Desperately seeking a Doc Weil clone?
Q. I'm living in New York City and would like to get a referral to a doctor who practices Dr. Weil's kind of medicine. Any leads?
You're not alone. More than any other single question to this program, people ask where they can turn to find a good doctor practicing integrative medicine (and its components - acupuncture, homeopathy, and Chinese medicine, for example). In major metropolitan areas and remote rural communities, the demand for alternative-medicine practitioners has soared as more people discover that traditional Western medicine just doesn't have all the answers and that there are other, often less expensive, options.
That's why it's so important for more medical schools to incorporate the many disciplines of holistic medicine into their curricula. The whole point of my Program of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine is to train doctors to combine the best ideas and practices of conventional and alternative medicine. So the long-range prospects are good for finding doctors and other practitioners of this kind.
In the short-term however, I understand you'd rather not wait for future medical school graduates to move into your town before you get the help you need! To help, the Ask Dr. Weil staff has compiled a comprehensive yet easy-to-use referral list covering 13 disciplines of holistic medicine. Each section connects you to professional associations that provide the names of member practitioners near you.
For example, if you're unsure if Feldenkrais work would be best to relieve chronic pain, or perhaps Rolfing would be better, read about each practice in the referral pages, jot down the address and phone number of the institute or association, and then click on the link to go directly to their home on the Web for more information. Or if you'd like to start consulting a homeopath, but have concerns about finding a qualified practitioner, start with the referral pages to avoid taking a gamble.
In the months to come, we'll be developing these pages into a more interactive and complete database, but in the meantime they're a great place to start whenever you need a referral.