ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Who Chooses Modern Medicine and Why

treatment, traditional medicine is a closed system and non-experimental. It is, therefore, incapable of improvement wit hut the traditional framework. Attempts to introduce experimentation and research are broadly confined to the standardisation of pharmacopoeia These attempts are, moreover, themselves a departure from tradition: they are attempts at modernisation. What is more, many of the basic principles of the traditional systems of medicine prevalent in India have been shown to be erroneous in the light of the findings of modern medicine. A good example of such errors is afforded by the ayurvedic (ancient Hindu) theory of the constitution of man as a harmonious mixture of five elements, viz, earth, water, fire, air and ether Now, if increasing acceptance of modem (allopathic) medicine, and more importantly of the principles underlying it, is acknowledged as an essential part of the process of modernisation, it would be of considerable interest to find out who are the people in a developing society who adopt modem medicine and what are their reasons for the choice that they make. The present paper reports some of the results of a preliminary inquiry carried out in an Indian city with a view to answering the above questions. I will present and discuss here only the data obtained from patients; data obtained from medical practitioners are being published separately.

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