making process (1). Depending on how broadly one defines it, between 36 and 62% of the US population now relies on some form of CAM (2). Although annual visits to CAM practitioners now out-number visits to primary care physicians (3), only 12% of those using CAM therapies seek them through certified or licensed CAM practitioners (4). CAM users are usually paying out of pocket, using one or more alternative therapies on a regular basis in combination with prescription medications, and generally not discussing their CAM use with their physicians (5).


Integrative Medicine Federal Trade Commission Professional Medical Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Expanding horizons of health care. Strategic Plan 2005–2009. National Institutes of Health, US DHHS 2005 Washington, DC. Accessed June 20, 2006.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barnes PM, Powell-Griner E, McFann K, Nahin RL. Complementary and alterative medicine use among adults: United States, 2002. Advance data from vital and health statistics; no 343. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2004. DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 2004-1250 04-03420 (05/04)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Eisenberg DM, Kessler RC, Foster C, Norlock FE, Calkins DR, Delbanco TL. Unconventional medicine in the United States. Prevalence, costs, and patterns of use. N Engl J Med 1993;328: 246–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. Final Report. National Institutes of Health, US DHHS 2002 Washington, DC.. Accessed on June 20, 2006.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Institute of Medicine Committee on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the United States. Washington DC. The National Academies Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kaptchuk TJ, Eisenberg DM. Varieties of healing. 2: A taxonomy of unconventional healing practices. Ann Intern Med 2001; 135: 196–204.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Eisenberg DM. Advising patients who seek alternative medical therapies. Ann Intern Med. 1997;127:61–69.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    White J. Alternative sports medicine. The Phys & Sports Med 1998; 26. Accessed on January 16, 2005.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Eisenberg DM, Kessler RC, Van Rompay MI, et al. Perceptions about complementary therapies relative to conventional therapies among adults who use both: results from a national survey. Ann Intern Med 2001; 135:344–351.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Committee on Children with Disabilities. Counseling families who choose CAM for their children with chronic illness or disability. A policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics 2001; 107:598–601.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pagan JA, Pauly MA. Access to conventional medical care and the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Hlth Affairs 2005;24:255–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 13.
    Portyanski E. Alternative medicine: how bountiful is the harvest: Drug Topics April 6, 1998:44–50.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Chavis LM. Pharmacy-based consulting on dietary supplements. J AmPharm Assoc 2001;4:181–191.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    National Library of Medicine. Consumer health information: a workshop for librarians providing health information to the public. September 1, 2001.Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    Pettigrew AC, King MO, McGee K, Rudolph C. Complementary therapy use by women’s health clinic clients. Altern Ther Health Med 2004; 10:50–55.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 18.
    Institute of Medicine Committee on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the United States. Washington DC. The National Academies Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    Morris CA, Avorn J. Internet marketing of herbal products. JAMA 2003;290:1505–1509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 20.
    U.S. General Accounting Office. Health products for seniors. “Anti-aging” products pose potential for physical and economic harm. Report to Chairman, Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate. September 2001. GAO-01-1129. Available at. Accessed on February 21, 2005.Google Scholar
  19. 21.
    Federal Trade Commission. Promotions for kids dietary supplements leave sour taste. Consumer Feature May 2000. US Federal Trade Commission.. Accessed on June 20, 2006.Google Scholar
  20. 22.
    National Library of Medicine. Consumer health information. A workshop for librarians providing health information for the public. DHHS, National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD. 2004.. Accessed on January 20, 2005.Google Scholar
  21. 23.
    Neuburger E. Home computer and internet use in the US. August 2000. Special Studies. 2001 US Census Bureau, US Dept. of Commerce. Washington DC.. Accessed January 30, 2005.Google Scholar
  22. 24.
    Fox S, Rainie L. Vital decisions. How internet users decide what information to trust when they or their loved ones are sick. Washington DC; Pew Internet & American Life Project 2002.. Accessed on January 30, 2005.Google Scholar
  23. 25.
    Kaiser Family Foundation. E-Health and the elderly: how seniors use the Internet for health survey. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health.. Accessed on January 12, 2005.Google Scholar
  24. 26.
    Bureau of Consumer Protection. Health claims on the Internet: buyer beware. FTC Consumer Feature June 2001. U.S. Federal Trade Commission.Google Scholar
  25. 27.
    Taylor DA. Botanical supplements: weeding out the health risks. Environ Health Perspect 2004;112:A750–A753.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 28.
