Dr Ernst raises several important questions about the field of integrative medicine.
Whereas many of the core principles of integrative medicine may not be new, what is certainly unique is the way they are put together. We agree with the equation of integrative medicine with "just" good medicine. This is in part why integrative medicine has not become yet another distinct specialty in medicine in the United States. Our contention is that its principles can, and should, be applied within all fields of medicine. Thus, the question for us is not so much how "new" the concept is, but rather, given the complexity of the concept, what are its implications for health care practice and outcomes research.
Bell IR, Caspi O, Maizes V. Integrative Medicine: Not a Carte Blanche for Untested Nonsense—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(15):1781-1782. doi: