Alternative Medicine under the Microscope – Part I

The seventh annual Trottier Symposium spotlights “Alternative Medicine.” Four world-renowned experts examine some of its tenets “under the microscope.”

Alternative medicine can be described as practices that are available to the public but which are not taught in conventional medical schools. The focus there lies on evidence-based methods and controlled experiments. Lack of evidence does not mean that a particular treatment cannot work; there may be alternative methods and practices worth pursuing. Alternative treatments can range from acupuncture to reflexology, and its practitioners range from energy healers to magnet therapists. Although risks tend to be low, there is always the danger of patients being seduced by unsubstantiated claims, possibly to the extent of forgoing evidence-based treatments.

Irrespective of one’s views on alternative medicine, there is no doubt that the subject merits attention and scrutiny.

Dr. Paul Offit is one of the most public figures speaking out against the alleged relationship between vaccines and autism. Dr. Harriet Hall is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. Dr. Robert (Bob) Park is an Emeritus Professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park who has written pseudoscience, alternative medicine, and the creation/evolution debate.

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    January 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm