Is Integrative Medicine the Future? Relman-Weil debate focuses on scientific evidence issues

Edited by: Steve Bunk Arnold S. RelmanAndrew Weil Integrative medicine, the combining of alternative and conventional medical methods, was the subject of a debate held recently at the University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine. The opponents were Arnold S. Relman, editor-in-chief emeritus of the New England Journal of Medicine and professor emeritus of medicine and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Andrew Weil, director of the UA program in integrative medicine and best-selli

Steve Bunk
May 9, 1999

Edited by: Steve Bunk

Arnold S. Relman
Andrew Weil
Integrative medicine, the combining of alternative and conventional medical methods, was the subject of a debate held recently at the University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine. The opponents were Arnold S. Relman, editor-in-chief emeritus of the New England Journal of Medicine and professor emeritus of medicine and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Andrew Weil, director of the UA program in integrative medicine and best-selling author of eight books that have made the Harvard-educated physician a leading advocate of integrative medicine. Last December, an article by Relman appeared in The New Republic that sharply attacked Weil's writings.1 Their subsequent debate consisted of opening remarks, rebuttals, questions, and closing remarks that have been edited in the following text. Sentences and paragraphs have been deleted or transposed where appropriate.


Relman: Integrating alternative medicine with mainstream medicine, as things...