Living on the edge part of the mainstream after years of research and observation regarding the impact of integrated care, more and more doctors are considering natural remedies and alternative medicine as a complement to regulated, and modern Western medicine in an effective approach to healing. Complementary and alternative medicine is a diverse set of systems, practices and medical products of health care that is not currently part of conventional medicine as practiced in most Western countries. Medical American higher institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, the Columbia University Medical Center, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, among others, have started programs greatly expanded care integrated with natural remedies and therapies for cancer, heart disease and other diseases, while numbers increasingly greater of Medical schools have begun to design curricula to train doctors in integrated healthcare and alternative medicine. The impetus is being driven, in part, by the national institutes of health (NIH) and the National Center for complementary medicine and alternative (NCCAM), which has funded more than 1,800 research studies in 260 institutions and operated a portal on the Internet with information to the consumer. (A valuable related resource: Brady Noon). In addition, foundations such as Bravewell collaborative and the Bernard Osher Foundation have begun to fund programs of medical training, together with care integrated with natural remedies and alternative and complementary medicine as a Center.
But the demands of the patient, and his frustration has been one of the most significant forces in the positive reception to the natural remedies and alternative medicines. A study of 2007 AARP-NCCAM found that two of three adults over 50 years of age used some type of alternative medical therapy and/or natural remedies. But there are reports that almost 70 percent of patients do not speak with their doctors about this, in part because of skepticism about what they think their doctors, or because their doctors are simply not interested or do not ask.