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Special Article
November 27, 2000

The Tower of Babel: Communication and MedicineAn Essay on Medical Education and Complementary-Alternative Medicine

Author Affiliations

From the Program in Integrative Medicine, Departments of Medicine (Drs Caspi, Bell, Rychener, Gaudet, and Weil), Psychology (Drs Caspi and Bell), Psychiatry (Dr Bell), and Family and Community Medicine (Dr Weil), University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(21):3193-3195. doi:10.1001/archinte.160.21.3193

As society changes, medical education also must change.1

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is constantly gaining in popularity.26 Despite its widespread use, valid concerns have been raised regarding the integration of CAM into the health care system.7 Certainly, the gap between allopathy and CAM is very substantive. It pertains to methodology and rigorous applications of scientific standards of evidence, among other issues, as well as to the meaning and context of illness and health. At present, it remains unclear (1) whether a true integration of conventional and unconventional therapies is even possible, (2) what this integration would look like, and (3) whether we are ready for the new era of medicine that would then result.810

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