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Keywords:

  • general practice;
  • homeopathy;
  • holistic care;
  • doctor-patient relationship;
  • complementary therapies

Sociological studies of complementary and alternative therapies have largely focused on the activities and experiences of lay practitioners and users. In contrast, this paper explores some of the ways that a group of medically qualified general practitioners employ homeopathic treatments in their everyday work within the NHS. We explore the ways in which homeopathic medicine accords with an expansive view of the consultation in general practice, and offers doctors a means of avoiding the iatrogenic effects of modern drug treatments. We also point to the ways that this involves practitioners in engaging with contests about the utility of treatments that are rejected by contemporary bioscience.