The public debate over alternative medicine: the importance of finding a middle ground

Altern Ther Health Med. 2000 Jan;6(1):98-101.


As the use of alternative medical therapies has grown in the United States, so has the controversy surrounding it. Many conventional medicine practitioners and researchers often express strong negative attitudes toward alternative medicine therapies and practitioners. Likewise, many alternative medicine practitioners and activists often express strong negative attitudes toward conventional medicine and its methods. Unfortunately, such highly polarized viewpoints tend to dominate the public debate over alternative medicine in this country, obscuring the empirical evidence. This article discusses the evidence pertaining to some of the major controversies surrounding alternative medicine and why there is a critical need to find a more moderate approach to resolving such controversial issues. A potential model for finding a middle ground in this debate is presented.

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Humans
  • Public Opinion*
  • United States