Letters College of Medicine

What is integrative health?

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4372 (Published 12 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4372
  1. James May, general practitioner
  1. 1Lambeth Walk Group Practice, London SE11 6SP, UK
  1. james.may{at}nhs.net

Is it possible that the new College of Medicine is being deliberately ambiguous about the term integrative health?1 2

I would be interested to meet any doctor who would not support the underlying philosophy of taking into account patients’ beliefs and personal circumstances and helping patients look after their own health. Of course this fundamental principle of good medicine needs nurturing and encouraging at every opportunity.

The college, however, seems to interpret this philosophy to mean the promotion of unproved complementary treatments.

These are very different agendas and should not be confused. All good doctors should support the first and reject the second. If this college is an attempt to smuggle in the second agenda under the guise of the first, then good doctors should indeed be wary.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4372


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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