On this blog and elsewhere, I have repeatedly criticised the concepts of ‘integrative medicine’ (IM). But criticising is easy, improving would be better. Today, I want to re-visit and revise the idea of IM and propose the concept of a ‘reformed integrated medicine’ (RIM).
Proponents of IM suggest that we should use ‘the best of both worlds’ for the benefit of our patients. This seems to be a progressive and ethical approach to improving healthcare. Therefore, I fully accept this idea. However, I suggest to not stop here; if we are serious about wanting the best for our patients, we must not just integrate, we should also disintegrate! We also need to think about disintegrating (discarding) modalities that are not fit for purpose. This, in a nutshell, is the concept of RIM.
In order to make real progress, we need to have a critical look at all the diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative practices available to date and:
- integrate those into routine care that demonstrably generate more good than harm,
- disintegrate those that do not meet this criterion.
THE BEST, AND ONLY THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!!!
This means, we use must throw overboard those that are not best. In healthcare ‘best’ can, of course, only mean effective and safe.
I am aware that this is only a very rough sketch of what RIM stands for. But even in this preliminary form, it is easy to see that, although IM and RIM seem to differ only marginally, their effects on healthcare would differ dramatically. Let me demonstrate this by providing 5 examples from my area of expertise:
|Iridology||embraced by IM||discarded by RIM|
|Homeopathy||embraced by IM||discarded by RIM|
|Chiropractic||embraced by IM||discarded by RIM|
|Reiki||embraced by IM||discarded by RIM|
|Reflexology||embraced by IM||discarded by RIM|
I am sure, you get the gist of it. In RIM, we no longer employ things that don’t work. They are of no real use to patients and possibly even cause harm. RIM not only is the only ethical approach, it also generates progress.
So, RIM – just a tiny adaptation of IM – is the solution.
Gosh, I am proud of my splendid innovation.
Progress at last!
Ooops … I just realised, RIM has one little flaw: it already exists.
It’s called evidence-based medicine.