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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2, Issue 3, Pages 395-397
Education Section

Finding the Evidence in CAM: a Student's Perspective

School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles and School of Medicine, University of California Irvine, CA, USA

Received 29 April 2005; Accepted 20 July 2005

Copyright © 2005 Jeffrey Ghassemi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This commentary offers a future health care provider's perspective on the role of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Western (namely, in US) medical education and practice. As a student of both public health and medicine in the United States, Jeffrey Ghassemi is interested in CAM's contribution to improving medical practice and teaching. The commentary highlights the ambiguous definitions of CAM to Westerners despite the rising popularity of and expenditures for alternative modalities of care. It then argues for collaboration between alternative and established medical communities to ascertain the scientific merits of CAM. It concludes by calling for a new medical paradigm that embraces the philosophies of both communities to advance education and patient care.