Alan Berkenwald, MD
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Berkenwald A. In the Name of Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129:589. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-7-199810010-00024
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(7):589.
The main thrust of my article was to point out the insidious “name calling” that exists among those of the healing profession. Dr. Kaptchuk exemplifies this in his letter by acknowledging that the “scientific community” does not accept the “science” of alternative medicine and argues for the exclusive moniker, biomedicine, to describe the activities of those who've earned the initials MD. But the practitioners of chiropractic, homeopathy, and, yes, even psychic medicine have not ceded their claim to scientific inquiry. Nor has the National Institutes of Health, by virtue of its funding to investigate the claims of these and other alternative practitioners. For MDs to lay title to a term as all-encompassing as biomedicine is itself an act of Aesculapian authority, a claim based on the physician's presumed “superior morality and knowledge based power.” As for Dr. Kaptchuk's claim that many alternative medicine providers are not free of government regulation, licensing procedures, and credentialing processes, I direct his attention to some of the advertisements in the National Enquirer or Prevention. Need I say more?
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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