Terminology

Allopathic Medicine – “The system of medical practice which treats disease by the use of remedies which produce effects different from those produced by the disease under treatment. MDs practice allopathic medicine.  Also called conventional medicine” (MedicineNet, 2009).

Alternative Medicine – “Healing arts not taught in traditional Western medical schools that promote options to conventional medicine that is taught in these schools.  An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a Western physician. Complementary medicine is different from alternative medicine.  Whereas complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine” (MedicineNet, 2009).

CAM – “A group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine” (National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2004).

Complementary Medicine – “A group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine.  An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapy to help lessen a patient's discomfort following surgery” (MedicineNet, 2009).

Integrative Medicine – “Integrative medicine combines treatments from conventional medicine and CAM for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness” (National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2004).

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