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Book and Media Reviews
January 21, 2009

Snake Oil Science: The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine

JAMA. 2009;301(3):332-333. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.972

Why would the evidence basis for integrative medicine, also known as “alternative,” “unconventional,” “New Age,” “complementary,” “complementary and alternative,” or “integrative” medicine be questioned? Have not some of the methods been used, the botanicals been recommended, and the holistic approach been preferred for decades or even longer? Medical schools in the United States, and their main teaching hospitals, often have departments or sections of integrative medicine. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) maintains the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In fact, a National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Public Health will be held in Washington, DC, on February 25-27, 2009.