We shouldn’t use labels like “Alternative” and “Conventional” Medicine





What is alternative medicine? Does alternative medicine work? The University of Toronto recently stirred up a bit of controversy by uncritically offering a class on “Alternative Medicine.” When people looked at the coursework, which included many studies debunked by this channel, some people started to freak out. The issue highlights a much larger problem: No one is sure how best to teach that subject.

The dichotomy, however, between alternative and traditional medicine, or between Eastern and Western medicine, is a false one. We would be much better off if we could reframe the issue. That’s the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage.

This episode was based on a post I wrote for the Upshot. Links to sources and more reading can be found there:

John Green — Executive Producer
Stan Muller — Director, Producer
Aaron Carroll — Writer
Mark Olsen — Graphics

And the housekeeping:

1) You can support Healthcare Triage on Patreon: Every little bit helps make the show better!
2) Check out our Facebook page:
3) We still have merchandise available at