Academic physicians and complementary and alternative medicine: an institutional survey

Am J Med Qual. Jan-Feb 2002;17(1):3-9. doi: 10.1177/106286060201700102.


In order to assess attitudes, awareness, and behavior related to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among academic physicians, a questionnaire study was conducted with faculty in one of the largest teaching hospitals in the United States. The survey assessed attitudes toward and awareness of 11 CAM therapies in regard to patient usage and usefulness. The majority of respondents believed that only 20% or less of their patients used CAM. Respondents varied widely on level of knowledge/awareness of specific CAM therapies. Those who were more knowledgeable were more likely to perceive CAM as useful and to have recommended more therapies. The modalities respondents noted as knowing the least about were deemed the least useful. Limited knowledge of most CAM therapies and limited awareness of patient CAM use points to the need for continuing education efforts for physicians, focusing on CAM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration
  • Faculty, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospitals, Teaching*
  • Humans
  • Iowa
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Self Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce