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Books, Journals, New Media
November 3, 2004

Alternative Medicine

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(17):2153-2159. doi:10.1001/jama.292.17.2154-b

This is a slender but thoughtful sociologic study of the evolving role of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in contemporary American society. The author is a former chair of the sociology department at Columbia University and is currently a faculty member in the School of Government at Harvard University.

The book consists of seven chapters covering (1) the definition of CAM; (2) understanding how knowledge relative to potential therapies is developed and disseminated; (3) who uses CAM, and why; (4) how physicians learn and practice; (5) how research on new therapies is conducted and validated; (6) studies currently under way in regard to CAM and what they may prove; and (7) the future of CAM and its integration into the healing arts.