A Call for Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in America’s Health Care System

By Sarah Lambeth, Daniel Niku, Victoria Gershuni and Kristin Webb.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The increase in availability and demand for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the United States has attributed to a change in the dynamics of the US health care system. Due to this shift, we must consider the social, economic and ethical facets of CAM as the United States begins to reshape its role in the health care of its citizens. This article critically evaluates the role of CAM and its implications on US health care policy. These considerations are particularly salient as President Barack Obama creates policy to reform the US health care system. By examining the historical basis of CAM, understanding the current role of the US health care system, and addressing the ethical basis of CAM, we can understand CAM’s relevance to the changing state of US health care. Ultimately, the paper reflects on the incorporation of CAM into America’s mainstream allopathic medical treatments and how it can increase the efficacy of medical services, help reduce adverse reactions and costs, and improve doctor-patient communication.

Keywords: Healthcare, President Barack Obama, America, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Allopathic, Integration

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.186MB).

Sarah Lambeth

Master of Science in Global Medicine Degree Candidate, Department of Global Medicine , Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Sarah Lambeth received her Bachelor’s Degree in Gender Studies and a minor in Natural Sciences from the University of Southern California in 2008. She is currently working towards a Masters of Science in Global Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, which is to be completed in 2009. This degree will serve as a medical and scientific foundation to critically analyze the global burden of disease as well as provide additional insight into the development of programs and solutions. As an undergraduate, Sarah spent 3 months living near Arusha, Tanzania teaching HIV/AIDS education and working with Women in Action, a local NGO which focuses on assisting women affected by HIV. This experience solidified her interest in international health and she plans to eventually attend medical school to focus on health policy and women’s health.

Daniel Niku

Master of Science in Global Medicine Degree Candidate, Department of Global Medicine , Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Daniel Niku Masters of Science of Global Medicine, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California Los Angeles, California (USA). Mr. Niku received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration from the University of Southern California (USC) College of Letters Arts and Sciences and Marshall School or Business, respectively, in 2008. He is currently a candidate for a Masters of Science in Global Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at USC and will be earning his degree at the conclusion of this year (2009). The program is in its inaugural year and is designed to train health care professionals with a strong medical and scientific foundation to critically analyze the global burden of disease and design programs and innovative solutions that will help solve problems, such as neglected tropical disease, tuberculosis, epidemic cases of HIV, and maternal-child health. Concurrently, he is a research assistant at the Cell and Neurobiology Department focusing on Circadian rhythms and behaviors of thyroidectomized rats. He eventually plans to attend medical school.

Victoria Gershuni

Master of Science in Global Medicine Degree Candidate, Department of Global Medicine , Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Victoria M. Gershuni Master of Science in Global Medicine (degree candidate), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA Ms. Gershuni earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies at the University of Southern California (2008), and she is currently working on a Master of Science degree in Global Medicine. With an emphasis on global issues, Ms. Gershuni has conducted field research in Sri Lanka (2005) and has delivered much needed medical care to communities in Honduras (2009) and Mexico (2004). Likewise, Ms. Gershuni studied in Paris for six months, focusing on art history and concerns of the European Union. While working toward an undergraduate degree, Ms. Gershuni was a research assistant for Trans-disciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (T.R.E.C.), a part of USC’s Institute for Preventive Research, which focuses on diabetes and obesity-related diseases (2006-07). As a future doctor, Ms. Gershuni’s main area of interest lies in finding solutions to global health disparities and developing infrastructure to ensure access to quality health care.

Kristin Webb

Master of Science in Global Medicine Degree Candidate, Department of Global Medicine , Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Kristin Webb received a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with a minor in the Natural Sciences from the University of Southern California in May of 2009. She is currently a candidate for a Master’s of Science in Global Medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, which is to be completed in May of 2010. The program provides future physicians and health professionals with a strong medical and science foundation to analyze, understand, and solve worldwide health issues. In 2009, Ms. Webb worked at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital in the Patient Education and Outreach Center where she assisted with the development and analysis of African American cancer events which provided community leaders with resources for educating their communities about high risk cancers. Ms. Webb is currently a consultant for Saath, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that uses research and outreach to provide culturally appropriate ways to assist South Asians afflicted with cancer. Her non-profit experience and global health education has stimulated her interest in combating global health disparities and she plans to use this knowledge in a future career in international health.

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