What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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Elaine M Aldred. (Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2007.) "This is a book for CAM practitioners who want to open their own practice. It deals with anything from general trivia such as telephone, gas and electricity connections to more specific issues such as insurance, contracts, other legal matters, marketing, advertising, business plans, clinic procedures, accounting, etc. A useful guide, no doubt, for people who are ignorant of such problems. At the same time an ambitious undertaking — overambitious, I often thought when reading the book. Most of the issues are merely touched upon or mentioned. Completeness seems to count more than depth. Did I just say completeness? I withdraw this statement. In several ways the book lacks essential points. Does the aspiring CAM practitioner learn that advertising claims need to be substantiated by evidence? No! Does he or she receive the information that the treatments used in a CAM practice should demonstrably do more good than harm? No! The book tells us about market research but not about research. It informs us about public relations but not about informed consent. Shall I continue? In summary, this book might be useful for someone who wants to become a CAM professional and aims at financial success. If you are looking for clinical success you need different books." Reviewed by Edzard Ernst, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies [FACT] (December 2008)