Empowered nurses and crucified doctors: Working with CAM in Iceland

This paper is based on a study among doctors and nurses in Iceland who are interested in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and holistic health. The health professionals in the study work or have worked with CAM in some way and want to incorporate specific CAM therapy forms and holistic health approaches into the Icelandic health care system. Some of them work within an environment that allows them to use their chosen CAM therapy technique in some form in their practice as a nurse or a doctor. Others feel that their working environment is unfriendly towards CAM and find other ways to practice them outside of the official health care system. The doctors and nurses discuss the advantages and disadvantages of many CAM therapies and the stigma that is still attached to CAM within the Icelandic health care system and their hopes for a change in the future. The nurses are not afraid of addressing CAM and  evidence based complementary therapies publicly while the doctors tend to keep their interest to themselves in most cases out of fear of being ostracized by their colleagues.