Should I spend my money to see a conventional doctor or a naturopathic doctor?” Integrated Medicine is both; its physicians who practice both traditional and alternative medicine. With Integrated Medicine you get a doctor that is concerned with the whole person (diet & lifestyle, mental well being, prevention of disease, and overall balance and harmony) while using the latest scientific advances. Integrated Medicine is known to have a person-centered approach, which emphasizes understanding and caring. There have been grants given by congress to the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) for further research into Integrated Medicine. These grants have been dispersed to major universities such as, Harvard Medical School, Columbia University, and Stanford University. Also, there have been meetings with the researchers and insurance companies like Blue Cross & Blue Shield regarding Integrated Medicine and its cost effectiveness. Integrated Medicine, focusing on changing lifestyle to promote ultimate health, would cut costs.
This movement towards Integrated Medicine is causing controversy in the medical world. One area of concern is coming from pharmaceutical companies, and pharmacists. Doctors who are practicing natural medicine are turning to natural pharmacies or compound pharmacies and sending their patients to health food stores for vitamin supplements, botanicals, and homeopathic preparations. As a result many pharmacists are now carrying more natural pharmaceutical products to help boost their business. Pharmacists are able to answer questions regarding drug interactions with specific herbs and natural products. This is another reason that Integrated Medicine is so necessary.