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Frontline: Alternative Fix

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, November 05, 2003

View a panel discussion on the new FRONTLINE special, The Alternative Fix FRONTLINE: The Alternative Fix examines the explosion in the popularity, and profitability, of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Under pressure from everyone from consumers to Congress, yet tempted by huge grants, hospitals and medical schools have embraced therapies that they once dismissed as quackery. So accepted have alternative medical treatments become that an entire center of the National Institutes of Health is now devoted to CAM. But the question remains: do these treatments actually work? Through interviews with staunch supporters, skeptical scientists, and observers on both sides of the debate, this documentary examines how these popular treatments are facing increased scrutiny as the first real studies of their effectiveness are published, and questions whether hospitals that offer alternative therapies are conferring a sense of legitimacy on these largely untested and scientifically unproven treatments.

Raney Aronson-Rath is the editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE, PBS’ flagship investigative journalism series, and is a leading voice on the future of journalism. From covering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine to examining a federal effort to grapple with America’s legacy of racist killings, to the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, Aronson-Rath oversees FRONTLINE’s acclaimed investigative reporting on air and online, and directs the series’ editorial vision — executive producing more than 20 in-depth documentaries each year on critical issues facing the country and the world.
Dr.Barton, a resident of Winchester, graduated from Bastyr University in 1983 and has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture in the Boston area for over 20 years. He is the former president of the Mass. Society of Naturopathic Doctors and the Mass. Acupuncture Society. In his practice, Dr. Barton treats adults and children with acute, chronic and unusual conditions. His focus is to try to remove the underlying cause of the health issues as well as treating the symptoms using natural remedies. Dr. Barton also treats patients with injuries due to sports or accidents, using acupuncture, therapeutic magnets, herbal remedies and therapeutic exercises to speed healing. His treatment modalities include botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, supplements, acupuncture and therapeutic magnets. He has been a regular speaker at the American Association of Naturopathic Physician's annual conference since 1996 where he has lectured on successful naturopathic treatments in general practice as well as the use of therapeutic magnets for the treatment of pain. He is the founder of the Clinical Support Network for naturopathic doctors.
Dr. Carter currently serves as a senior physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as the medical director of the Prostate Cancer Screening and Education Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He has earned degrees from Howard and George Washington Universities and received his MD from Georgetown University, all in Washington, DC. Dr. Carter completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. This was followed by a graduate program at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he received his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. He then completed a clinical fellowship in Primary Care Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Since completing his training, Dr. Carter has held a number of clinical and administrative positions, including medical directorships of several local and national health care organizations. A former director of one of the major clinical clerkships, he now serves as a teacher, advisor and mentor for students at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Carter has been active in a number of civic and community organizations, including past president of the board of Family Service of Greater Boston and past chairman of the Brookline Advisory Council on Public Health. He regularly gives talks on medical and health related issues to community groups and students throughout the greater Boston area. Dr. Carter serves as a medical consultant and resource for members of the print and electronic media. He is immediate-past president of the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Association and a current director of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). Dr. Carter is a founding member of the Georgetown University African American Advisory Board. His biography has been included in *Whos Who in the East*, *Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare*, *Whos Who in Science and Engineering*, and *Who's Who in America*.
Alice D. Domar, PhD is a pioneer in the application of mind/body medicine to women's health issues. She not only established the first Mind/Body Center for Women's Health, but also conducts ongoing ground-breaking research in the field. Her research focuses on the relationship between stress and different women's health conditions, and creating innovative programs to help women decrease physical and psychological symptoms. Dr. Domar received her MA and PhD in Health Psychology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Ferkauf School of Professional Psychology of Yeshiva University. Her post-doctoral training was at Beth Israel Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, and Children's Hospital, all in Boston. She is currently the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF. She is an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and a senior staff psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Domar has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments as a best-selling author, media authority and sought-after public speaker.