Most medical schools either pretend alternative medicine doesn't exist or brush it off as "unproven." But University of Kansas isn't most medical schools. Not only does it recognize the validity of alternative medicine, but it's also making strides to study it.
One of the most recent steps was the appointment of Dr. Jeanne Drisko, to the first ever endowed chair for orthomolecular medicine and research. That's a mouthful, but I'll break it down for you. In this position, Drisko will be "charged with the task of changing the face of healthcare by researching nutritional therapies." She'll then teach students how to put these methods into practice. That's no small task.
The school is well aware of the importance of this endowed chair: It considers the program to be an investment in the future of medicine. It's hard to predict the long-term effects a program like this could have on alternative medicine. Besides producing strong research, it will probably encourage future doctors who attend the University of Kansas to be more open minded about natural medicine. And who knows? It might even spark other schools to follow suit.
This endowed chair is named for Hugh D. Riodan, a pioneer in investigating the science of alternative medicine. He is best know for demonstrating that high doses of intravenous vitamin C have anti-cancer activity and a powerful anti-infection effect. Dr. Drisko is also considered to be a pioneer in the study of vitamin C therapies. She has already played a major role in the advancement of complimentary and alternative medicine in a number of different areas.
Dr. Drisko is actively conducting research on the effects of antioxidant nutrients in the treatment of stage III and IV ovarian cancer. She's also researching clinical outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease who are treated with nutritional supplements and EDTA magnesium (a form of chelation therapy) to reduce risk factors that contribute to arterial plaque production.
She has several other research projects in the planning stages including evaluating biochemical parameters of intravenous vitamin C in cancer patients, studying the safety of antioxidant nutrients in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, researching bio-identical vs. conventional hormone replacement therapy, and studying nutrients in the treatment of psychiatric conditions and evaluating medicinal prairie plants.