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My broad definition of CAM

Among the more than 2000 entries to this blog are issues that the purest would not include in a typical list of CAM options. Diet and exercise are examples.

Therefore, an explanation (beyond the fact that a topic interests me) and my rationale for including other “CAM” topics is necessary.

To start, the definition of CAM in Wikipedia is on target, but I would modify it just a bit.

According to Wikipedia,

  • “Alternative medicine describes practices used in place of conventional medical treatments. Complementary medicine describes alternative medicine used in conjunction with conventional medicine. The term complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an umbrella term for both branches.”


  • “Alternative medicine includes practices that incorporate spiritual, metaphysical, or religious underpinnings; non-European medical traditions, or newly developed approaches to healing.”

I would add?

  • CAM includes (but is not limited to) any treatment or action by health professionals or the public to improve health that is outside the purview of the FDA.

This might include, for example, using the telephone as a health aid.

12/4/06 10:54 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.