Harvard to Invest in Alt Med Program

Harvard investing in alternative medicine program [05/15/2001; Cable News Network]

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Harvard Medical School, acknowledging that patients are increasingly experimenting with holistic and other alternative treatments, is creating an institute for nontraditional medicine.

Researchers at the prestigious medical school will examine the effectiveness of such treatments as acupuncture, herbal therapies and massage, and look at how they work or interact with traditional medicine.

"You can't practice medicine these days without knowing what patients are doing, and a tremendous amount of them are doing it," said Dr. Dan Federman, who helped start Harvard's new program.

Harvard calls its program integrative medicine, for the combination of alternative and mainstream treatments. Americans made an estimated 600 million office visits to practitioners of integrative medicine and spent $30 billion on treatments, according to a recent Harvard study.

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