    Fontanarosa PB, Rennie D, DeAngelis CD. The need for regulation of dietary supplements —lessons from ephedra. JAMA 2003;289:1568–1570.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 29.
    Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services. Adverse event reporting for dietary supplements: an inadequate safety valve. April 2001. Available at:. Accessed on November 30, 2004.Google Scholar
  28. 30.
    Federal Trade Commission. FTC cracks down on marketers of bogus bioterrorism defense products. News Release November 19, 2001. U.S. Federal Trade Commission., Accessed on February 10, 2005.Google Scholar
  29. 31.
    National Association of School Nurses. Position statement: alternative medicine use in the school setting. June 2001. Available at. Accessed on January 16. 2005.Google Scholar
  30. 32.
    Beales JH. Statement of the Federal Trade Commission on Efforts to ensure the truthfulness and accuracy of marketing of dietary supplements for children. Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. June 6, 2004. Available at Accessed on January 8, 2005.Google Scholar
  31. 33.
    Ambrose PJ. Drug use in sports: a veritable arena for pharmacists. J Am Pharm Assoc 2004;44:501–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 34.
    Food and Drug Administration. Press Release: HSS launches crackdown on products containing andro. FDA warns manufacturers to stop distributing such products. March 11, 2004. Available at. Accessed on February 10, 2005.Google Scholar
  33. 35.
    Dasgupta A. Review of abnormal laboratory test results and toxic effects due to use of herbal medicines. Am J Clin Pathol 2003;120:127–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 36.
    Fleming MO, Sierpina VS. Ethics Forum: treatment choice is ultimately the patient’s. When patients tell of alternative therapies, what do you say? Amer Med News Oct. 4 2004:13.Google Scholar
  35. 37.
    Gabriel B. To teach or not to teach: the role of alternative medicine in the medical school curricula. AAMC Reporter. July 2001. Available at Accessed on September 9, 2004.Google Scholar
  36. 38.
    Wetzel MS, Kaptchuck TJ, Haramati A, Eisenberg D. Complementary and alternative medical therapies: implications for medical education. Ann Intern Med 2003;138:191–196.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 39.
    Neff S. Complementary and alternative medical education. Letter to the Editor. Ann Intern Med 2004;140:67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 40.
    Fortin AH, Barnett KG. Medical school curricula in spirituality and medicine. JAMA 2004;291:2883.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 41.
    Brokaw JJ, Tunnicliff G, Raess BU, Saxon DW. The teaching of complementary and alternative medicine in U.S. medical schools: a survey of course directors. Acad Med 2002;77:876–881.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 42.
    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, About the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Available at. Accessed on February 18, 2005.Google Scholar
  41. 45.
    Georgetown University Medical Center School Of Medicine. CAM in the curriculum. Educational initiative in CAM. Available at. Accessed on February 18, 2005.Google Scholar
  42. 50.
    Sierpina VS. Teaching integratively: how the next generation of doctors will practice. Integ Cancer Therapies 2004;3:201–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 52.
    Whelan JS, Dvorkan L.—Evolution of information resources in pediatric complementary and alternative medicine projects: from monographs to Web learning. J Med Libr Assoc 2003;91:411–417.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 53.
    Kemper KJ, Highfield ES, McLellan M, Ott MJ, Dvorkin L, Whelan JS. Pediatric faculty development in integrative medicine. Altern Ther Health Med 2002;8:70–73.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 55.
    Kligler B, Gordon, A, Stuart M, Sierpina V. Suggested curriculum guidelines on complementary and alternative medicine: recommendations of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Group on Alternative Medicine. Fam Med 1999;31:31–33.Google Scholar
  46. 56.
    Institute of Medicine. (IOM) Health professions education: A bridge to quality. Washington DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  47. 57.
    Kligler B, Maizes V, Schacter S, et al. Core competencies in integrative medicine for medical school curricula: a proposal. Acad Med 2004;79:521–531.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 58.
    Frenkel M, Ben Arye E. The growing need to teach about complementary and alternative medicine: questions and challenges. Acad Med 2001;76:251–254.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 60.
    Health Summit Working Group. Criteria for assessing the quality of health information on the internet —Policy paper. Mitreteck Systems. 1999.. Accessed on February 18, 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ethics and Professionalism at the American College of PhysiciansPhiladelphia

Personalised recommendations