Research: McPARTLAND and SOONS

Listed in Issue 33

Abstract

McPARTLAND and SOONS, Vermont Alternative Medicine, Middlebury USA estimated the number of alternative/holistic practitioners in Vermont.

Background

Methodology

The authors scanned advertisements in yellow pages, newspapers, magazines and brochures and performed word-of-mouth canvassing.

Results

The authors located 897 Vermonters who derived most of their income as a practitioner of at least one of 97 types of alternative medicine and therapy. The majority of practitioners were female, and most practised more than one type of healing. The most prevalent practitioners were bodyworkers, followed by chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists and holistic psychotherapists . On a per-capita basis, there is 1 alternative practitioner per 652 Vermonters or 153 practitioners per 100,000 population . This census almost equals that of Vermonts population of medical doctors (MDs).

Conclusion

Extrapolation of this data from Vermont to a nationwide estimate suggests that there are over 403,000 full-time alternative practitioners practising in the United States.

References

McPartland JM and Soons KR. Alternative medicine in Vermont a census of practitioners: prevalence, patterns of use, and national projections. J Altern Complement Med 3(4): 337-42. Winter 1997.

Comment

These statistical projections are staggering, particularly since most of the practitioners are practising fairly conventional therapies chiropractic, acupuncture, herbalism i.e., professions fairly compatible with those of the medical profession.

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