Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
I care for a patient who is 53 and obese with high lipid levels, borderline
hypertension, and a strong family history of heart disease. She loves rich
foods, hates exercise, and fears synthetic compounds. Recently she has avidly
embraced alternative therapies and tells me glowingly about her various healers,
the herbal preparations she swallows, and homeopathic medicines that limit
She is typical of many persons in my practice. People in the United
States are rushing toward alternative therapies.1
What's going on? What does the future hold in the long-standing interplay
between allopathic and alternative medicine? Drawing primarily on conversations
with my patients, I offer observations and predictions that suggest we are
in the midst of a fad that will pass.
Delbanco T. Leeches, Spiders, and Astrology: Predilections and Predictions. JAMA. 1998;280(18):1560-1562. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1560