The Complementary Therapist's Guide to Conventional Medicine is a unique textbook for students and practitioners of complementary medicine, offering a systematic comparative approach to Western and Eastern medicine. Practitioners of complementary medicine increasingly find themselves working alongside conventionally trained doctors and nurses and it is vital for them to develop a core understanding of conventional medical language and philosophy. The book is designed as a guide to understanding conventional medical diagnoses, symptoms and treatments, whilst also encouraging the reader to reflect on and translate how these diagnoses may be interpreted from a more holistic medical perspective. Throughout the text the practitioner/student is encouraged to see that conventional and more holistic interpretations are not necessarily contradictory, but instead are simply two different approaches to interpreting the same truth, that truth being the patient's symptoms.
After introductory sections on physiology, pathology and pharmacology, there follow sections devoted to each of the physiological systems of the body. In these, the physiology of each system is explored together with the medical investigation, symptoms and treatments of the important diseases which might affect that system. As each disease is described, the reader is encouraged to consider the corresponding Chinese medical perspective.
The textbook concludes with chapters relating specifically to dealing with patients in practice. In particular these focus on warning signs of serious disease, supporting patients on medication and ethical issues which may arise from management of patients which is shared with conventional practitioners. The book also offers a detailed summary of 'Red Flag symptoms' which are those which should be referred for 'Western' medical investigation or emergency medical treatment, and also a guide to how patients can be safely supported in withdrawing from conventional medication, when this is clinically appropriate.
Those wishing to use the text for systematic study can make use of the question and problem-solving approach offered on the accompanying CD to which references to self study exercises appear at regular stages throughout the book. This means that the text can be easily adapted to form the basis of a study course in clinical medicine for students of complementary medicine. In addition to the self-testing questions and answers, the supporting CD also contains checklists for revision and full-colour illustrations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clare Stephenson is a qualified medical practitioner who worked in hospital medicine, general practice and public health medicine for a number of years before training in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. Over the course of a decade she developed and taught an undergraduate course for students of Chinese medicine on Western medicine and how it relates to TCM. She is particularly committed to encouraging communication and understanding between practitioners of different health disciplines. She currently works as a GP in Oxfordshire.