Virtual Mentor

Virtual Mentor. June 2011, Volume 13, Number 6: 331-415.

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June 2011 Contents

Complementary and Alternative Therapies—Medicine's Response

Ethics Poll

People in the U.S. spend between $36 billion and $47 billion annually on treatments that are collectively known as "complementary and alternative medicine." Modalities that fall in this CAM category range from treatments such as acupuncture to use of nutritional supplements. Which one of the following do you think best explains why so much money is spent on CAM?
People want to take control over their own health, rather than giving that control to physicians.
People believe that CAM products and practices are more natural and, therefore, less harmful to the body than conventional medical treatments.
Regular medical care from physicians is too expensive.
People believe that CAM is a worthwhile complement to medical care from their physicians [they want to do everything possible].
People use CAM to maintain health and go to a regular medical doctor when they become sick.
People have lost faith in conventional medicine and mistrust the pharmaco-medical industry.
People trust anecdotal reports about the effectiveness of CAM from those they know and respect as much as or more than they trust the results of controlled medical experimentation.
Practitioners of alternative therapies spend more time with patients than medical doctors do.

Which of the following have you employed to improve your health in the last 5 years? [Check all that apply.]
Reiki or energy manipulation.
Chinese herbal remedies.
Homeopathic remedies.
None of the above..


From the Editor

Physician Responsibilities in a World of CAM
Kara J. Gulewicz
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:333-335.

Educating for Professionalism

Clinical Cases

When Patients Choose CAM over EBM—How to Negotiate Treatment
Commentary by Michael J. Fisch and Richard T. Lee
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:336-341.

“CAM” Education in Medical Schools—A Critical Opportunity Missed
Commentary by Kimball C. Atwood
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:342-353.

Herbal Supplements as Placebos
Commentary by Valerie (Val) Jones
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:354-358.

The Code Says

The AMA Code of Medical Ethics’ Opinion on Ethical Referral
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:359-360.

Journal Discussion

Fairness in the Context of CAM
Hannah L. Kushnick
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:361-364.

Clinical Pearl

The Lipid-Lowering Properties of Red Yeast Rice
David J. Becker and Ram Y. Gordon
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:365-368.

Law, Policy, and Society

Health Law

Choosing Alternative Treatments for Children
Kavitha V. Neerukonda
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:369-373.

Policy Forum

Licensure of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners
Michael H. Cohen and Harry Nelson
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:374-378.

Medicine and Society

Integrative Medicine and Cancer Care
David S. Rosenthal and Anne M. Doherty-Gilman
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:379-383.

History, Art, and Narrative

History of Medicine

Chiropractic’s Fight for Survival
Steve Agocs
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:384-388.

Op-Ed and Correspondence


Resisting the Understandable Appeal of CAM
Michael Shermer
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:389-393.

Medicine’s Great Divide—The View from the Alternative Side
Deepak Chopra
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:394-398.


Suggested Readings and Resources
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:399-412.

About the Contributors
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:413-415.