Framework Negotiations: Diagnostic Insights among Alternative Medical Practitioners Participating in Integrative Medicine Case Conferences

Abstract

Medical anthropology concerns itself with cultural interpretations of health and illness in complex pluralistic societies whose members incorporate multiple strategies to address health issues. This research explored the variety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) topics introduced into biomedically structured clinical evaluation. A field study of routine case conferences held within a clinical fellowship program in integrative medicine (IM) provided the ideal setting to explore contrasting conceptualizations of disease. Study results yielded five core sources of information sought by CAM practitioners, typically not addressed in biomedicine: social relations history within family of origin, emotional health, energetic health, spiritual health, and in-depth nutritional evaluation.