By: Richard Campana, BSC
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2006
Those considering a career in health care should take a hard look at the field of alternative medicine. The industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. In fact, a recent government survey of some 31,000 individuals age 18 and older indicated more than a third of Americans (36 percent) use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. This includes 10 types of provider-based therapies such as auriculotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic, as well as other methods.
Congress recently held hearings on mind/body medicine. Senator Tom Harkin released a report developed by the Institute for Alternative Futures. The document reported that today, complementary and alternative approaches to health and medicine are the fastest growing aspects of health care. In 1990, one-third of the United States population used an alternative healthcare approach that will grow to a whopping two-thirds by the year 2010.
The boom in alternative medicine is spawning the creation of stand-alone clinics, offices, and even larger therapy centers. Many of these facilities offer specialized treatment modalities; others, a more multi-therapeutic approach with several skilled professionals on staff.
The result is a large need for both skilled and unskilled personnel. In addition to therapy providers, individuals who can provide administrative, marketing, and operational expertise are definitely in demand. The field provides plenty of room for career growth and opportunity.