Differences In Visits Between Doctors?

Mimi Guarneri, M.D., Scripps

Question: In what ways will my visit to an alternative medicine provider be different than a visit with a conventionally trained health professional?

Answer: The question is how will my visit to an alternative medicine provider be different from my visit to a conventionally trained health professional. An alternative medicine provider will most not likely be providing the same type of information that a conventional medicine physician would. I prefer the term integrative medicine.

Integrative medicine embraces the best of western allopathic medicine -- which is the type of medicine that I learned in medical school -- with evidence based healing traditions from around the world.

Integrative medicine embraces the best of traditional Chinese medicine, for example, from China. So we may use acupuncture, we may use herbal medicine.

It also embraces the best of eastern philosophy, such as Ayurvedic medicine. And we may use yoga, we may use meditation. But all of these are used in combination with western allopathic medicine.

So someone who is seeing an integrative medicine physician has the best of both worlds. You have the best of western allopathic medicine, where a physician knows when it's time to use medication, when it's time to use surgery, when it's time to use pharmaceuticals; just as comfortably as when it's time to use yoga, lifestyle change, meditation, and supplements.

Mimi Guarneri, M.D., Scripps
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