The theme for this issue is Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs). These historic and diverse medical practices—although given little focus in our curriculum—have emerged as an important topic in healthcare due to controversies over their use. Debates and ethical quandaries arise when addressing the role of these practices in our society and the limited knowledge of patients and physicians regarding the safety and efficacy of these practices. This controversy gives rise to litigations wherein patients opt for alternative medicines over conventional options. Specifically as future health care professionals, we should be informed about the interplay of CAMs and conventional Western medicines.
Examples of existing differences between these practices include:
- Funding and coverage under the Canada Health Act
- Necessity for and expectation of evidence-based guidelines
Modern healthcare must come to a consensus on whether to, and how best to address these differences. “Integrated care”, that is to say the incorporation of CAMs into Western medical practice, may improve patient compliance and overall patient welfare but could come at the price of undermining modern evidence-based guidelines. Exploring these issues and developing a new standard of care will help guide physicians in assessing the validity of CAMs and negotiating with patients when alternative practices conflict with the current standard of care.
We look forward to reading submissions addressing any aspect of this topic. Submissions can fall into one of the following categories: Academic Research, Reviews, Commentaries, News and Letters, Global Health, and Case and Elective Reports. We also accept submissions that do not fall into this theme so do not hesitate to submit your work! The submission deadline is Friday, March 13th, 2015 (by 11:59pm). We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to publish your work in an internationally recognized academic journal. Publishing in the UBCMJ is an excellent way to make your voice heard on important healthcare topics and to gain experience navigating the submission process for medical journals. We will present the UBCMJ Distinguished Writing Award (and a $250 honorarium) to the strongest article submitted for this issue.