Doctors typically recommend ‘patent’ medicines (although they might not use that name). Some doctors promote ‘natural medicines’, others prefer ‘Chinese medicines’, others like ‘traditional’ medicines. It seems there are many different types of medicine.
Even the FDA is roped into this argument, trying to define alternative medicines in a ‘draft guidance’ on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.
The draft was crated in 2006. But it is still a draft 7 years later. Why? I believe it’s still a draft because there is no legitimate way for the FDA to discriminate between what they call “conventional” and what they call “alternative” medicines. It’s even more of a problem for them when some medicines jump back and forth across the gap. Vitamin C, for example, is a conventional medicine when a doctor prescribes it for scurvy, but when he recommends it to prevent colds, it’s an alternative medicine.