JAMA Reviews the Journal Edited by the Wiki-Medical
In July 2001, the
Journal of the American Medical Association
published a review of two journals devoted to
integrative medicine, one of them which edited. I
was humbled by the Journal’s recognition of my
definition of integrative medicine, as published in
The Journal of Integrative Medicine (1998):
"Integrative medicine seeks to integrate all
therapies that are effective and safe into the care
of the sick, without subservience to any one school
The view of JAMA—undoubtedly
reflecting the position of the American Medical
Association—is revealing in it grudging acceptance
of some of the core tenets of integrative medicine
as accepted by the practitioners in the field.
Medicine. by Denise McKee, MD, Joan S. Zenan, MLS.
JAMA. 2000;283(22): 2993-2994.
Medicine: Integrating Conventional and Alternative
Medicine, edited by Andrew Weil, quarterly, $98
(institutions), $48 (individuals), New York, NY,
Elsevier Science, 1998.
The Journal of
Integrative Medicine, edited by Majid Ali,
quarterly, $30, Denville, NJ, Aging Healthfully,
consumer-driven medical paradigm combines
conventional and alternative medicine. "Integrative
medicine" seeks to integrate all therapies that are
effective and safe into the care of the sick,
without subservience to any one school of thought.
Many health care
consumers are dissatisfied with the therapeutic
limitations of conventional medicine, especially in
the treatment of chronic diseases. Consumers also
are disenchanted with the concept of drug treatment
for all acute diseases and the exclusion of the
spirit and psyche as part of a treatment plan.
Integrative medicine places emphasis on prevention
and health care maintenance without relying on
expensive technology or a drug to cure every ill.
Patients within the integrative medicine framework
are asking physicians to "sort out sense from
nonsense"1 in a valid way.
Medicine (IM) and The Journal of Integrative
Medicine (TJIM) are timely journals in their
distribution of desired information intended for the
health care professional audience. Both are subject
to peer review and editorial revision. IM seems to
have the most clinical significance for the primary
care physician with its diversity of types of
articles and depth of focus on clinical reviews of
the literature. TJIM publishes mostly original
articles and book reviews; IM publishes original
articles, review articles, literature reviews, case
reports, book reviews and essays.
evaluated the first three issues of both journals.
All articles in IM except the editorials, were
written by a diverse set of authors. In all but two
TJIM articles the editor, Majid Ali, MD, was lead or
sole author. The authors in both journals certainly
have appropriate expertise, but IM has a high degree
of synthesis and critical analysis in its review
articles. Topics covered in TJIM included nutrition
therapy, antioxidant therapy, integrative medical
education, and fibromyalgia therapy. IM included
articles on homeopathy, chiropractic, medical
education, antioxidant therapy, acupuncture, and
"seven care principles of integrative medicine:
empiricism, integrative, integrity of cellular and
tissue ecological relationships, physician-patient
reciprocity, spontaneity of oxidation, spontaneous
healing, and spiritual surrender." The editor
believes it is shortsighted of medical editors to
emphasize articles that are double-blinded crossover
model studies for drug evaluations in chronic
illnesses, and considers this practice to be the
principal folly of 20th century medicine.
A statement in
TJIM reads: "mainstream editors readily reject
submissions concerning integrative models, reports
of clinical outcome with integrative therapies
simply do not get published."3 However, this
statement conflicts with the published clinical
medicine literature.4 The entire November 11, 1998,
issue of JAMA was dedicated to articles on
alternative medicine.5 American Family Physician has
published numerous articles on alternative medicine,
herbal therapy, and other therapies considered
"alternative" by the National Institutes of Health's
National Center for complementary and Alternative
Medicine. Examples of those therapies are manual
healing methods, diet and nutrition,
bioelectromagnetic therapies, alternative systems,
herbal therapy, pharmacologic treatments, and
mind-body intervensions.6.7 The Journal of Family
Praictice and the Southern Medical Journal also have
published peer-reviewed articles on integrative
Both journals have
qualified editorial boards consisting of an
appropriate mix of MDs and PhDs. IM provides a more
detailed description of each member's affiliations.
Both journals are equally original in their tables
of contents. IM appears to have higher scientific
standards for research methods and analytical
techniques. Dr. Ali makes relevant points very
articulately in TJIM. Yet, IM instead publishes
articles according to what JAMA readers generally
would consider to be a higher standard for quality
of research, technique, and practice. IM also
presents a more comprehensive and well-rounded
content than TJIM. In summary, IM represents the
more clinically useful journal for the primary care
Denise McKee, MD,
Joan S. Zenan, MLS
Nevada School of Medicine, Reno
1. Weil A. Title.
(editorial). Integr Med. 1998;1:1.
2. Ali M. Why
should you earn a degree in integrative medicine?
What should such a degree mean? J Integr Med.
3. Ali M. Seven
core principles of integrative medicine. J Integr
4. Barnes J, Abbot
NC, Harkness EF, Ernst E. Articles on complementary
medicine in the mainstream medical literature: an
investigation of MEDLINE, 1966-1996. Arch Intern
5. Fontanarosa PB,
Lundberg, GD, eds. Alternative medicine. JAMA.
6. Chung M. Why
alternative medicine? AM Fam PHysician.
7. Gordon J.
Alternative medicine and the family physician. Am
Fam Physician. 1996;54:2205-2212.
8. McKee D,
Chappel J. Spirituality and medical practice. J Fam
9. Byrd R. The positive
therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a
coronary care unit population - South Med J. 1998;
Related Philosophy Essays
Below is a list of my other essays of the subject
of the healing philosophy. These essays are based on
materials included in the twelve volumes of my
textbook, The Principles and
Practice of Integrative Medicine:
Reviews the Journal Edited by the Wiki-Medical
* Philosophy of Integrative Medicine
* Of Reason, Belief, and Oxygen
* Ideas and Ideologies Define the
* The Aristotle Principle
* The Darwin Principle
* Of Diagnosis, Detection, Ethics,
* Freedom of Thought in Integrative
* There Are No Controversies
* Science and
An Angry Colleague
* History, Like Science, Is Never a
* Oxygen Orchestrates Human Life
* An Air Pump Works Well When It
Pumps Clean Air
* Organized Around Metals
* Quantum Spirituality and
of Unthinking Medicine
When Should a Doctor Not Listen to the Patient?
A Letter to President