Review of Complementary Medicine and Clinical Practice

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Reviews the book, Complementary medicine and clinical practice edited by David P. Rakel and Nancy Faass (2006). Complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, as it is known, has been an important and controversial topic for allopathic medicine. Although the majority of the patients in this country will use one or more forms of complementary medicine, and spend more out-of-pocket money on CAM techniques and practitioners than on allopathic ones, there is still a great deal of uncertainty among practicing physicians about what exactly CAM consists of. This book goes a long way toward helping to clarify this diverse and changing topic. Overall, each of the topics in the book emphasizes a refreshing focus on health compared with the antidisease focus of many more traditional medical articles and books. Each of the chapters integrates the technique and philosophy of the topic explored into an overall health-oriented approach to patient care. Rakel and Faass's book creates a template for a new model of medicine. Given its broad scope, it is ideal for family physicians to consider as we envision the evolution of our practices.