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J R Coll Gen Pract. Feb 1987; 37(295): 52–55.
PMCID: PMC1710702

General practitioners and alternative medicine

Abstract

A questionnaire on the views, beliefs and attitudes of doctors regarding alternative medicine was sent to 274 general practitioners. Of the 222 who replied, 31% said that they had a working knowledge of at least one form of alternative medicine, 29% had read publications on alternative medicine and 41% had attended lectures or classes in alternative medicine. Twelve per cent had received training and 42% wanted further training in an alternative form of medicine; 16% currently practised a form of alternative medicine. The majority of doctors (95%) said that patients had discussed alternative medicine with them during the past year and over half (59%) had referred patients to alternative practitioners. Forty-one per cent of doctors believed that alternative systems of medicine were valid and over half of the doctors (54%) defined alternative medicine as additional to western medicine, not taught in western medical schools or not available on the National Health Service, compared with only 16% who defined alternative medicine as unscientific.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fulder SJ, Munro RE. Complementary medicine in the United Kingdom: patients, practitioners, and consultations. Lancet. 1985 Sep 7;2(8454):542–545. [PubMed]
  • Reilly DT. Young doctors' views on alternative medicine. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983 Jul 30;287(6388):337–339. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wharton R, Lewith G. Complementary medicine and the general practitioner. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Jun 7;292(6534):1498–1500. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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