Published On: Thu, Jul 26th, 2018

Conventional Vs. Alternative Medicine: What Experts Think About It

Many of us desire to live a long healthy life. However, concerning treatment and medicine, most people live in a bubble, thinking that the only way is conventional medicine. That is the traditional medicine that we are most familiar.

It is the type of medicine practised by the average physician. The ease of global communication has however made it possible for many to become aware of the existence of alternative medicine. Though, you shouldn’t confuse alternative medicine and complementary medicine, to be the same.

photo/ Philipp Kleindienst

They both fall under the broad group of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and refer to treatment options out of the medical mainstream. A worthy point to take note of in your personal statement internal medicine residency.

Alternative medicine is where a non-mainstream treatment is used in place of traditional medicine. Whereas, complementary medicine is the same treatment used together with conventional medicine.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Alternative Medicine

Experts don’t recommend the use of alternative medicine, even though some people, swear by it. However, more and more traditional medical doctors are changing their attitude towards complementary medicine. An important point to note is that everyone responds to a particular practice, differently.

Over the years, research has been carried out on various alternative medicine approaches. More research has been done on some, more than others. For instance, acupuncture has been shown to be effective in dealing with chronic pain. The pain of the neck and lower back.

Some studies show that Yoga is helpful in reducing anxiety and depression in an individual. It can also help in issues concerning one’s heart rate or blood pressure. Just like any medicine, alternative medicine can be dangerous.

It applies to situations where one use these approaches to replace conventional treatments. It may be so because most aren’t proven treatments for a particular condition. You also need to remember, that though a supplement, herb or vitamin is deemed “natural”, it doesn’t translate directly to being safe for human consumption.

Some of the dangers linked to natural products include:

  • A herb used to ease anxiety, Kava Kava, may lead to damage to your liver.
  • Taking Vitamin C in high doses could affect the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy in patients who have cancer.
  • Some of the herbal medicine used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine may contain heavy metals such as arsenic or lead.

However, this doesn’t nullify the effectiveness of alternative medicine when used together with conventional medicine.

Why Conventional Physicians are embracing Alternative Medicine

Understanding the intricate relationship between conventional and alternative medicine is handy for your internal medicine personal statements. Traditional medicine practitioners are slowly adopting a positive attitude towards alternative medicine.

For gynaecologists and obstetricians especially, a good number of them offer their patients an alternative medicine modality. The reasons below may help you understand the changing attitude towards alternative therapies:

  • Provides Treatment for the Root Cause of Illnesses

In today’s medical climate, physicians have little time to diagnose and treat the cause of illnesses. However, alternative practitioners take time to determine the underlying cause of an ailment.

Besides, most of the conventional medicine practices were developed during the war. That is in times of emergency. Sometimes, these measures tend to overkill. They may even lead to the suppression of your immune response.

  • It’s a Drug-Free Option

Many of the conventional medicine therapies have side effects, and often, patients tolerate them poorly. It applies to the treatment of auto-immune diseases. In contrast, alternative medicine provides a practical approach, that’s refreshing, and you don’t need to take drugs.

When you feel pain in your body, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. It could be its way of informing you that you are doing something wrong. Say, when you are exposed to daily stress or eating the wrong things.

  • Health Depends on Wellness Care

You need to realise that achieving good health is a lifestyle process. It’s not just about the treatment of illnesses. For the health conditions that natural remedies work, they offer a better approach as opposed to prescription medicine.

For many health conditions, all you may need is adequate sleep, healthy eating or merely moderate and regular exercise.


As you look at sample internal medicine letter of recommendation, you should note that alternative medical practices are gaining popularity. More doctors are incorporating alternative medicine and conventional medicine. Learning from both world will make the provision of medical care, more holistic.

Author: Barbara Johnson

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