The Emergence of Integrative Medicine in Australia: The Growing Interest of Biomedicine and Nursing in Complementary Medicine in a Southern Developed Society


In this article, I examine the process by which some biomedical physicians and nurses in Australia have come to adopt various alternative therapies in their regimens of practice, largely in response to (1) the growing interest on the part of many Australians in what is generally called “complementary medicine”, and (2) a recognition that biomedicine is not particularly effective in treating an array of chronic ailments. Some Australian biomedical physicians and nurses have come to embrace “integrative medicine,” which purports to blend the best of biomedicine and complementary medicine, and have even created an Australasian Integrative Medical Association and established integrative medical training programs and centers. I argue that the adoption of alternative therapies and the development of integrative medicine on the part of Australian biomedical physicians and nurses constitute another national manifestation of the co-option of complementary and alternative medicine.