Los Angeles Times Profiles Alternative Medicine Practitioner at Cedars-Sinai
The Los Angeles Times on Monday profiled Evan Ross, a practitioner of complementary and alternative medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In 1995, Ross underwent treatment for a highly malignant form of brain cancer that he was told would likely kill him. Ross used a variety of alternative therapies, including acupuncture, nutritional supplements, Eastern medicine and spiritual treatments to reduce the side effects from chemotherapy. After the cancer regressed, Ross became a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine at Cedars-Sinai, a position which gave him a "badge of legitimacy in a world often unequipped to assess" the effectiveness of CAM services, the Times reports. According to a 2003 survey by the American Hospital Association, 17% of hospitals offer CAM services, and Ross said that as many as 75% of his patients received referrals from medical doctors for CAM therapy. While some doctors still doubt the effectiveness of alternative medicine, he said that individual failures in CAM therapies should not cause doctors to "throw the baby out with the bathwater." Dr. Michael Lill, medical director at the Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center and director of its blood and marrow transplant program, said Ross' methods work because he also recommends patients use conventional therapy, "rather than trying to do everything himself." Ross said, "I don't practice alternative medicine. I always call it complementary. There is a danger in thinking of it as alternative medicine, because it implies one kind of medicine or the other. Both types of medicine have to be used together" (MacGregor, Los Angeles Times, 7/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.