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Letter to the Editor
January 2000

Complementary and Complimentary Neurology

Arch Neurol. 2000;57(1):140. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.1.140

The November 1998 ARCHIVES issue on alternative neurology was timely. As one may know, in polite circles alternative medicine is being referred to as complementary medicine, to further legitimize the reintroduction of voodoo into mainstream practice. Seemingly intelligent patients have been spending hundreds of dollars each year on magnets, shark cartilage extracts, bioflavinoids, and other nostrums, much to my amazement and chagrin.

Inadvertently, I have been practicing complimentary neurology for the past 2 decades (eg, "Mrs Miller, you look very nice this morning."). As my former great mentor, Raymond D. Adams, MD, said to his residents: "You will not be able to cure many patients who come to your office, but everyone should leave feeling better for the experience." This philosophy has been lost in the practice of modern medicine and explains, in part, why our patients are seeking alternatives.