Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD
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Kaptchuk TJ. In the Name of Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129:589. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-7-199810010-00022
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(7):589.
TO THE EDITOR:
Dr. Berkenwald's search for an adequate label for the medicine performed by persons who have earned the initials MD is an excellent discussion but falls short of a relatively easy target . The quest misses the obvious term biomedicine . Biomedicine may be defined as the evolving practice of healing based on the biological sciences in conjunction with other natural sciences and applied technology. Although alternative medicine also has its version of science (for example, chiropractic science , homeopathic science , or even psychic science ), these sciences are not generally accepted as kindred disciplines by the scientific community. They propose theories and forces that are contrary to contemporary scientific knowledge. Alternative medical sciences also often lack self-critical skepticism and systematic attempts at falsifiability. One additional point: Although Berkenwald ultimately rejects the term, he has a slight preference for authoritarian to describe medicine practiced by an MD. His counterargument would have been more accurate had he acknowledged that many alternative medicines are also not free of government regulation, licensing procedures, and credential processes.
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