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Resources and Professionals in Alternative Medicine

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A. How can consumers find reliable information on Complementary and Alternative Medical Systems (CAM)?
b. How should one judge the credentials of an author of an article or book on a CAM therapy?
c. Herbs, oils and supplements are widely available. What are some guidelines consumers should consider for safe and effective use of these agents?

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According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Alternative medicine, as it once was called, highlights CAM, used in conjunction with conventional systems of medicine.

Consumers can find reliable information on Complementary and Alternative Medical Systems (CAM) through governmentally links such as http://nnlm.gov/outreach/consumer/chcam.html. Featured on the site are more authored by Michelle Malizia, Public Health Outreach Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region, Houston, TX.

MedlinePlus
http://medlineplus.gov/
MedlinePlus provides extensive information from the NIH, DHHS and other trusted sources on over 700 diseases and conditions. The complementary and alternative therapies topic section contains links to information on common complementary and alternative medicine therapies.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
http://nccam.nih.gov/
One of the Institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.

Alternative Medicine Foundation
http://www.amfoundation.org/
The Alternative Medicine Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides consumers and professionals with responsible, evidence based information on the integration of alternative and conventional medicine. The site contains resource guides on a variety of alternative treatment modalities, health issues and a primer on medical research studies.

CAM on PubMed
http://pubmed.gov/
PubMed provides access to citations from the MEDLINE database and additional life science journals. Users can limit their results to journal articles related to complementary and ...

Solution Summary

Understanding the background and services available for consumers in traditional and alternative medicine is important for making practical personal choices.

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2. Health insurance is a concept developed in the United States and now appearing in many other nations of the world. Its history and development is an interesting story. Briefly trace the history of health insurance in America, from the beginnings with Blue Cross up to the Managed Care era.

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