The work of Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra--two holistic health/New Age gurus: a critique of the holistic health/New Age movements

Med Anthropol Q. 2003 Jun;17(2):233-50. doi: 10.1525/maq.2003.17.2.233.


Despite the popular roots of the holistic health/New Age movements, a growing number of biomedical physicians have become proponents of holistic health as well as New Age healing. Over the past two decades, Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, two biomedically trained physicians, have emerged as the visible and financially successful spokespersons of the movement. This article provides brief biographical sketches of Weil and Chopra and compares and contrasts their respective views on health, illness, healing, and health care. It also considers the response of various biomedical parties to these holistic health/New Age gurus who have attempted to integrate biomedicine and various alternative healing and metaphysical systems. Finally, this article argues that Weil and Chopra both epitomize the limitations of the holistic health/New Age movements, albeit in different ways.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Comparative Study
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies / economics
  • Complementary Therapies / history
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Holistic Health / history*
  • Humans
  • Physician's Role / history*
  • Public Health / trends
  • United States

Personal name as subject

  • Andrew Weil
  • Deepak Chopra