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What's in a name?

My old hospital, the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, has renamed itself the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. I think this is a good development. It reflects the fact that the hospital offers a wider range of CAM than just homeopathy. In fact, the change in name is really a catching-up measure. In the 1980s those of us who were working at the hospital decided to broaden its scope to include a number of different treatments. I was practising medical acupuncture, another of the consultants was interested in dietary approaches, and so on. So the change in name is a logical culmination of this trend. Although homeopathy will still be practised at the hospital it is no longer the explicit focus but just one among a range of unconventional treatments on offer.

My own view has long been that those forms of CAM that work should be incorporated into conventional medicine. This has already happened to a large extent in the case of hypnosis and medical acupuncture is going the same way. I hope that the new name for the hospital will help this progression.


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