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Books, Journals, New Media
February 2, 2005

Integrative Medicine

JAMA. 2005;293(5):623-629. doi:10.1001/jama.293.5.628

Integrative Medicine: Principles for Practice is another in a growing line of books that endeavor to combine the best of conventional Western medicine with the perceived or demonstrated benefits of other healing systems. This 900-plus-page textbook is divided into six parts and comes with a separate continuing medical education study guide.

Part 1, “Basic Principles,” includes a brief history of medicine from the editors’ and a coauthor’s perspective. They note the development of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and define integrative medicine and its key concepts. Other topics include the challenges of research, psychosocial determinants of health and illness, and mind-body medicine from the perspective of a psychologist. A chapter on “patient-centered medicine” claims that modern medicine defines patients by their diseases. The author emphasizes the importance of the patient’s history and describes case examples that demonstrate his success in using his conventional and unconventional approaches to treatment.