The movement from the wild-west of “alternative” medical practices into mainstream respect and inclusion is typically a process of standard-setting, self-regulation, and then governmental action. Two principals in the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Medicine recently asked whether – with the chaotic and rapid expansion of the field — its time for integrative medical doctors, in particular, to consider additional, proactive steps.
Multiple integrative oncologists question whether JAMA Oncology did the public a huge disservice in publishing the controversial data-mining, population-based research led by Skyler Johnson, MD and James Yu, MD, MHS. The study concluded that use of complementary therapies leads to shorter life spans. The New York Times was among the major media that posted the scare.
A conventional oncology clinician or a typical patient deciding whether to step out of the box and try a “complementary” treatment got a strong message from multiple major media outlets the past three weeks. A New York Times subheading was representative: “People who used herbs, acupuncture and other complementary treatments tended to die earlier than those who didn’t.”
The media had a feeding frenzy when a data-mining report from Yale researchers published in JAMA Oncology suggested a causal relationship between use of “complementary medicine” and shortened life span among cancer patients. A New York Times subheading was representative: “People who used herbs, acupuncture and other complementary treatments tended to die earlier than those who didn’t.”