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Leung 10

Ideally, traditional medicine will continue in two ways. Traditional medicine excels in its

“broad acceptance among many populations in developing countries” and its “comparative low

cost,” which should encourage investment in traditional medicine on the part of physicians,

governments, and health insurance companies, even if pharmaceutical companies may be

unwilling to do substantial research due to the patenting issues (WHO, 19). The herbs and

medicines used should be monitored for purity and to ensure that they are not deleterious to the

patients’ health. In the United States, CTM scholars are often masters students or “licensed”

acupuncturists, a term that is most often used in describing professions that require shorter terms

of study and lower levels of knowledge. For example, licensed practical nurses require only an

associate degree (two years of study). CTM should also be allowed to develop as its own field,

with its practitioners becoming licensed medical doctors and PhD’s as they are in Asia. These

physicians should have foundations in biomedical concepts and knowledge of both Western

medicine and traditional medicine. From their education, these persons can then develop the

most effective course of treatments. Their professional judgments should be esteemed as much as

Western physicians’. At least in China, practitioners of CTM esteem the values of Western

medicine: many are trained in both. Finally, the diagnostic abilities of either forms of medicine

should be used to supplement each other. CTM diagnostic methods “may allow the practitioner

to identify subtle disharmonies that laboratory tests may miss – which in turn permits… earlier

diagnoses with important disease-prevention implications” (Zhang, et. al, 67). At the same time

that the senses may not be able to discern certain symptoms that technology can, technology may

fail to find underlying problems because they are too specific and impersonal. The two methods

should be use concurrently to ensure the best analysis and diagnosis.

Leung 10

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